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Friday, 30 November 2012

Nautiloid Fencepost

Fencepost of the Week #52

This is a heavily photoshopped image from 2003, when I was just starting to play with the possibilities of digital photography.

The dark-brownish bit in the middle is a long-dead toad - hung on the fencepost by an avian predator in order to extract the tasty bits inside without eating the poisonous skin.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wall Lizard

Wildlife Wednesday #44

Podarcis muralis - Common Wall Lizard

I wish Britain had wall lizards - it would substantially enhance my life if the walls of Brighton had these little fellows scurrying about on them whenever the sun was shining.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Monday, 26 November 2012

Bitter Bolette

Monday Mushroom #42

This is the bitter bolette - it is a large, robust mushroom that looks rather like a cep, but the flesh is nauseatingly bitter.

Boletus albidus - Bitter Bolette

Boletus albidus - Bitter Bolette
The pale greenish patch in the center is the bitemarks of a mouse or other small rodent - perhaps it tastes better to rodents than to humans...

Boletus albidus - Bitter Bolette 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Giant's Knowe

Scenic Sundays #39

This is the Giant's Knowe behind The Bishop's Seat, Dunoon.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Dying Embers of the Sun

Fencepost of the Week #51

 I tried to take another photo of the same fencepost about 15 seconds after these, but the sun had vanished taking all the colours and shadows with it.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

More Shiny Silk

Wildlife Wednesday #43

The spiders from last week continue to be out in force on the South Downs. The reflective, icy texture of this slope is entirely down to spider silk.

And here is the same slope in closeup:

Monday, 19 November 2012

Scarlet Elfcup

Monday Mushroom #41

One of the most eyecatching of the cup fungi. It often comes up in late winter or early spring when there is not much else around.

Sarcoscypha coccinea - Scarlet Elfcup

Sarcoscypha coccinea - Scarlet Elfcup

Friday, 16 November 2012

Worn Smooth By Human Hands

Fencepost of the Week #50

This post is on a style on a well-used footpath. Unlike most of the other posts, the main weathering agency here is human hands.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Webworks Revealed

Wildife Wednesday #42

Spiders are more numerous and prolific than we might think - it often takes special atmospheric conditions to reveal the true extent of their workings.

This is a grassy field, but it is so heavily festooned with flying spiders' sail-webs that it is hard to see the verdure through the gleaming silk. Hower the same field viewed from any angle other than directly into the sun, would appear to be full of grass and nothing else.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Misty West Coast Conifers

Tree-fetish Tuesday #34

Here are a couple of shots of the impressive wooded slopes opposite the enterance to Benmore Gardens, Cowal. The trees are a mix of conifer species - mostly from the west coast of north america.

They have been fastidiously pruned to keep their trunks clear of side branches, opening up the forest interior to view.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Coral Fungus

Monday Mushroom #40

Ramaria stricta - Straight Coral Fungus
This is one of the most common species of coral fungus found in Britain. They usually come up in clumps at the foot of a tree.

Ramaria stricta - Straight Coral Fungus

Although in the following two photos they have colonised a raised bed outside of a supermarket in Brighton.

Ramaria stricta - Straight Coral Fungus

Ramaria stricta - Straight Coral Fungus

Ramaria stricta - Straight Coral Fungus

Spore prints are images made by leaving fresh fungi on a sheet of paper for a few hours until they have deposited a visible quantity of spores on the page - they are useful for identification (the colour of the print in particular) and they are often quite pretty - as is certainly the case with coral fungus.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Clouds over Dunoon

Scenic Sundays #37

Dunoon is a great town for cloud-watching - there is always something going on in the atmosphere thereabouts.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Dark Green Crags at Black Craig

Fencepost of the Week #49

A lovely, tufty, high-altitude post behind Black Craig, Dunoon.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Draw 'Manifesto'

Saturday 3rd November was a big night for drawing in Brighton -  Draw's 6 hour themed life drawing event 'The Drawing Circus: Manifesto' The event was elegantly organised, very well attended and there was a great atmsophere in the place.

This time round I decided to work on a single long sheet of paper folded concertina-wise into a book form. 

All of my work was in charcoal with gold paint used for highlights, lending continuity to the finished product and affording me a really intensive block of practice to hone one technique.

Here is my work from the last big Draw event -> Grimm's Tales. Last time round I worked on a scroll - it was nice to not be impeded by page folds, but the finished scrolls are bulky to store and I rarely open them as they are awkward to browse.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Horsetail Specialist

Wildlife Wednesdays #41

This caterpillar like creature is the larva of a sawfly, probably of the genus Dolerus. Its mother will have used her saw-like ovipositor to cut a slit in the horsetail in which to lay eggs. Once hatched, the larva is perfectly formed for chowing down horsetail fronds, while remaining largely unnoticed.

Dolerus Spp. - Horsetail Sawfly

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Kingley Vale Yews

Tree-fetish Tuesday #33

As promised last week, here are some of the yew trees of Kingley Vale.

Monday, 5 November 2012


Monday Mushroom #39

Here are some very nicely formed mushroom rings of a delicate, pink mushroom that smells of radishes:

Mycena pura - Lilac Bonnet Cap

Mycena pura - Lilac Bonnet Cap

Mycena pura - Lilac Bonnet Cap

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Heavy Seas at Brighton Marina

Scenic Sundays #36

Bright and breezy on the promaenade by Brighton Marina this morning:

Friday, 2 November 2012