Monday, 30 January 2017

Hart's tongue fern

The greenest green plant in the woods at this season.  This Hart's Tongue Fern (Asplenium sclopendrium) has undivided fronds.  

It favours alkaline conditions, often growing on limestone rocks or walls, and so gives an indication of the type of soil.  

There is quite a lot of it in the Valley Woodland at Filnore near post 9.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Lambstails and 'sea anemones'

Hazel catkins are opening up, some bushes flower earlier than others.

The catkinbs are the male flowers producing pollen.  The female flowers, which develop into hazel nuts, are like tiny red sea anemones.  There are two just visible in the photograph below.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Winter toadstools

Throughout Filnore Woods we maintain 20 marker posts to help you find your way round the self-guided trail.  
Near the leaning Silver Maple is number 16 leading you between two plane trees.

Not far away is another tree which has unfortunately suffered some bark damage.  
A broken decayed stem had to be sawn off.  

If you look closely at the sawn off stump you can make out some toadstools of the fungus called Velvet Shank (Flammulina velutipes).

Here are some photos of a more spectacular specimen I saw in Leigh Woods last week.  
The Latin name means 'little flames with velvet feet'.  

 Each stalk is covered in dark brown velvet at the base.

Velvet Shank is one of the few fungi to survive winter's cold.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Brambles cut back

Friends of Filnore Woods volunteers cleared back the brambles which were encroaching on the far side of the site at Filnore Woods.  You can see how much they cleared  by the long row of 'arisings' and the brown, grassless ground that was previously covered.

Looking up the hill

And looking down

We have now disposed of all those bramble stems, so that the grass and wild flowers will be able to thrive again and walkers will continue to be able to use the path in comfort.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Winter flowers

I went for a walk round Filnore Woods, determined to show you all that even in winter there are flowers to be found.  Disappointingly the only floral items I discovered were hazel catkins.

  Even these are still closed up but later in January they will stretch out to look like THISSSSS.


Searching around you may find other trees with nascent catkins such as alder, birch, and even oak and walnut, though these latter two are less conspicuous as yet.