Monday, 4 March 2019

More miscellanea

Over the course of the last forty-eight hours I had come to believe that the last time I had collected my prescription from the pharmacists I had been given the wrong dosage. To put my mind at rest I popped in to my surgery to check and put my mind at rest. As it turned out I was wrong and the prescription I'd received was correct.

I strolled home, battling against a stiff breeze - the remains of storm Freya - pausing here and there to examine anything that caught my attention.

In the hospital grounds stand several specimens of Lawson's Cypress, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana. I examined them largely in the hope of finding the Juniper Shieldbug, an insect very partial to this tree. None was found but nevertheless I took a picture of the lovely male cones. They are tiny, being only about 5-7 mm long, but are worth a close examination. It is no coincidence that the Juniper Shieldbug is a red and green creature.

The male cones of Lawson's Cypress. Danetre Hospital, Daventry.
4 March, 2019
Pushing on I made a point of walking through the grove of trees that separates and screens Christchurch Drive from the thunder of traffic on the A45. There were plenty of signs of spring though none particularly photogenic. My eye was caught by the bark of an ash tree; it was stained bright amber-orange by a species of Trentepohlia.

Ash tree bark with a Trentepohlia alga appearing to stain it orange.
Christchurch Drive, Daventry. 4 March, 2019
This is a genus of algae, difficult to separate and if I say the species in question was Trentepohlia calamicola I do so with little confidence. These algae can at first be mistaken for lichens and in fact some of them do form the algal component of certain lichens. Against this bright background several patches of lichen stood out and I took a sample home for closer examination.

I am reasonably certain that the species is Lecidella elaeochroma. Certainly it matches up very well to both written and photographic descriptions, and it is most common on ash trees.

Lichens stood out boldly against the colourful background.
Home just in time to beat a sharp hailstorm on Stefen Hill.

No comments:

Post a Comment