Sunday, 12 February 2017

Monochrome with a splash of colour!

Bleeding heck it was Baltic out there yesterday....I could have sworn even the pheasants in Sussex were wearing appropriate headgear.


Perhaps I should have been a little suspicious that this old bird [not me!] was propping up the bar at 10am on a Saturday morning....ah well. Naturally taking into account the said conditions it was the perfect day for a bone freezingly cold stroll in the woods around Graffam,West Sussex.

Another walk organised by the Sussex Wildlife Trust...these are free and always brilliant. Lots of pairs of eyes spot lots of different things and there's no patronising comments when peasants such as I have no idea what it is we're looking at despite the number of very knowledgeable people within the group. It might be February, but we weren't short of things to see.





Hazel catkins,  fungi on a tree branch, lichen on the forest floor and droplets inside the husk of a mosaic puffball...yes that's snow it's sitting on. One of the observations I made to myself when cleaning a client's kitchen this week was just how much the green of grass, evergreens, variegated foliage stands out even on a dreich, dull day. I shared the same conversation with an Indian chap who lives here and he said exactly the same thing...he sees great beauty in our wild spaces at this time of year and prefers it to the dry, dusty landscape of his homeland. I always find it easier to see beauty in the unfamiliar rather than what I am accustomed to. Perhaps this shot of little green water laden stars is proof of this.


You could be forgiven for thinking that someone has casually slung a pair of their old American Tan stockings over a tree branch.


Thankfully it is bark from this Eucalyptus tree is a garden we wandered past. Am liking those crimson berries.


The splash of colour came from other quarters though...this rather zesty example of Yellow Brain fungus. As a rule fungi can be little swines to identify. They even get the experts scratching their heads sometimes. The next example is not so pretty...one of the chaps asked if it was a Stinkhorn to which one of the ladies smiling gave him its Latin name Phallus Impudicus....if you google it you will be in no doubt when you see one as its shape is shall we say "distinctive". This is an Earth Ball fungus which has seen better days.



The final shot is what was to be our ultimate quarry....the banks of snowdrops along the river in the heart of the trees. I'm not sure that I've ever seen so many natural ones growing in one place.


As you might imagine poor old Mr GBT didn't get away with just the walk....there is a follow on. I needed his camera skills for that one. More tomorrow.

Arilx

PS I have just updated this post as the notes from yesterday have just come through and some of the initial thoughts about the fungi have changed!

5 comments:

  1. He he...I just googled that Latin name!! I hope you were well wrapped up on you beautiful walk. x

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    1. I live in hopes of finding a Bastard Toadflax just so I can legitimately blog about it!
      Arilx

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  2. I'm looking forward to some good long walks in the woods but either inside or my due to our freeze thaw freeze cycle. To see green again...

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    1. Yes I can't imagine having heavy snowfall for weeks on end. We don't get a lot in the South of England.
      Arilx

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  3. Such a sward of snowdrops! Make my one or two in the garden seem rather timid and retiring! Looks to have been a rather goodly walk indeed :)

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