27 December, 2018

Off For A Splash

Saturday. I should have been getting on with things, but the forecast said sunshine, and the only sunshine for a fair while, so I had to get out in it.

As it happened, I got cloud and the odd burst of rain, but forked tongues and so on.
There was the odd second or two of the bright stuff, I suppose.

Where to go? Here;

Dartmoor in Winter.

Who needs fancy galleries? That is art.


As anyone with an eye for the weather, or indeed the title of this here blog, may have surmised, it was a little damp underfoot. Not epic, by any means; you could get from Vitifer to Sousson's without waders, for example.

It did make it quieter than you'd expect for a holiday weekend - which was no bad thing by my reckoning, of course - so I had some hopes for finding something, or even getting something to, if not find then go past me. There were indeed Crossbills, though vexingly mobile, with groups of 16, 12, and 13 plus 3 seen in flight. A Snipe was flushed by somebody else - seen across the valley as it twisted to new cover - and the best bird I actually caught staying put was this;


In the usual spot - the most reliable [especially in winter] place for this sp. outside the Patch.

Three spp. of raptors were overhead, though none of them were Buzzard [didn't see one all day, this is moderately shocking]. Much more fun, and better images, were inevitably found on the deck, with - yes you guessed it - a few fungi to be found. My hunt among the conifers for a group I've yet to photo [Spikes] was a bit of a failure, but I did find a few things, some new, some not so.

Hit it;

Orange Spot

Lichen and Sphagnum Moss
[Doesn't just grow on trees, you know]

Cedarwood and Goblet

I think these are Palomino Cup

The ubiquitous Dung Roundhead,
plus Drab Bonnet

Yellowleg Bonnet

Curry Milkcap

Orange Milkcap
[younger ones more orange, but less photo-helpful]

Slippery Jack

Velvet Shanks

And finally, time for some trees! You hear a lot of bad things about conifer plantations, mutterings about monocultures, 'deserts', and so on. While true monocultures aren't exactly things of nature, a lot of the supposed wastelands are no such thing. Yes, to a Human wandering through the dim, it seems like not much, but most of the life is either high above in the canopy, or beneath the feet. I've said before about looking up and looking down, remember?
Also, chunks of conifers are quite handy for nice species like Crossbills and Goshawks [providing at least an amount of protection for nest sites, for the latter, for example], not to mention how popular they [or at least their edges] are with species such as Tree Pipit, Redstart, Nightjar..??

I've heard it said that there are two kinds of Europeans; Romans and Barbarians*. Romans find walking in large expanses of woodland unsettling, especially conifers, while Barbarians love them. I'm sure you have worked out which one I am :)

I can hear Crossbills...

A tree is for life
not just for Christmas

Nasty mono bi tri er, quadculture?

Anyways, it was a nice amble.

In blog news, a probably far too long multi-day post should be coming soon to a screen near you. It will be all Patch-based, as I finally got moderately into chasing that Patch Yearlist thing. I also got quite soggy and did far too much wandering about for little result. But hey ho what can you do?

Be Seeing You...

[[*Exact labels may vary]]

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