Tag Archives: Canis lupus familiaris

An Unexpected Change Of Plan

At two thirty this afternoon Haircut was outside of my kitchen window.

HaircutShe was trying to express in doggie language that contrary to my expectations, three hours at the beauty parlour  had not made her day complete.

This is what she said.

What are you gonna do?

I will take you out but you must promise to stay well away from the mud,

It takes three hours at the parlour because the first hour is spent telling Margaret what a terrible owner she is for getting her dog in such a state and then giving her training in the proper way to care for her pet.

It is not Margaret’s fault. It is not even my fault  but obviously I don’t want to upset Margaret later in the day.

No muddy  puddles. Okay?

FizzThis dog smells really sweet. It must be the shampoo that they use and she has got the cleanest feet that I have ever seen.

How can it be my fault? It is not like I invented mud, it is just there.

FizzAnyway I thought that you might like to see the new Fizz.

Fizz Fizz Fizz Fizz FizzShe isn’t very much different from the old Fizz.

I kept her as clean as I could. She has been through a tough ordeal today and I guess that when it was over she just needed to get back to nature. Nature can fix anything.

FizzNature and a little bit of love 🙂


One Man and his Dog

Today Fizz and I were tasked with fetching the sheep down from the top field.

SheepdogA well trained sheepdog is such a joy to watch.

There is a connection between a shepherd and his dog. It starts with choosing the right animal. You need to select a dog that is intelligent and active but most of all it must be eager to please. I would love to show you how this works but…

Obviously I am stuffed 🙂

If Fizz understood every word that I said she would still do the exact opposite. That is her impish sense of fun and playfulness.

In this video I am employing a different sort of connection and half a loaf of bread.

Well it works just the same. Having kept her on the connection for the first half hour I then had to take her somewhere else for a bit of exercise.

FizzHere is a short Robin update.

I am pretty sure that my (soon to be) tame Robin is a male.

The male and female European Robin look just the same and you can’t tell them apart by appearance but they don’t always act the same.

This Robin always takes two worms and then he flies off. He eats the first one. Yesterday when I made this video I was surprised to see him almost a full minute after he had taken the second worm, he still had it and he was flitting around with the worm in his beak and he was managing to sing. Eventually he disappeared under a car with another Robin. I think that he is taking the second worm as a gift and that he is courting and that would make him a male.

Since making this video he has become even tamer and now he sits with me while he eats the first worm  and then takes a second and flies off. What a nice little Robin 🙂

I will need a lot of worms when they are raising their brood.

Well it has been typical winter weather here and there hasn’t been a lot to see. I could show you some pictures of Haircut. When she came back from the beauty parlour I was careful to keep her clean for the first  hour but then a dog has got to be a dog…




FizzThere was a short moment in February when she looked almost pristine but you had to be quick to catch it. She is by nature a mucky pup.

FizzGorse is flowering nearby and it isn’t on Easy Wildflowers yet so yesterday I went out to collect some pictures.

I don’t want to spoil you too much because Gorse will probably feature in my next post but it looks like this.





GorseOne last little Robin update, this video was made just a few minutes ago.

On with the wildflowers, this one is in flower now and that is probably how it will be from now on 🙂

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)

Lamium album, The White Dead-nettle

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)Description: It looks like a stinging nettle with white flowers.

That is a reasonable description, it does look like a stinging nettle but the two plants are not related. Urtica dioica, the Stinging Nettle is a member of the Urticaceae or Nettle Family and White Dead-nettle is a member of the Mint family.

Unlike the Nettle family the Dead-nettles don’t  have a sting.

You can’t really confuse the two plants, the flowers are the give away and they start to form almost as soon as the plant appears.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)(White Dead-nettle in February)

Like other Dead-nettles Lamium album has a square stem.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The leaves grow in opposite pairs.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The leaves are described as cordate (heart shaped) to ovate (oval with a tapering point). They are deeply veined with a net pattern and the edges are toothed. They are also covered in soft hair on both sides.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The flowers grow in whorls around the stem and above a pair of leaves.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The flower is tubular, opening up to a hood and a three lobed lower lip.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)Under the hood are four Stamens, two long and two short and just below the anthers you can see the white style with a two lobed stigma.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The White Dead-nettle is described as having a three lobed lower lip, It has a large central lobe, the two outside lobes are the very small tooth like projections either side of the central lobe in this next picture. They are fairly insignificant.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The white flower has small green markings at the centre of the  bottom lip.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)Newly emerging flower buds are protected by a five pointed calyx.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)White Dead-nettle is native to the UK, Europe and Asia and naturalised in many other parts of the world.

