It’s been raining quite a lot. Between storms I’ve been having a new look at the world.
The stream is swollen and down the valley they complain that the drumming of the river keeps them awake at night.
We’ve moved our flock to higher ground to keep their feet dry and when the low winter sun comes out, which it has been doing quite often, every sheep has a silver lining:
We’ve been making the most of the sunny periods by cutting back the hedge rows so that the grass can grow with more light although we still need shelter for the beasts and privacy for lambing; behind the hedges we’re cutting back the low branches and brambles that will whip us in the eye and snag us as we give assistance in the spring.
Favorite lambing place,behind a hedge
Cutting back hedges liberated firewood
Cutting deadwood reveals a whole new ecosystem
Winter working reveals aspects of the wildlife with which we share this land that are overshadowed or covered at other times of the year. Hover over these pictures for details:
Up in the oak a rain-forest of ferns and moss
Vertical living on oak trunk
Compass tree – lichen to South. moss to North
Ant hills, a badger has been digging in the middle one.
Mole hills – evidence of subteranian ecosystem
Rare sighting of mole. Is it still raining?
Today I have been looking in a bit more detail at the moulds and fungi that surround us, if any of you recognise the species I’d love to hear from you – leave a comment.
Any idea what this is
Don’t worry, we won’t eat it
Is this a Grisette
Is this a Grisette – Amanita umbrinolutea
Wood mould on Oak
Same creamy-white mould on oak
Wood mold on Hazel
Another mould on dead wood
Hazel species of mould
Here are some mosses and lichen. After the fall, some of the hawthorn and damson trees reveal so much lichen that they seem to be in blossom!
Detail of ‘blossom’ species
Three different species on one fallen oak twig
Leaf like lichen, a co-operation: mould and algae
A whole world can exist on the top of a gatepost!
Gatepost with mini rain-forest of lichens and moss