Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)
Sat 20 Oct 2007 Glen Nant woods
The underside of an Oak Fern frond, showing the delicate veining and the sori (clusters of spore-cases) which, unlike those of many ferns, have no indusium or covering flap.
The Birches in this wood are festooned with the long straggly lichen Usnea filipendula.
Another lichen common on Birch here is Hypotrachyna laevigata, shown on the left with soralia (the crumbly-looking bits) on the lobe ends, and on the right with apothecia (the brown fruitbodies) which are said to be rare in this species. It is also said to require "rainfall in excess of 127 cm p.a. and with over 180 rain days p.a." (Purvis et al). Welcome to the west of Scotland!
A fortnight ago we had Green Lungwort on a rock; here it is on Hazel bark, with the moss Isothecium myosuroides. Looking down at the leaf-litter in autumn and winter you will often spot identifiable galls; the ones in the RH pic are Silk-Button Galls, caused by Neuroterus numismalis, on a fallen Oak leaf.
Still no autumn fungi! Saw a Drinker caterpillar. At Bridge of Awe I noticed a Sycamore with that Cristulariella depraedans previously seen at Durham. It's the only one I've seen with it round here; every leaf was covered in the white spots, while the leaves of an adjacent Sycamore, which were in contact with it, had none.
Thu 15 Nov 2007 Fearnoch - a quick afternoon stroll along forestry tracks
Two lichens from Birch twigs that we haven't had before: Hypogymnia tubulosa and Usnea fragilescens.
The most frequent plant in flower alongside the tracks was
Common Catsear. Others were: Herb Robert, Heath Milkwort, Knapweed,
Ragwort, Red clover, Daisy, Prickly Sow-thistle, Nipplewort and Bell Heather.
All photos and other content copyright © Carl Farmer