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Monday, 31 January 2011

Amanita crocea

Monday Mushroom #4
Saffron Grisette - Amanita crocea

Grisettes are lumped into the genus Amanita along with the death cap and the fly agaric, but can be distinguished from most other amanitas by the distinctly toothed margin of their caps.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Over the Bealach to Bernice

Scenic Sundays #3

Over the Bealach to Bernice

Friday, 28 January 2011

Shaggy Post

Fencepost of the Week #3

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Wildlife Wednesday #3

Iberian Terrapin - Mauremys leprosa

I found this terrapin at dusk in mid January, hauled out by the side of a river that was swollen by a hydro-electric dam venting a short distance upstream. I had already seen another terrapin swimming off through the turbid waters as I investigated the river bank near El Chorro, Andalucia.

Having been caught unawares, this terrapin decided to stay perfectly still and wait for me to go away, rather than making a dash for the river. I suspect that the rapidly changing water level in the stream had left it higher up the bank than it would usually have chosen to be.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Ghost Tree

Tree-fetish Tuesday #3

Ghost Tree

Monday, 24 January 2011

A Fungus Problem

Monday Mushroom #3

Honey Fungus - Armillaria mellea
This birch tree is having a really bad fungus day. Some strains of honey fungus are egregiously virulent - attacking and killing healthy trees.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Beyond the Mist

Scenic Sundays #2

Creag Liath over Inverchapel 

Friday, 21 January 2011

Green Dragon

Fencepost of the Week #2

In the dank, dark beneath the trees, this fencepost has outlasted it's barbed wire.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Can't Quite Reach...

Wildlife Wednesday #2

Dor Beetle - Geotrupes Spp.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The Larch

Tree-fetish Tuesday #2

While larches can grow straight, they also have the potential to become really quite gnarly.

Most older larches in this part of Scotland are European Larches, while most newer plantings are Japanese Larches. The two are not that easy to distinguish, and cross breed to produce intermediate hybrids.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Trichaptum abietinum

Monday Mushroom #2

Trichaptum abietinum
This fungus is common on dead conifer trunks hereabouts. It has delicate lilac tints when fresh, though soon bleaching white.

There are some interesting forms in this photograph caused by the tree-trunk falling while the fungus continues to grow: the older brackets have been rotated to the vertical, subsequently developing new horizontal 'buds' along their edges.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Summer Rains

Scenic Sundays #1
Summer Rains
Typical Argyll weather. <3

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Monster Hunters' Paradise

I wrote a novel for National Novel Writing Month, November 2010!

It is set in the Monsteca universe - a strange place populated entirely by robots and monsters.
You can read it if you like. It's called "Monster Hunters' Paradise" and is available as a text file eBook here: Monster Hunters' Paradise

Or, if you are more interested in a prehistoric fantasy than monsters-and-robots sci-fi, by all means try my previous NaNoWriMo effort - "Eagle Claws and Old Bone" here: Eagle Claws and Old Bone

Do have a look at the nanowrimo website - it's an amazing concept.

And many thanks to all at the Raggedy Hopefuls writers group without whose encouragement I probably wouldn't be writing at all.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Hinge Storage

Fence Post Of The Week #1

Hinge Storage

Nothing too unusual for the first one - just a nicely weathered gate post, with the old hinge popped in the handy storage space rotted into the top. More lichenous posts to follow!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Rain Toad

Wildlife Wednesday #1

Common Toad - Bufo bufo

Out in the open after a thundery rain shower.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Stony Beech

Tree-fetish Tuesday #1

A lot of my favourite trees are beeches, this one is at the bottom of a field, growing where all the stones that have been cleared from the soil were dumped. Glen Fyne, Cowal.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Ivory Wax Cap

Monday Mushroom #1

Ivory Wax Cap - Hygrocybe nivea

Dewdrops adding a little extra sparkle to what is already a very pretty little mushroom. From a small patch growing on my front lawn in Kilmun. Photo date: 7th November 2010.