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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Plants, a fungus and creatures around Elland


On cut oak branches, maybe a form of Turkeytail ? More pics on Calderdale Fungi (tab at top.)


Best picture I've got so far of a pair Goosanders which are becoming so numerous. (We saw 5 females with 2 males at Lee Dam, Todmorden last Sunday being very vocal.)



I predicted the Autumn Crocus Crocus nudiflorus leaves might be beginning to show as it has been a mild winter so far. These are at the Park Nook Lock site.


At this site they grow right down the bank towards the River Calder 


After missing it once, we found the other site along the Calder banks at Elland which I discovered     (I suppose re-discovered) a few years ago. They are about 475 metres East from the Park Nook Lock site.


Though it is very grass-like, the white stripe up the inside the stiff, folded leaf shows it is a Crocus.  


This Great Diving Beetle had died in the top pond on Tag Loop at Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve. It was about 3cm (an inch and a quarter) long. Picture of the upper side was blurred. We left it in the water near the edge, so it might still be there.


Common Whitlow Grass Erophila verna at Elland Lock (side nearest the road by the Crematorium entrance.) Previously known in this area only 2 locks down at Cromwell Lock, where it also grows between the cobbles. One of the smallest flowering plants we have.


At the Calderdale Trees Strategy pre-consultation morning last Wednesday where Charlotte our President and I represented the Society, I made a strong case for favouring and establishing totally unobstructed trees allowed to grow with no other trees anywhere near them. This oak is throwing out its lowest branches within a metre of the ground. It is already a perfect climbing tree for kids and hopefully will be for hundreds of years - near Park Nook Lock.  Though tall straight trees in thick woodland are also beautiful, the great thing about trees like this one above is that there are open, sunlit glades around them which are so good for sun-loving plants and creatures.

2 comments:

Philip said...

Good pictures Steve.
Pleased you spoke up for 'open grown' trees. If I had to give an opinion on your Oak photo, I would guess it was a 'pollard'. Someone, for whatever reason, has cut the main stem when tree was young and it has created this multi-stem low crown. Some would say the smaller Oak to the right needs coppicing (haloing), before it takes light off that side of the open grown Oak. It's a fascinating subject.

Steve Blacksmith said...

I agree about the younger tree and pollarding - we must get the word out as often as possible.