Monday, 17 January 2011


I thought I would take a look at the likely suspects today and found encouraging signs that our wildlife is at least having a try at this early point of the year.

A single Snowdrop was just opening; the rest were still firmly closed.

And a single Lesser Celandine bud had appeared:

The closely-related Ivy-leaved Water Crowfoot has started to come into growth on the muddy entrance to the field:

The jelly fungus Tremella mesenterica, or Witches Butter, appears to grow on dead Gorse branches, but in fact it's parasitic on the almost-invisible crusting fungus Peniophora incarnata, which grows on dead Gorse: 

This stacked dependency is a recurring theme in our wildlife: without the Gorse there would be no Peniophora and without the Peniophora there would be no Mesenterica. When you consider that Gorse is also the specific host for some moths, beetles and other fungi, you begin to see that removal of one species can have a significant impact on the whole series of its dependent species.

I also spotted the Hawthorn associate Tubaria furfuracea:

Award yourself bonus points if you can identify the leaf to the left of the image.

1 comment:

The Weaver of Grass said...

More, more, more Stuart please.
Such lovely signs. Our snowdrops are just showing a white tip and celandines are in bud (all over the garden) and the Helleborus niger is well out. Sycamore buds are fat - it can't come soon enough for me.