28 January 2014
LNHG recording field trip to North Shian
We made our way through a very marshy wood consisting mainly of birch,
oak, hazel, willow and holly. Many of the birches were quite
mature and the whole wood was rich in lichens. Our first objective
was to reach the coast, which involved treading very warily through
the wetter parts of the wood. Then we aimed to head along the shore to a place
where I spotted Rock Tripe several years ago, to see if we could locate
A couple of wood-rotting fungi: Oak Curtain Crust and Hazel Woodwart
Nice photo by Jan of the very common lichen Platismatia glauca on
The bitter-tasting Pertusaria amara on birch. On
the right is an intriguing fungal find by Cynthia, growing among mosses
in very wet ground. For the photo it was replaced after having
been picked, and as a result you can see the knobbly stem base. It
turned out to be Gymnopus aquosus, which we've had twice before in
different places, both in springtime. This is not common
nationally but is obviously quite frequent in these parts.
Some of the birches looked very striking with bark
peeling off in bright white sheets. This was due to white lichens covering the bark,
among which were Pertusaria multipuncta, above right, but most of them
were unidentifiable as they had no apothecia or other reproductive
On reaching the coast we had lunch here, then walked along
the shore to the Rock Tripe site, snapping away at coastal
lichens and other items of interest as we went.
The hydroid Dynamena pumila on a cast-up kelp stem
Breadcrumb Sponge (or perhaps a similar species; sponge ID info is
hard to come by) on Egg Wrack, washed up on the beach
Pictish rock art? Only when Jan told me that I myself was the
artist did I realise what her photo really was.
The shore was edged by gorse bushes all the way. One of them was covered
in flowers as if it was Spring. On a couple of others the colour
was provided by the familiar gorse fungi Velvet Shank (past its
best) and Yellow Brain
Caloplaca thallincola growing over Verrucaria maura
Degelia plumbea on coastal rock, with very odd colouring: a pale
grey-green thallus and pinkish instead of blue-black hairs at the
margin. Perhaps affected by wave action due to recent storms and high tides? To the right is Parmelia saxatilis, a very common
lichen on both trees and rocks, inland or coastal.
And the object of our journey, Rock Tripe! This is how it looks
...and this is its wet state. In several places there was water
seepage down the rock face keeping it damp. It favours this sort of
situation especially if the water is nutrient-enriched.
Finally Jan's great pic of Stereum hirsutum gleaming golden in the sun on a burnt stump as we made our way back to the road.