It is a valuable wild life plant providing a good source of nectar early in the year. It is very popular with bees and is sometimes known as the Bee Nettle. It is the food plant for a number of beetles and moths, including the Golden-Y Moth, the Rivulet, the Burnished Brass and the Speckled Yellow.

Speckled Yellow Moth(Speckled Yellow moth)

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album) White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)   White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)   White Dead-nettle (Lamium album) White Dead-nettle is edible. Only the youngest leaves are good to eat raw in salads. Once it starts to flower leaves can be steamed or added to soups and stews.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)Taxonomy

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Lamiales

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus: Lamium

Species: Lamium album

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)Wildflowers in winter.

The Deer Hunter

Well, it took six nights but in the end we did get results from the trail camera.

I have lots of beautiful animals to show you tonight.
Deer Hunter Fizz(Deer Hunter Fizz)

But it is a beautiful day and we are not in a hurry to get to the woods.

Playing Ball

Playing Ball

Playing Ball

Playing Ball

Playing Ball

Playing Ball

The Winner!The Winner

Dog worn out, now we can get on 🙂

Here is some of the stuff that we found in the wood.

As soon as we found the camera I could see that we had a result. I can tell what animal has been at the bait. The ground was very disrupted and all of the bait had been taken (Peanuts, Raisins and Sheep Feed) except the bread. So no Boar but I guessed Deer. I was gutted that I couldn’t leave the camera out there but I had run out of batteries. The camera had died, it told me there were 189 videos but the last 50 of those were dud due to low battery power. No matter we got some good stuff.

Don’t despise the little Fox. I would be pretty fed up if I had found 189 videos of him but I didn’t. This is a beautiful wild animal that we rarely get a chance to watch.

There is actually a stack of food there that the Fox can eat, he is just being fussy. This video was from the night before the Deer turned up and there was plenty left for them. That is bread that he is playing with in the video, I put out quite a bit but I hid it under leaves.

The Bluebells are coming up. They are not early, they won’t flower until they are supposed to in April but they always make an appearance around about now. I love the way that they pierce the leaf litter.



BluebellsWe found a bulb that had been rooted up (we replanted it) I was surprised by how big it was.

Bluebell BulbI have heard it said that Boar uproot and eat Bluebells. I spent a long time looking for evidence of this in my Bluebell wood in East  Sussex and I never saw any evidence of Boar eating Bluebells. They had ample opportunity and so I conclude it is an untrue slur on the Boar.

This next leaf is Variegated Yellow Archangel. It is one that I want to write about for Easy Wildflowers (probably next) so I won’t say too much about it. The leaves are about now and are easy to recognise, they actually remain all winter.

Variegated Yellow Archangel

Variegated Yellow ArchangelThis is another one that will not flower until April, when it does it will look like this.

Variegated Yellow Archangel

Variegated Yellow ArchangelNow for something that will flower in January (I hope). This is Lesser Celandine. My first pictures last year were February 24th.

Lesser CelandineLook, flower buds. These could easily open this month.

Lesser CelandineOkay, beautiful wild animals now. Plenty of video, just watch what you like. I could watch them all night.

Come on then Fizz, it is a long way home.

Play Ball

Play BallMe and my shadow.

Me and my shadowThat’s enough of that 🙂

Getting Our Feet Wet

There is Fizz, waiting under my window, keeping an eye on me.

Fizz“I will be a little while, I am just running a bath.”

In retrospect I have to ask myself, “Why bathe before you go out with Fizz? It’s not like she’s fussy and you know what is going to happen, don’t you?”

It is a lovely day and I am stepping out with lovely clean feet.
Badger AlleyAfter the snow we had a storm. Yesterday was just horrible with strong wind and icy rain. Today it is a beautiful day to be alive. Blue and still.

Badger AlleyWe are going up Badger Alley to look for signs of the early Coltsfoot flowers. Primroses grow up here too, I have seen a couple of Primroses in flower in gardens but none in the wild yet.

Following the storm, parts of the track were very wet and this “Selfie” is actually the precise moment when I realised that something had gone badly wrong.

SelfieWhat’s up Doc?

FizzIt’s only that my perishing boots have perished!

For the rest of the day I will be sloshing about in a boot full of muddy water.

Perishing BootsIt’s a good job that we don’t mind getting our feet wet.

FizzIt’s too deep. We’ll have to turn back.

FizzWait! You can’t leave me here.


FizzShe is like a Cat when it comes to water. She loves mud but she does not swim.

FizzWell the path dried a bit and she had her fun.



FizzThis is where we are heading. As the track turns to a gravel road this is where we find the Coltsfoot.

Badger AlleyBut not today. Not on January the 16th, it is too early. There was no sign of Primrose, not even rosettes and no Coltsfoot.

Nice woods though.


