Friday, 20 January 2017

I'm such a slut

Had a bit of a happening the other day, it was mildly traumatic and I don't really want to talk about it...but talking is good, right? I mean, this is my blog so I can write pretty much whatever I like. OK, deep breath. At approximately midday on Wednesday the 18th January I left NG3963 for the first time this year. It was only into the adjacent square and only for a few hours but yep, I am a traitor and a cheat to NG3963. I hope it can forgive me. It was all Aimée's fault (bizarrely she's gotten bored wandering around the same 1000 metre x 1000 metre area) and she wanted to go to the pier. Yeah, crazy huh? Women...there's just no understanding how their brain works.

So it appears that there's a nice, wide, south-facing grassy verge full of Lesser Celandines and a few Primroses in flower plus an escapee Early Pampas-grass within the boundaries of NG3863. My square doesn't have any of that. Oh it has Lesser Celandines and Primroses alright, just not in flower. I'm not sure there are ANY south-facing verges in my square (opposite side of the bay, you see). NG3863 also had the biggest cluster of Jew's Ear Fungus (Auricularia auricula-judae) that I think I've ever seen.

Modern day PC says this is now Jelly Ear. Yeah fine, but check out that scientific name....
Plus there's a cafe. A really good cafe with a surprisingly extensive second-hand book collection within. So I may find myself 'wandering' from NG3963 on a slightly more regular basis from now on. I feel so dirty.

I snuck back into my square, saw a few Primroses that I'd walked past a hundred times plus a few Bluebell tips freshly emerging amongst the Daffodils

Bluebells pushing through
Today I had another try at some tree-hugging liverworts and surprisingly managed to identify three Frullania of which two were new for me! Frullania dilata is common up here, huge great patches on many tree trunks. But Frullania tamarisci with its pointed leaves and row of diagonal modified cells was a lifer as was Frullania fragilifolia (roughly translated as the fragile-leaved Frullania) where the leaves come away if you rub them with a moist fingertip, earning it the common name of Spotty Fingers (see my thoughts on giving bryophytes common names in this post.) I took some pics but they were all crap so I'll spare you. 

I found this stunning beetle under bark, it may look like a particularly vicious weevil but actually this is Salpingus ruficollis, one of the Tenebrionids. According to the NBN Gateway this is only the 6th record for Scotland. I know the NBN isn't particularly...er...'accurate', but even so it appears that this beetle is a damn good find this far north. 

It's picked up some gunk from inside the pot, ordinarily the upperparts are clean of scuzzy bits.
I also ventured down to the beach where I found huddles of mites under stones at the top of the wrack-zone. Once again, the substrate beneath the best stones is sandy as opposed to the usual coarse gravel or pebbles. I see a theme developing. Here's a pic of the mites in situ. I have a bunch of them in a pot, I think I shall have to send them off for ID. Way beyond my capabilities! 


Any thoughts? Bottom pic is massively cropped. Actually so is the top one.

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