Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Once again am way behind, hope to fill in some stuff between Aug and Jan at some point!  Happy New Year anyway.

Tue 18 Jan 2011

Reflection rainbow   Double rainbow with reflection rainbow

This morning I was lucky enough to see a reflection rainbow from my window.  In the left-hand picture, the brighter one is the normal rainbow, and the one to its left is caused by the sunlight reflecting off Loch Etive, which must have been perfectly smooth at the time.

The right-hand pic was taken from my home in Skye in 2003 and shows another reflection rainbow, this time from water in Loch Portree to the right of where I was.  The main rainbow is double on this occasion.

Apparently it is quite uncommon to see a reflection rainbow so it's a privilege to have seen two from different homes.

Sun 23 Jan 2011 Ardsheal Hill

The warmest day of the year so far and a good turn-out for an expedition into the woodland on the east side of the hill, with lichen experts Andy Acton and Anna Griffith.

Woodland on Ardsheal Hill

The wood had a lot of Ash (tree in centre of picture), Hazel and Birch with some Alder, Oak and Elm.  91 kinds of lichen were recorded, including several rare or scarce species.

Hypotrachyna taylorensis   Pseudocyphellaria norvegica

Some Hypotrachyna taylorensis on Birch, showing the hanging tubes.  The Birch also had Menegazzia terebrata, a promising sign of old woodland.  But it was on Hazel and Ash that we expected to find the good stuff.  Here is a Hazel branch with Pseudocyphellaria norvegica (and some Lobaria pulmonaria below it).  We also found Pseudocyphellaria intricata which looks very similar to P norvegica but was separated by a chemical test.

Parmeliella testacea   Fuscopannaria sampaiana

These two lichens look similar, but the first smels of TCP and is called Parmeliella testacea, and the second smells of fruity chewing-gum and goes by the name of Fuscopannaria sampaiana.

Leptogium hibernicum   Leptogium coralloideum

The day's highlight was these two nationally rare Leptogium species, L hibernicum and L coralloideum, both of which were present in quantity.

Trapeliopsis pseudogranulosa   Schismatomma quercicola

Two more that were new to me and rather less conspicuous: Trapeliopsis pseudogranulosa and Schismatomma quercicola.

Loxospora elatina   Pachyphiale carneola

The powdery Loxospora elatina on Birch and the tiny orange blobs of Pachyphiale carneola on Ash.

Tremella foliacea   Plicatura crispa

Winter fungi on Hazel: the Leafy Brain Fungus, Tremella foliacea, with the equally sumptuous lichen Lobaria virens; and the tiered brackets of Plicatura crispa.



All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer