Monday, 29 September 2008
Blacka Blogger has a better idea. Since the temporary traffic lights have been here with some half mile of 30 mph signs installed, this whole section of road has been calmer and much more civilised to travel along. The intelligent solution is to just leave it like this. It will not be liked among the hyperactive adolescents who seem to make up the majority of the driving public these days, but it will probably mean a few more spare beds in the A&E departments.
Saturday, 27 September 2008
SWT do not have a regular presence here and are usually to be found at their headquarters at Stafford Road near Norfolk Park. But occasionally when there is a fine spell of weather a group of them appear and busy themselves with a task or two from their management plan. The last few days have been still and mostly warm bringing them out with chain saws and other implements to perform what they call 'scrub bashing'.
Some of the exposed stumps of the trees have been coated with a red substance which I assume to be a weedkiller to prevent regrowth. This seems to be a new departure, not having been used where they have cut birch before. No notification has been given to the public about this.
They're often to be seen here at this time but picking out the antlers from the surrounding twigs and undergrowth is an acquired skill. Hinds make it harder although their ears usually give then away.
Thursday, 25 September 2008
These comments are only the conjectures and musings of one who’s not been privy to the internal politics of all this. Blacka Blogger has simply seen it all from the outside. Anyone who can shed more light on all this is welcome to use this site to comment, even if it is to put a different point of view. All we ask is that comments should be made in a manner untainted by personal rancour.
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
I'm fairly confident in identifying this as the Saffron Parasol, quite an elegant small specimen with a ring and flecks on the stem and a rough edged cap.
These red waxcaps just appearing don't look like the pictures in my books of the Scarlet Hood nor of the Crimson Waxcap; perhaps they are the small Hygrocybe miniata? But then there are some 63 waxcaps in the country and not all are in the books.
This one too has me puzzled. It's features look clear enough for it to be easy, but nothing is simple about fungi. Sometimes they seem to be playing with us.
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Still one or two Spring and early Summer flowers persist - a case of misplaced hope.
The elderberries here are too high up for us to reach thwarting our greedy determination to make the most of all free food.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Down in the woods there is free fruit to be had for those with time to pick it and a good reach. Elderberries are a favourite flavour to go with apple crumble. And like all purple fruits full of anti-oxidants.
Several woodland fungi are around at this time including the Orange Birch Bolete - this is an old specimen:
Saturday, 20 September 2008
How prosaic the farm animals look in comparison and how irritating their mooing and bleatings.
We had earlier seen three stags on the lower slopes of Blacka Hill in the early lightness of the morning. They were clearly younger animals and quick to make off.
The solitary stag, at the top of this post, was a larger more confident beast, standing fairly still, not feeding and clearly the master of the local herd. Every so often he threw out a roar to challenge all comers.
The short movie below is inadequate and only included with misgivings and many apologies for the shaking of the camera. But it is the first and only clip I have so far taken of a stag on Blacka in full roar.
Friday, 19 September 2008
But I would extend my disapproval to those who put conspicuous notices at beauty spots telling visitors to admire the view and the work of the conservation team who 'protect' it. An attractive area not far from here was visited by tree cutters yesterday. In order to get their powered shredding machine into the narrow path they knocked down a wall and demolished several perfectly healthy mature beeches. Sometimes we fail to appreciate just how far the culture of philistinism has spread. It's no longer safe to assume that a majority share our values.
Thursday, 18 September 2008
The single mushroom here is either the Conical Waxcap or the Blackening Waxcap. It was close to the wheelmarks left by the grazing farmer's vehicle which are beginning to create a track on the side of the hill. This is inappropriate for a number of reasons and will encourage more bikers and riders to follow suit.
I wondered if they had been removing the cattle from the pastures but they could just be made out grazing above The Buttresses. Sheep, for them, were in a confrontational mood, challenging our right to access with stamping hooves.
A few more of the delightful small Yellow Waxcaps were found.
Under the birches the fallen leaves have made a similar pattern to the seeds of a week or two ago.
While admiring one of our many favourite views in daylight no longer depressingly grey.........
....we realised we were not completely alone.
He was one of five all peacefully browsing amid the heather and bilberry, probably devouring young tree seedlings.
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
The stags, two at least, had reacted to our sudden appearance on a windless morning by fleeing in haste, gallantly leaving the females to face us out. They probably thought we couldn't see them. Another local resident had been watching all this.
From the mud and disturbance it appears the deer had earlier been sporting in the water hole in a hollow, site of a small old quarry digging.
Bracken meanwhile is browning more and more as the cooler nights take their toll.
But the early morning explorer on Thistle Hill is unlikely to be nettled. Blackberries are not what he seeks.