Blown up

Today’s guest pictures were taken by my daughter and show that lichen can get anywhere, even onto a south London post box.

lichen post box

It was dry but breezy this morning and it was my intention to put this to good use by getting a decent pedal in.  I was too optimistic.  The breeze turned out to be very fierce by the time that I had got out of the shelter of the town and it proved too much for me and I threw in the towel after 14 miles, not being able to face another battle into the wind, even for a measly three miles.  I was a bit alarmed that I felt so feeble but there are some days when you are just not at your peak and this was one of them as far as I was concerned so I just had to lump it.

The chaffinches seemed to be about as cross as I was.


Only the frogs seemed happy.


There were a lot of them about, smiling at nothing much in the pond.


After lunch, I went round the same walk that I had done yesterday but this time in company with Mrs Tootlepedal. I took my zoom lens with me in the hope of finding a field full of herons at the Murtholm but there were none to be seen and I had to content myself with a rather distant picture of the two oystercatchers.

They were catching worms rather than oysters.

Mrs Tootlepedal has often been round this walk in her dog walking days and she drew my attention to a fine old oak tree on the middle of the woods.

oak tree
The king of the Kernigal.  The trunk must be 18ft in circumference.

I drew her attention to two stones beside a stream which I hadn’t noticed yesterday.

Lichen art

The wood is full of green carpeted glades…


…and there were catkins everywhere. Individually…


…and in mobs.


I saw fungi that I had missed yesterday, near the ground on a tree stump…


…and up in the air on the end of a dead branch.


There was a different horse posing for the camera as we came down to the Stubholm.


The green fairways of the golf course stood out on the lower slopes of Whita as we looked across the valley.

golf course

We finished our walk by going through the park and a patch of vivid green moss on the wall almost made it look as though the sun was shining.

park wall

The tree stump which you can see in the picture above was covered with a fine display of slime mold.

slime mold

When we got back, I walked round the garden.  There are a lot of crocuses to be seen but they are waiting for a bit of sun before they are going to open their petals.


By accident, I turned on the telly while the rugby international between Italy and Scotland was being broadcast.  I had meant not to watch the game as I have no confidence in the team’s coach and it is depressing to see good players losing matches because of incomprehensible tactics.  I was about to switch off when Scotland scored an excellent try….and then they scored another.  Things got back to normal when they gave away a try through lack of concentration and I was resigned to another defeat when they scored in the last minute to snatch a very rare but welcome victory.

Mrs Tootlepedal had cooked a chicken and mushroom casserole in the slow cooker and it turned out very well.  The surplus will go into the freezer and will do for quite a few meals.

As I write this, the wind is howling round the house and the rain is battering the end wall.  I am glad that I have an electric blanket to keep me warm in bed.

There were few other birds than chaffinches in the garden because of the high winds so a chaffinch is the flying bird of the day.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, novice photogrpaher

30 thoughts on “Blown up

  1. I didn’t walk one day this week because of the wind, so I can understand how you wouldn’t want to cycle in a strong wind.

    Loved all the fungi and lichens, you’re getting very good at finding and photographing them!

  2. That oak tree is a real beauty! I think some of the lichens on the two stones might be concentric boulder lichens (Porpidia crustulata). One of the cap fungi looks like it might be another velvet shank. The bracket like ones look like hairy curtain crust fungi (Stereum hirsutum). That’s quite a slime mold. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that color.

    1. Having looked up Porpidia crustulata, I am sure that you are once again on the money. The tree with the slime mold has been cut down very long so I was surprised to see the mold on it. The stereum hirsutum identification look spot on too. Thank you once again for your help. I am trying to learn.

  3. Another compliment to the lichens. Those are particularly attractive specimens. (Probably has something to do with all the rain, would you suppose?) It will be at least two months before we have anything like that much green Around Here. Ah well. I like to think that the land is having a nice rest under its snowy blanket.

    1. And I hope that you are having one under a woolly blanket. I don’t know about the rain and the lichens since I have never looked at any with any great attention until this year.

  4. As you suspected, the phone box is directly under a tree (silver birch) which would explain the top being so lichentastic – that is the correct description I think?

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