A restless night. A tawny owl ke-wicking somewhere in the garden in the small hours. A stifled-sneeze-induced splitting headache mid-morning. Time for a walk down Burlees Lane to clear my head.
It’s at this point that my natural history journal loses its U-certificate rating. Look what I found in the woods:
The aptly named stinkhorn (with the equally apt Linnean classification Phallus impudicus): a fungus which, when it spores, emits a smell similar to rotting flesh. The smell attracts flies (as shown), which then fly away, bearing fungal spores to new locations.
My hero, Charles Darwin, was fascinated by plant dispersal mechanisms. I’m sure the stinkhorn fungus’s spore-dispersal trick would have delighted him.
(And yes, it stinks to high-heaven!)
More photos from my walk »
The weather was glorious yesterday afternoon, so I managed to find time for a quick walk down Burlees Lane, up through the wood, and back home down the lanes.
I really need to get back into the walking. I seem to have got out of the habit.
Talking of habits…
More photos »
Just went to the compost heap, where I was joined by a wren. It didn’t seem at all bothered by my presence, flitting along the wall in search of insects. I was indescribably excited.
I’m a bit behind with this journal, so a quick catch-up:
I went for a walk on the Moor in search of sundews the other week, and wrote about it here.
Then I had a go at photographing butterflies in my garden:
Green-veined White butterfly.
Then I took a short walk at Burton Marshes: Continue reading
Our bathroom is still being upgraded, so this morning I decided to make myself scarce by visiting Hardcastle Crags and taking a walk along Hebden Water.
Hebden Water, Hardcastle Crags.
Half-way to Gibson Mill, I was delighted to spot a northern hairy wood ants‘ nest at the side of the path. Believe it or not, this one was very small. I saw one once that so big, from a distance, with all the ants moving across its surface, I mistook it for a woodland pond. Trust me. You had to be there. Continue reading
Jen texted me from work early yesterday morning, and suggested I go for a walk on the Moor. Why didn’t I think of that?
Nothing much to report, apart from an old milk bottle I found, which was packed full of plants. Life is good at finding new ways.
Shotgun shell case
I also took a detour to the famous local landmark Churn Milk Joan, a standing boundary stone which bears a number of mysterious, prehistoric ‘cup’ marks. The marks were still there. They’re found on a lot of prehistoric sites. Nobody has a clue what they mean. Continue reading