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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
The day's highlight was these two nationally rare Leptogium
species, L hibernicum and L coralloideum, both of which were present in
Two more that were new to me and rather less conspicuous:
Trapeliopsis pseudogranulosa and
The powdery Loxospora elatina on Birch and the tiny orange
Pachyphiale carneola on Ash.
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