WoodsWe will just have to slosh our way home again.

I need a carry!


FizzBad, bad man!


FizzYou are so lucky that I was here. You would have lost that ball.

FizzWell that was about all of our fun for today. It didn’t add up to much but it is January still.

FizzThe Sheep are all safe and happy at the bottom of the garden. I have been given my own little haystack and instructions to feed them half a bale a day until the farmer returns. That shouldn’t be too difficult 🙂

SheepAll that remains to do is to show you today’s wildflower. It is Sticky Mouse Ear.

Cerastium glomeratum, The Sticky Mouse Ear

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)Sticky Mouse Ear flowers from April to September in fields and meadows. It is often found on farmland.

It is very similar to the closely related Common Mouse Ear, Cerastium fontanum so here are a few differences to look out for.

Sticky Mouse Ear is also known as Clustered Mouse Ear, The flowers  are clustered together in a tight flower head. Common Mouse Ear flowers are more spread out.

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)The green sepals of Sticky Mouse Ear are sometimes tipped with red. The entire plant is covered with fine hairs and at the tip of each hair is a small gland that secretes a sticky substance that gives the whole plant a slightly sticky feel.

Characteristically the hairs on the sepals extend beyond the tips of the sepals, with Common Mouse Ear they don’t.

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)The flower of Sticky Mouse Ear has five sepals and five, notched, white petals. It has ten stamens and five styles. It is quite a small flower, each petal being about 4mm long.

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)The leaves are oval, 10 -20 mm long and grow in opposite pairs. They are hairy on both sides.

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum) Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)   Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)   Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)The plant can reach about 45 cm (18 inches) in height.

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)The seeds are contained in a papery fruit capsule that is about 10mm long.

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)As the fruit ripens the end opens to release the seeds. The opening terminates in ten small teeth.

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)Sticky Mouse Ear is a member of the Pink or Carnation family, a family that also includes the Campions. I can see several similarities between this and the hairy Red Campion. It is native to the UK and Europe but it is present on most continents as an introduced species.

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)Taxonomy:

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Caryophyllales

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Genus: Cerastium

Species: Cerastium glomeratum

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)

Sticky Mouse Ear (Cerastium glomeratum)Wildflowers in winter.

Little Bo Peep

Little Bo Peep has lost her Sheep and doesn’t know where to find them…..

It’s a good job that I’m here then.

FizzYou search the hedges, I’ll look down the Mole hills.

FizzAny luck yet?

FizzShut up Fizz. She is not going to be down a Mole hill!

She might be.

FizzAnd so it goes on…. we lose our Sheep and then we find them. It is a good job that I have got such a clever tracking dog.

Lost SheepFor anyone who hasn’t seen her in action here is a quick video demonstration of Fizz’s awesome search and retrieve skills.

You just have to have faith, if you are lost then she will find you.

Well it rained all day today and I don’t have much to show you. This is one of my flower posts that I wrote yesterday.

Viola reichenbachiana, The Early Dog Violet

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)There are three little violet flowers called Dog Violets in the UK, they are the Early Dog Violet, The Common Dog Violet and the less common Heath Dog Violet. They can all hybridise and so telling them apart isn’t always easy but they do each have distinctive characteristics.

As it’s name suggests the Early Dog Violet flowers first, about three weeks before the common one. I took this next picture on March 16th and as you can see the flowers were already well established.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)I didn’t see a Common Dog Violet last year until March 30th, so if you see a Dog Violet early in March it is probably this one but you don’t have to guess.

The Dog Violet has a spur behind the flower and with the other two species the spur is lighter than the petals. The Spur on the Early Dog Violet is darker than the petals.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)For comparison this next picture is a Common Dog Violet with a much lighter spur and the Heath Dog Violet is also lighter and quite yellow.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)The other easy to spot difference is with the markings on the lower petal. These lines serve to direct insects to the nectar and they are much less pronounced on the Early Dog Violet.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)Again for comparison this next picture is a Common Dog Violet, The Heath Dog Violet is vividly marked like this too.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)Okay the difference is relative and not always easy to spot if you don’t have another flower to compare with but bright, intense markings would immediately make me look at the spur.

The Early Dog Violet,  Viola reichenbachiana.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)V. reichenbachiana is a bit of a mouthful. It is named after a German Botanist, Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach, who specialised in Orchids. He has actually got about a dozen different flowers named after him but someone must have felt that he needed a Violet.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)Violets have a complicated reproductive strategy that isn’t really relevant to identifying the flower but it still makes for an interesting read. The best explanation that I have found on the web is here.


