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Tuesday, 30 August 2011


Tree-fetish Tuesday #20

To spend time inside an aspen copse like this is rare delight. They are pretty hard to find.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Fencepost of Dangers Past

Fencepost of the Week #26

The life of the fencepost photographer is full of DANGER...

23rd March 2003

13th August 2011

The H.B. at the top suggests that this fencepost may have previously been a Hydro-Board electric power-line pole, that was chopped up and used for fencing. The two photos were taken 8 years apart - not much seems to have happened in the meantime. The weather certainly hasn't improved much.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Gloeophyllum Sepiarium

Monday Mushroom #18

Gloeophyllum sepiarium! What a wonderful name. This is one of the most abundant mushrooms in clear-felled areas of forestry plantations - it plays its part in rotting down stumps and large chunks of timber left behind after the trees have been harvested.

This one is cheekily having a go at decomposing a fencepost! <3

They have similarly labyrinthine gills to the maze-gill fungus, but on a smaller scale. 

Fresh fruiting bodies are felty.

Old fruiting bodies are papery.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Friday, 19 August 2011

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Walnut Moth Discovered

There it lay - soft, crumpled, bereft of life. A secret too well kept. It could have lived, but failed to endure the test. Could have fluttered beautifully, effortlessly on the breeze, if only it had first gained egress.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Fencepost of the Week #24

More of these beautiful, swiss cheese-like fenceposts from Shetland.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Hares 'o Bute

Wildlife Wednesdays #20

I have lived for quite a few years in Cowal, and have seen hares there on only three occasions - always mountain hares Lepus timidus. But every single time I visit Bute I see hares - brown hares, Lepus europaeus - in great abundance.

However the photograph below is a misleading fiction as it is a composite of 8 photographs of just 4 individuals as they run about the field. (there are 18 hares in the image.)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Cypress Valley

Tree-fetish Tuesday #20

Monday, 8 August 2011


Monday Mushroom #17

 Fungi are the cause of much decomposition, but of course, they, too become rotted - other fungi, insects, moulds, bacteria and even vertebrates participate in the decay - in some species the fruiting bodies last less than a day before total dissolution, others can last for years.

Of course the mushroom we see is just a fruiting body - confusing a mushroom with the fungal organism that sprouted it is very much like confusing an apple with an apple tree, only in the case of fungi the 'tree' is almost invisible, while the fruits are very obvious.

While the fruit comes and goes in its season, the rest of the fungus persists, living and growing in the earth, or other substrate out of which the mushroom appeared. It is always there - but invisible - all through the year, ready to sprout further mushrooms, when the conditions are right.

Boletus erythropus - Red-legged Bolette
...and then the same mushroom again, ten days later:

Friday, 5 August 2011

Bolsters and Bloom

Fencepost of the Week #23

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Winter Weeping Ash

Tree-fetish Tuesday #19

I am no lover of winter - all the insects and reptiles are dormant, the trees are bare as if dead. It is too cold to tarry out of doors and too dark to photograph most of what one sees. The mushrooms are over, camping can be fatal, heating bills are huge and the days are shorter than a decently long walk. I love the turning of the seasons, but would be happy with a winter half as long as those I experience here.


When faced with a quandary, one must avoid the barbs - 
Always the most projecting of parts.
One must trace round the edges, comprehend the shape,
Feel the heft of that you have found. 
The stolid foundation and fumigous surround,
Are of no consequence here -
Within all quandaries there is a curious pearl 
A kernel which once it has been grasped,
Will be clear and tractable, plain and extractable,
From the murk in which it was masked.