Monday, 24 November 2008

Checking fences and paths - 19th November

After strong winds we have to check all livestock fencing and paths on the reserves to ensure no fallen trees have damaged or blocked them.

As I was walking along checking sheep fencing I noticed a movement from the corner of my eye. I looked around to see a Common Darter Dragonfly (Sympetrum striolatum) landing on a fence post.

The latest date I had recorded one of these previously was the 14th November and with the cold weather we had had recently I was surprised to find one on the 19th.

This particular site also has a lot of Horse Hoof Fungus AKA False Tinder Fungus (Fomes fomentarius) growing on Birches.

To obtain amadou I find it best to collect young specimens like those on the right of the picture as they are almost all amadou, with almost no spore tubes and the outer layer is much easier to remove.

This specimen was interesting as at sometime a small Birch twig had broken away from the tree and had then been engulfed by the fungus.

If however you have a specimen with a lot of spore tube do not discard it as this too once dried will take a spark if the surface is roughed up with a knife.

To find out what I do with the amadou layer take a look here

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