Nature Notes from Skye
(and occasionally other places)

Sun 27 Mar 2005

Not much sun today and a very chilly wind.  But dry, so no complaints.

Hedera helix - decaying leaf   Hedera helix - stems

The network of veins on a decaying Ivy leaf on the woodland floor, and the network of Ivy stems on a tree nearby.

Rhizocarpon geographicum   Lecidea sp

A couple of crustose lichens on rock.  The yellow and black one is Rhizocarpon geographicum.  The grey one with rusty patches is very common, and seems to be either Lecidea lithophila or L fuscoatra.

Anemone nemorosa   Betula pubescens - early spring leaves

One of several Wood Anemones out in the open on the top of Scorrybreac among dead bracken, flowering ahead of those down by the river in Portree which you might expect to be first.  Bracken acts like woodland to give summer shelter to plants like Wood Anemone, Bluebell and many others, and then very conveniently disappears altogether when they flower so that we can enjoy them.  Exceptionally early leaves on this Downy Birch, as most tree buds are not yet showing any green at all.  The tree had been severely pruned by deer or sheep, as you can see.  This too was out in the open on Scorrybreac top, and is way ahead of any I've seen beside the road or river.

Stereocaulon vesuvianum   Parmelia perlata

Finally a couple more lichens.  Stereocaulon vesuvianum is very common on rocks and dry stone walls.  It has smooth glassy-pinkish stems with knobbly bluish-grey outgrowths covering most of their surface and forming little "cauliflowers" at the ends of the branches.  On the right is Parmelia perlata on bark.  It is similar to the very common P sulcata and P saxatilis, but lacks the network of raised white lines which you can see with a lens on those two species, and instead is smooth and glaucous.



All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer