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buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3098
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 17 2:55 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Last week I didn't go for a walk because it was a long trip and I would have had to be ready to go by 7.30 - I'm not an early riser so I decided to give it a miss!

This week we went to an old quarry where our main quarry was the Yellow Birdsnest (Hypopitys monotropa), a rather uninspiring, though rare, plant with an interesting life style. Long thought to feed off dead plant material, recent research suggests it uses a fungus to extract nutrients from living trees. We ought to have visited earlier as it is now a bit less exciting than it ever is, with the flower heads straightening up as the seeds develop:




It has tiny scale-like leaves and no chlorophyll, and we assumed that the name derives from the root system, as in Birds Nest Orchid, but a plan to dig one up to verify this was vetoed by the site warden, who we had met earlier and came with us.

We also saw several butterfly species, including this Brown Argus (Aricia agestis)




which is, technically at least, one of the 'blue' butterflies!

Henry

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8732

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 17 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We get Birds Nest Orchids, although I haven't seen any yet. I have never seen the Yellow Birds Nest, so that is great Buzzy. I think all the blues are actually browns pretending to be blue, and of course the females tend to be brown if I remember rightly. The purple emperor is brown too, but looks purple in certain lights. I think we saw one this year so far but it flew past too fast to be sure.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3098
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 17 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Last week we were rained off, but this week we went to a place I'd not seen before, which was an area of old gravel diggings. Mainly flooded pits, some of which were getting grown in with assorted vegetation, and lots of winding paths between them.

Some interesting plants, including Nettle-leaved Bellflower (Campanula trachelium):




There were also a few plants of Broad-leaved Helleborine but I didn't get a very good picture of that - most of them were well past their best.

Remarkably few invertebrates about, though there were ten species of dragon/damselfly.

We found this little fungus:





which those jolly chaps at Mycology Central have named The Peeling Oysterling (Crepidotus mollis)! Its most remarkable feature, apart from its name, is that the top layer of the cap is thick and elastic, so with gentle pulling you can stretch it, and it is also transparent, which gives a very interesting effect.

Henry

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8732

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 17 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have plenty of nettle leaved bellflower out at the moment. It is rather pretty, especially at this time of year when most of the flowers are over. I am still waiting for the cudweed to make its appearance though. That is about the last of the cycle of flowers.

Those mushrooms are rather lovely and interesting too. The sort that tends to get overlooked as just another little white job.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1700
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 17 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tiger swallowtail butterfly on echinops in a garden where the local rock garden society chapter was having our summer picnic


Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8732

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 17 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's beautiful Jam Lady. I don't know if we get them; very rare if we do.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3098
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 17 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
That's beautiful Jam Lady. I don't know if we get them; very rare if we do.


We don't see this species of Swallowtail in England, but we do have another species which is indeed very rare and confined to eastern counties, mainly Norfolk. Odd individuals of a second, European, species occasionally turn up, and they are usually believed to be escapes from captivity, rather than immigrants.

Henry

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1700
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 17 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There are several species of swallowtail butterflies that we have. Tiger and black swallowtails are common. Their caterpillars feed on dill, parsley, and suchlike. Eponymously named pipevine and spicebush swallowtails much less so. Other large butterflies are the orange coloured monarch and its somewhat mimic, the viceroy.

There was another very beaten up tiger swallowtail in that garden - several ragged tears in its lower wings where birds had made a grab for it but it got away.

Buzzy, butterfly houses - where people can walk around in a large mesh hoop house with butterflies and caterpillars, caterpillar food plants, nectar plants, are popular in public gardens. If they display non-native butterflies there are strict protocols to prevent accidental release, reporting in case escapes occur, etc. When I visited Ladew Topiary Garden in Maryland earlier this year our guide said their focus was on native butterflies. People enjoyed learning about what they might see in their own gardens, plus there was no concern about escapes.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3098
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 17 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jam Lady wrote:
...............................................................................................................................................................
Buzzy, butterfly houses - where people can walk around in a large mesh hoop house with butterflies and caterpillars, caterpillar food plants, nectar plants, are popular in public gardens. If they display non-native butterflies there are strict protocols to prevent accidental release, reporting in case escapes occur, etc. When I visited Ladew Topiary Garden in Maryland earlier this year our guide said their focus was on native butterflies. People enjoyed learning about what they might see in their own gardens, plus there was no concern about escapes.


We have butterfly houses here, and I imagine they are equally careful about escapes. But there are also lots of private individuals breeding non-native species and some are not so careful, and some others deliberately release non-natives.

I made a mistake in my earlier email - the Swallowtails that occasionally turn up are a European subspecies of the one we have as a native species. Ours are Papilio machaon subspecies brittanicus, the European ones are Papilio machaon subspecies gorganus.

Apparently 2013 was a very good year for sightings of gorganus in England.

Henry

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3098
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 17 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This week we visited an ols quarry site that has been allowed to return to grassland and some trees.

We found the Lurid Bolete (Boletus luridus):




growing here next door to Clustered Bellflower (Campanula glomerata) which grows in splendid abundance at this site. The boletus turns blue when the flesh is cut.

We also found several Snowy Inkcaps (Coprinopsis niveus) growing on dung:




There were not many insects about, as it was a rather dull morning, but we did find quite a few Burnet moth cocoons on grass stems:




some of which, like this one, appeared to be unhatched, whilst others had clearly hatched and yet others had possibly been predated or parasitized - I need to do some looking up on this aspect.

Henry

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3098
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 17 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We also found a few galls, including this one:




which is caused by the fly Jaapiella genisticola on Dyer's Greenweed (Genista tinctoria) and is reportedly rather rare, but probably overlooked.

Henry

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32885
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 17 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

thanks again for showing me a new beasty , the gall is rather fun

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8732

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 17 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Interesting, and a good picture of all of it. We get boletes in the woods, but I have never been able to be really sure which one. I haven't seen the snowy inkcaps, although we do get the ordinary ones, and have had magpie inkcaps too. I suspect you are right about those galls; things that are that small are often overlooked.

We have some fungi starting, but haven't been able to identify any yet. I tends to be a slow and inexact process with me.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3098
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 17 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This week we visited a new site to us, a private wood that is not always accessible.

We found a lot of nice things, including Herb Paris (more or less going over), Green Hellebore (no flowers left) and quite a few Broad-leaved Helleborines (also mostly finished flowering).

We found some good fungi, including False Saffron Milkcap (Lactarius deterrimus)




which is prettier underneath than on top, especially when the slugs have been at work on the top.

We also found a hybrid bedstraw (Galium x pomeranicum) that I had not even heard of before:




It's actually yellower than the photo shows, and is a hybrid between Lady's Bedstraw (yellow) and Hedge Bedstraw (white). The latter was growing in amazing abundance where we found the hybrid.

Henry

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8732

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 17 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That must be primary woodland Buzzy. Herb Paris doesn't tolerate the woodland being cleared, so is only present in primary woodland. It saddens me that we don't have any, but our wood was cleared in or before the Bronze Age. We think, from various signs, that it was rewooded by Saxon times, so at least 1000 years ago, but no Herb Paris, or heleborines.

I didn't know you could get hybrid bedstraws either. We have 3 Galliams; Sweet woodruff, goose grass and cross wort on the field edge, but no hedge or ladies bedstraw anyway.

Yes, the False Saffron Milkcap is rather pretty underneath. I need to find my second fungus book next week and try to identify several fungi that have appeared, including a rather pretty one on a birch stump.

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