Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Tuesday, 26 August 2008


Yesterday on my way to work I saw a Grey squirrel at Cottingwood. I see Reds frequently that I don't take much notice but this is the second time I have seen a Grey in Morpeth. Are our native reds finally losing the battle? I took my camera to work this morning and as expected there was no sign of the creature. On my way home from work I couldn't resist taking some pics of the fungi around here. There are so many here and a good variety of species that in birding terms it could be regarded as a 'fall.' The commonest species are Field blewit and Sickener but I don't want to inundate the blog with fungi pics so I have just posted a couple of shots. The rain has taken its toll on the Parasol mushrooms (top), these were perfect the other day and the bottom is another abundant species; Saffron milk-cap which has the delightful latin name of Lactarius deliciosus.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Fruits of the rainy season

The best place around Morpeth for fungi that I know of is the Cottingwood area. I took these pictures on my way to work along the lane behind the high school and St. Georges hospital. There were hundreds of fungi of a variety of species under the trees. from the top is Boletus edulis, also known as penny bun and cep. Another boletus this time Boletus badius also known as Bay bolete. The next one looks like an emerging poisonous Panther cap but it is an edible species called Amanita spissa. The sickener, emerging Red cracked bolete and one of my favourite fungi around here the Blusher.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Back in the meadows

Back to work this week and my days off have been catching up with post holiday chores etc. Quiet in the woods and meadows and the river Wansbeck is looking like it does in February, any more rain and it will burst it's banks. Just a couple of pics of Lords and Ladies the top one taken in early May and what is possibly the same plant taken today in fruit and a Hygrocybe species of fungi probably Hygrocybe chlorophana, Golden waxcap.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Clear blue Skye

I've been in Scotland for the past couple of weeks. First at Linlithgow to my sister in law's wedding. A good day but the weather was a bit damp. From the 9th we have been stopping in a cottage on the isle of Skye. We left the nasty weather in central Scotland to be greeted with blue skies on Skye and that was the pattern for the rest of the week. When the sun shines this is one of the best places in the world to be.
Plenty of wildlife with sightings of Golden eagle(1) and Sea Eagle(3). Dozens of Raven and Buzzard and Twite all over the island including in the garden of the cottage. Plantlife was very good with lots of new plants. Scottish asphodel, Alpine mouse ear, Alpine Lady's mantle, Great and Round leaved sundew to name a few. The rocky mountainside was covered with Roseroot but the best plant of all was Iceland purslane only found on Skye and Mull in Britain and elsewhere on an island off west Greenland and the Southern tip of South America; a true glacial species.
The above pics are a view from the cottage of the Treshnish mountains, The Quiraing, kilt rock waterfall at Staffin cliffs, two views of the Old man of Storr, Raven, Hooded crow, Bog asphodel, Alpne Lady's mantle growing with Wild thyme, Mountain male fern, Beech fern and a view of the Cuillin's from Portree.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Ulgham Grange

It was my turn for the duty rota to maintain the meadows and woodland local nature reserve at Ulgham. Nothing untoward but the recent heavy rain has meant the river Lyne has been over a metre higher than it was this morning going off the flattened vegetation on the bank but it was quite high today. On the way over I went through Pegswood and saw three buzzards soaring over the old pit heap. When I lived there in 1989 I would have travelled to the Lake district or up to Perth if I wanted to see these birds then! Plenty of the usual wildlife with the thistles, Knapweed and Betony attracting many butterflies such as the Comma above. My favourite plant at Ulgham this time of year is Giant bellflower. I have also added a couple of fungi pictures from the Abbey and Scotch gill woods of Small stagshorn (Calocera cornea) and Giant puffball.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Carlisle park

Carlisle park is situated in Morpeth town centre. Away from the formal gardens and the recreational areas the ancient woodland, which is flanked by the Wansbeck and the Postern burn holds a variety of wildlife as good as any other woodland in the wansbeck valley. It is an excellent wood for fungi and ferns and many of my photos of these have been taken in the park. I have posted a few shots taken this morning with Wild carrot and Knapweed at Ha' hill, Fennel and Mugwort also at Ha' hill, Chicory and the fungi Dog's stinkhorn looking a bit worse for wear following the heavy rain. I await the innuendoes!