This Blog covers nature sightings and related news in the Calderdale area.
It includes all groups - Plants, animals and fungi with links to specialist sites.
Anyone wishing to become a member of this Blog and post sightings please contact us.
If you would like to join the Halifax Scientific Society either email me or come along to the next meeting.
All welcome:
Please contact us about any sensitive records before posting on the blog

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Our March Indoor meeting with speaker coming to us from Edinburgh

Annual Dinner

Halifax Scientific Society Annual Dinner

At the Maypole Inn, Warley

Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 7.00 for 7.30

Informal Dress

Please reply by 12th April to help with food preparation,thanks.

A selection of Meat, Fish and Vegetarian Dishes.
Gluten free or other dietary needs will be provided if possible on advanced request. **

 Specific Evening Menu (HSS)

2 courses £16.00 per head
3 courses £19.00 per head
Single course as per general menu

Chef’s Tomato & red pepper soup (V,VG)
Served with a crusty bread roll

Creamy garlic mushrooms
Served on char-grilled bruschetta, topped with dressed rocket & parmesan shavings

Beer battered brie wedge
Served on a bed of mixed leaves with caramelised red onion chutney

Salmon. Haddock & dill fishcake
Served with a salad garnish & homemade tartar sauce

Chicken liver & brandy parfait
Served with wholemeal toast mixed leaves & caramelised red onion chutney

Homemade onion bhaji’s (V,VG)
Served with a mixed leaf salad & mango chutney

Main Courses
Landlord’s steak & ale pie
Served with hand cut chunky chips & mushy peas

Beer battered haddock
Served with hand cut chunky chips, mushy peas & tartar sauce 
Chef’s chicken Kiev
Served with chunky chips and dressed salad

  Fabulous fish pie
 Mixed fish in a creamy dill sauce topped with creamy mash potato & cheddar cheese served with seasonal vegetables 

Moroccan chicken & mixed pepper skewers
Served with hand cut chunky chips, dressed salad & homemade tzatziki sauce

Bangers & mash
Served in a giant Yorkshire pudding with caramelised red onions & gravy

Large oven roasted pork chop
Served on a bed of wholegrain mustard mash, finished with a creamy leek & blue cheese sauce

 Beetroot & caramelised red onion tart tatin (VG)
Served with dressed salad finished with a balsamic glaze

Sticky toffee pudding
Served with hot butterscotch sauce & vanilla ice cream
Hot chocolate fudge cake
Served with vanilla ice cream
Chef’s crumble (VG)
Served with custard
Cheese cake
Served with pouring cream
Mixed berry Eton mess

** For other vegan and vegetarian options please see the Maypole Menu on line at

Main Dish side orders £2.95 (General menu), Cheese and Biscuits £7.95, Tea and Coffee £1.95

Payment Preferred: Cash on the night to include discretionary tip. 

Your Order:  Name: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Please forward to Laurence Sutton
                                                            Laurence text, mobile 07880 721330
Or print page and send to: 2 Heath Avenue, Manor Heath, HX3 0EA

Special dietary requirements……………..
Starter:   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _                             
Main:     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _          Plus desserts in variety - on the night.                          


Your Order:  for Wed 17th April at 7.00 for 7.30      (Please keep this portion for your reference.)

Starter:   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _                                  
Main:     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _             Pay on the night - cash is most convenient.     


Friday, 15 February 2019

Found on "Stop hunting Fox-cubs" Facebook page

Unbelievably we still have gamekeepers in Calderdale in 2019.

First butterfly

Wild bees and Small Tortoiseshell butterfly today in our garden at Tod.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Timothy Grass, an unusual history

Timothy Grass, Phleum pratense, is one of the few native grasses named after an individual and its origin has an interesting history.

It is a native plant that is often seen in the Calder Valley but mostly on waste ground and canal banks. Other parts of the country cultivate it as a crop.

But who was “Timothy” ?

A variety of this grass was unintentionally taken to America from Scandinavia in the late 1600’s and first records there are from New England. John Herd was a New Hampshire farmer who grew it for horse and cattle fodder and in 1711 gained the name “Herd’s Grass”. It had a reputation for superior feed for horses that were driven long and hard and has the energy equivalent of 93 octane petrol. Has now gained a reputation as race horse delicacy in America.

Subsequently there was a New England farmer named Timothy Hanson who lived in Maryland and began farming there about 1720. He used “Herd’s” grass seed and was the first person to grow it commercially.

Both George Washington and Benjamin Franklin bought the seed and it was Benjamin Franklin who first began calling it “Timothy’s seed”. Its name became Timothy grass by 1736 and just plain Timothy by 1747.

When the grass had proved its utility in America, seeds were sent back to England in 1760 whereupon it was first recommended for agriculture over here. Genetics have shown the American cultivated grass is hexaploid, whereas our British wild form is diploid, ie fewer chromosomes.

America then, in returning the grass to England, was not giving back what it had received, but was sending a new (possibly hybrid) race which had originated there and had enhanced value for fodder.

In this country it is the food plant for the Marbled White and Essex Skipper butterfly. Its pollen has recently been used in a new vaccine developed for hay fever.