Monday 30 December 2019

Feeding area

Good to get out and take a few pictures

Xmas Fungi Foray

I had a fungi foray along Tag Cut on the 27th and really enjoyed the leisurely walk in solitude with just the occasional peep from a Kingfisher and the occasional, mournful song of a Robin.
NOTE TO TRUSTEES: Please don't lay a new path along there, the wildness and lack of fellow humans was quite refreshing :-)
Main fungi highlights were some very photogenic Common Eyelashes and a couple of new species for myself.

Common Eyelash (Scutellinia scutellata) growing on a fallen birch log. It's been a few years since I've seen these so photographing them with a modern(ish) camera was a real treat.

A close-up of the hairs that give the fungi it's name.

At around 5-7mm across they're easily overlooked.

Crimped Gill (Plicatura crispa), wonderfully soft and bendy, almost like marshmallows.

Scurfy Twiglets (Tubaria furfuraceae) by the towpath at Cromwell. Not so many mushrooms about at this time of year but these are well know for fruiting well in to winter.

There were a couple of Blackfoot Polypores (Polyporus leptocephalus) where Tag Cut meets the river but the rain prevented me getting my camera out so this one's from Pixie wood a few years ago. The name derives from the dark base to the stem.

Maybe the best sighting of the day was this cup fungi - possible Bay Cup (Peziza badia) but it I'll have to wait for microscopic examination by an expert for a positive ID.

Other identified fungi seen:
Hairy Curtain Crust
Glistening Inkcap
Velvet Shank
Sulphur Tuft
Common Puffball
Blushing Bracket
Silverleaf Fungus
White Brain
Witche's Butter
Scarlet Elf Cup

My Calderdale Fungi Blog:

Thursday 26 December 2019

A Fragrance of Boxing Day!

The Winter Heliotrope Petasites fragrans, long known at King Cross, Halifax, opposite the Fire Station, in the graveyard. We went to find it today and if we bent down the fragrance was gorgeous. We agreed it was almonds we could smell.

A few years ago I came across this patch on the top of the wood above the Elland by-pass, and we found it again this Christmas day, with flowers not yet open. It must have been a garden escape from the adjacent Halifax Zoo, reputed to have had beautiful gardens in the early 20th century,  now the pitches of Siddal Rugby Club.

The West Yorkshire Plant Atlas 1994 has only one site for the Calderdale area, and only six others in West Yorkshire, all around Leeds or east of there. It is an alien from the Mediterranean region.

The next flower to look out for is the White Butterbur, Petasites albus, a relative of the above. This we go to find in the Colden Valley from late February - March, a more showy flower, but not scented, and another garden escape, originally from central Europe and the Caucasus.

The first outdoor meeting of the Halifax Scientific Society (all welcome) is on 1st January, meeting 10.30 at Clay House, West Vale, Elland, HX4 8AN for the traditional New Year's Day Bird Count. Meet in front of Clay House. The walk is about 7 miles, through North Dean Woods (the woods are very muddy just now,) round Norland Moor, back by an alternative path through the woods to West Vale before dark. A stop for a sociable picnic will be taken somewhere in the woods - bring a waterproof layer to sit on. We count the number of species seen or heard.

Merry Christmas

All of us at Cromwell Bottom wish every Volunteer and Visitor a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. 
See you all in 2020


Our volunteers will open the Cabin on Boxing Day the 26th of December, as well as every Sunday as normal. Walk off those mince pies or have another (if there are any left).

Wednesday 25 December 2019

Moth Night 28th

Yes - last chance for 2019 this Sat 4.30pm kick off
Warm clothes, good footwear for wood walking, & torch recommended.

Friday 20 December 2019

Winter Newsletter

Our winter 2019/2020 Newsletter is now available to download. Copies will be available from Boxing Day in the Cabin.

Click HERE to view or download the Newsletter

Thursday 12 December 2019

Moth Night 14th Dec

Arrivals around 4.30pm & all done by around 8pm.
Nice warm clothing & torch a must, boots for walking the wood optional.
See you then. 

Sunday 1 December 2019

To Mrs E Harrison your bank card was found on the reserve if you could contact me on I will return it to you if no contact I will return it to your bank .yours Graham