Friday, 23 January 2015

Winter in Narnia

It was really cold this morning, -3°C, so I went to the hill behind Whiteleaf Hill for a walk. It's one of my favourite places for fungi, but the cold weather had chased most of them away. I still think it's amazing that they lurk away under ground, waiting for the right conditions to burst out and show themselves.

I climbed up the crunchy path to the top of the hill and the sun, low in the sky, was just peeking over the top.

This is the best time of year to see the beautiful shapes that the trees make. Their branches are twisted and gnarled and their trunks are knotted and patterned.

This tree had a belly button!
Frost was covering everything, even under the trees. The moss looked like it was dusted with icing sugar and I found a few brave fungi hanging on through the cold weather.
Tiny palm trees

Pretty red spore capsules on this moss 

The frosty remnants of some Earthtongue fungi
A small deep red bracket fungus

Huge bracket fungus - looks like a giant fir cone

Lots of pink snail shells were lying in the leaves, their vivid colours standing out against the stark wintery colours. Very pretty!

After having a good look around the top of the hill, I headed downhill to Narnia ....

Out in the open, the frost was much heavier and had turned it into a winter wonderland.


I wonder if this is Dark Mullein - I must look out for
it here in the summer and see if there are any Striped
Lychnis moth caterpillars on it
The moles had been busy making their mole hills. Most were covered in frost, but a few were freshly made (and frost free). Must be hard work digging when the ground is so hard!

A newly created, frost free mole hill

The moles had been busy
After being housebound for three days with a sick four year old, a frosty walk was just what I needed!

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