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.
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Thursday, 27 February 2020


First newt seen in my pond this morning

Monday, 24 February 2020


Sycamore trees are often derided but they stand out as one of the best trees for lichens.
Most Sycamore trees in a woodland situation are unfortunately being attacked by grey squirrels.
They strip the bark and kill branches and leader stems,
which is why there aren't as many seedlings as there used to be.

The bark is more alkaline than many other native trees and at this time of year,
from a distance, they can have the appearance of cherry blossom.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Tree form

I always find it interesting to see how people deal with trees that are within their property.

Unusual growth at the base of a Rowan tree in Stoodley Glen, which has the appearance of a wasps' nest. 
I wonder if over many years the tree has tried to form new shoots at the base as compensation for previous tree work and trunk removal.
The 2 stems and the high stem clearing of branches is evidence of this.

Nearby is this sycamore tree held captive by a shed. 

Rowan tree with basal bulge

Previous adventitious buds that were aborted and calloused by growth every year?

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Centre Vale Park

For those of you who know the park in Todmorden, there has been a major landslip on Lovers' Walk.
The large Beech tree which grew on this banking fell over with the landslip;
this is the 4th huge tree to fall in this same small area in 6 years.
Waterlogging of the soil is a major factor.

Interesting to note the remains of the original retaining wall is now exposed after 180 years.
I doubt anyone knew it was there. It could be this retaining wall was built before the making of Lover's Walk and then the level walk made by cutting into the rear banking;
all spoil then placed as a covering slope in front.
Not the best walling job so not made to be seen.

Waterlogged soil

The path had been subsiding for a while, see the recent tarmac infill

Remains of original retaining wall built 1840 and the covering soil has now slipped away

Fallen Beech tree, with another leaning badly

Broad Bean Seed Beetles

These seven long-legged beetles floated on the top when I soaked my home-grown broad beans prior to sowing yesterday. Unfortunately they died overnight in the damp pot I kept them in.
I looked at all the beans but could only find this one with a hole in it.
On the internet it explains that they don't spoil the seed as the larvae only eat the cotyledons, which are not needed for germination or growth. 

Bruchus rufimanus   -    (possibly.)    RHS website.

I've tried to preserve the beetles and the seed in 50% gin with water.