Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)
Fri 23 Nov 2007 Fearnoch to Glen Lonan
Walked the forestry track from Fearnoch to Glen Lonan, just for some exercise and to see where the track came out. It was dry and sunny, with snow only on the highest tops, seen here on Stob Dearg (1104 m) and Ben Cruachan (1126 m). But at ground level everything had a coating of hoar frost, like this log - brrrrr!
There were no ants at all to be seen on the outside of the Wood Ants' nests in the forest; last time I came this way there were a few; it was winter but not frozen then.
Hoar frost on a frond of Hard Fern and a rosette of Spear Thistle. Hard to tell the thistle's own spines from those of the frost.
The middle pic shows a rosette of Herb Robert set in its own little rockery with its leaves curled up tightly against the frost. The pics on either side are examples of the remarkable tiered-cup lichen Cladonia cervicornis. The basic form, as with many Cladonia sp, consists of a stalk widening out into a terminal cup which bears the fruitbodies. But in this species the cup will often bear a complete new "plant" instead. The one on the left has 3 tiers of cups, while the one on the right has 4 new stems growing jointly from the top of an old one. There was an extensive stand of this lichen on a rock beside the track; I found them on the way back when it was getting rather dark.
The tiny fruitbodies of the fungus Nectria (it could be any of several species in the genus) which emerge like buds from behind the bark of trees - in this case a dead Sitka Spruce. They are very hard to find with the naked eye; I happened to spot them through a lens while looking at a lichen.
Random ice puddle shots...
All photos and other content copyright © Carl Farmer