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Blog2020-08-16T07:24:07+01:00
2108, 2020

Red Grass

By |August 21st, 2020|Grasses/Graminoids|0 Comments

The perception is that grasses are green, yet this striking example of Reed Canary Grass shows the lovely red inflorescence in July. It is a grass that prefers damp or watery habitats and can grow very tall, 5 foot, with a stem that is stout and reed-like. It often grows side branches from the stem nodes as seen in the photo, or sometimes aerial roots as the stem leans towards the water.

Reed Canary Grass with red flowering head.

New stem leaves growing from a node

1908, 2020

Rare or Overlooked?

By |August 19th, 2020|Plants|4 Comments

While out on a Grassland Survey last week I found a plant which I have not recorded in Calderdale before.

I know it has been recorded by Bruce Brown nr Withens Reservoir but despite looking for it there I couldn’t find it.

I wonder though if it is really rare or just very difficult to spot.

Here is a picture of a bare patch in an otherwise grassy meadow.

Click to enlarge, I doubt you will be able to see much there.

A closer look just in case there is something interesting there.

Look like a little Rush

Bristle Club Rush

On closer inspection it is Bristle Club Rush (Isolepis setacea)

Such a tiny little plant, it must be so easy to miss.

It likes damp open places. If you see it, let me know.

1208, 2020

Leeches

By |August 12th, 2020|Invertebrates|5 Comments

I have never seen a Leech before, although they are reported to be common. This photo was taken at a shady muddy pond in Centre Vale woodland at Todmorden I fished out an old Beech husk that seemed to have moving legs and found 2 Leeches underneath. Only about 10mm long but it quickly extended its body when it saw me looking at it! On closer inspection the whole pond was teeming with them.

Are they common in the valley?

1108, 2020

Rishworth – Meadows and miscellaneous

By |August 11th, 2020|Ferns, Plants|2 Comments

I have been out a lot yesterday and today. Here are a whole ton of things of interest.

Above we have Wild Angelica Angelica sylvestris. It is a common plant along streams and brooks, as it enjoys wet soils. Bees also enjoys the very round umbrella-like flowers, hence the name of the type of flower, umbellifer.

Above, we have Bird’s Foot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus.  A common meadow plant it is a member of the pea family and also the foodplant of the Common Blue butterfly.

The above fern is Common Male Fern Dryopteris filix-mas.

Common Figwort Scrophularia nodosa above, quite a peculiar plant.

The above is Sowbread, also known as Cyclamen hederifolium.

I do not know if this is Mugwort or Monks Hood, it was growing in a field.

Above, is Wild Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum.

Is this Common Knapweed or Greater Knapweed?

I was rather amazed to find this Scented Mayweed Matricaria chamomilla.

Then this is Feverfew Tanecetum parthenium.

Then finally to finish up, White Stonecrop Sedum album.

708, 2020

The shape of Oak leaves

By |August 7th, 2020|Trees|2 Comments

These are Sessile Oak leaves all growing from the same small branch.

I don’t think I have seen such a variation in shape, from huge leaf with shallow lobes to smaller, very narrow leaves with hooded lobes, resembling Turkey Oak.

Oaks are so genetically diverse and the Sessile characteristics can merge with Pedunculate, making it difficult to identify hybrids.

It is always recommended not to identify using shade leaves, or the mid-summer Lammas growth, as both these can produce oddities such as in the photos.

708, 2020

Common Vetch

By |August 7th, 2020|Plants|1 Comment

After noting the seedling 2 months ago, it was nice to see the plant which seeded itself under our pea trellis in the garden, was in flower.

I am pretty sure it is Common Vetch Vicia sativa.

508, 2020

Pale Flax?

By |August 5th, 2020|Plants|0 Comments

Found this here in Rishworth. I have got it down to Linum Sp. but I suspect Pale Flax Linum bienne.

308, 2020

Elm

By |August 3rd, 2020|Trees|2 Comments

I have noticed Dutch Elm disease has taken hold of semi-mature Elms this summer in Todmorden.

Affected foliage is wilting and dying progressively from the crown downwards.

I have seen younger Elms affected by this disease over the last couple of years but it now seems to have got more serious.

Has anyone noticed Elms down the valley with signs of DED?

We still have many old Elms that escaped the last serious outbreak of 25-30 years ago.

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