The Green Woods

New Year's Eve, Saturday, 31st December 2005

moss on ashlong-tailed titsAs we enter the woods at Newmillerdam a flock of long-tailed tits is making its way through the tree-tops. It's one woodland species that hasn't shown up at our bird table recently.

There's a lush growth of moss on some stumps and tree-trunks; patches of grey lichen on branches and bright green algae streaked down the trunks of most of the sycamores and many of the birches.

Perennial Resolutions

lichenbirchWith the party season over and the free hours (we hope) and ever-longer days of the new year to look forward to, we're determined, as usual at this time of year, to walk more and I find myself feeling that I'd like to study some of the common but extraordinary woodland plants that I never get to know as much as I'd like.

With my digital camera and sketchbook, I could soon survey the commonest lichens, mosses and fungi of the wood and record them here in the diary so that I can find them again at the click of a mouse.

ear fungusWe've come out for a walk this morning, but I'm sorry that I didn't put the camera in my bag because there's a perfect example of ear fungus (left) growing from a suitably picturesque mossy log at the edge of the path through the old railway cutting. Perhaps I'll remember to take the camera tomorrow.

A corner of Barbara's mum's kitchen Next Page

Richard Bell,