That article goes some way to explaining why the inside of a violet looks like this.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)Basically the Violet has two different types of flower. The open flowers that we are familiar with are specially designed to achieve cross pollination.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)Violets are hermaphrodite and capable of self fertilisation but the open flowers are carefully designed to avoid that, however the majority of seed produced is self pollinated. To achieve this the Violet produces another sort of flower. These are small flowers that will never open, they are self fertile. They appear as the plant matures and they are actually responsible for most of the seed production.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)The plant seems to go to a lot of trouble to try and cross pollinate when it doesn’t really have to but it is thought that even a small amount of cross pollination benefits the gene pool.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)Early Dog Violet has a long stem bearing a single flower.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)The leaves are heart shaped with finely scalloped edges.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana) Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)   Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)   Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana) It grows in shady woodlands, hedgerows and coppice. It is native to the UK, more common in the South and almost absent from Scotland.

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)Taxonomy:

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Malpighiales

Family: Violaceae

Genus: Viola

Species: Viola reichenbachiana

Early Dog Violet (Viola reichenbachiana)Wildflowers in winter.

I am sorry that there wasn’t more to this post today but it was just a very dull day at the office. Tomorrow we are going to resume our Big Game Hunting and maybe film a Troll 🙂

On A Stick

From time to time I get asked about the stick that creeps into my photographs…. What stick?

Walking StickOh that stick.

Walking StickThat is my walking stick. A few years ago I hurt my back and strangely that left me with a stiff and also wobbly leg.

Even if you don’t have a wobbly leg it is a good idea to have a stick because the UK is full of puddles and it is always better to know how deep they are before you step into them.

My stick is nothing special. It is a piece of Hazel with Honeysuckle twined around it and a bit of antler for a handle.

Walking Stick.I bought it for twenty pounds from an itinerant stick maker soon after I arrived in this area.

I knew straight away what it was and it reminded me of a place that I used to call home. It was just something that I had to have.

Honeysuckle will twist wood.

Birch twisted by HoneysuckleProbably the most important thing to know about Honeysuckle is that it keeps evil at bay. That is an excellent property to have in a stick and it must work because we are never troubled by evil.

The other thing that was important to me was that the little piece of woodland that I used to own was full of Honeysuckle.

HoneysuckleThe best thing about Honeysuckle is that it is sweetly scented and in the confined space of woodland in the summer time that scent is held and it filled the wood.



HoneysuckleWe find plenty of Honeysuckle here in the hedgerows around the farm but out in the open it doesn’t have quite the same effect as it does in woodland.



HoneysuckleStill it is a beautiful flower to find and one that I like to keep at hand, always.

I was going to finish this post with another wildflower but you have already seen some lovely wildflowers so instead I will do a Fizz on Facebook update for the people who don’t have Facebook.

Here are some of her recent status updates.

FizzDreaming in colour.

FizzWaiting for a walk.

FizzDreaming of the jungle.

Fizz(sometimes he brings a little sink for me to wash up in)

FizzDreaming of Tigers.

FizzDreaming of playing stick.

FizzWaiting patiently for my turn in the spotlight.

Sunday, the Second Half.

Brrr…… Woke up to freezing rain and a cold wind. It was so different from Saturday. The rain carried on for most of the morning and at times it was falling as snow but it was too wet to lay.

This was not a day for straying out of doors but Fizz didn’t agree.

With zero chance of getting any nature shots I eventually gave in to the whining and decided to try my hand at a bit of “glamour” photography.

Well, you know that Fizz has got her own Facebook page now, I thought we could go out and get some cute and sweet photographs that she could use….

FizzThings didn’t go exactly to plan… (The weather was against me)

FizzThere were the odd patches of blue sky but the wind didn’t let up..


FizzThen we hit a bit of rough.

FizzHer ball got stuck in the mud.

FizzI suppose that at this point I could have used my opposable thumbs to help her out a bit but the journalist inside of me kicked in and I thought that I should record this moment.

FizzAnyway she seemed to be doing quite well at retrieving the ball from the mud with her face.

FizzShe didn’t really need any help.

FizzAnd that was the end of my career in “Glamour photography.”

FizzIt was good while it lasted.

Plantago lanceolata, The Ribwort Plantain.

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)A common plant of meadows and grass land, Ribwort Plantain is also a common lawn weed.

Short creamy, brown flower heads are carried on long ribbed stems and they can grow quite tall when competing with grasses. The flower stems are leafless, the leaves all stem from the base of the plant.

Ribwort Plantain plant (Plantago lanceolata)When the flower head first appears the closed bracts present a very dark, almost black face to the world.

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata) Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)   Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)   Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)The familiar ring of creamy, white stamens appears as the flowers start to open. They open from the bottom of the flower head first and the ring moves slowly upwards.

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)The small flowers are composed of four cream coloured petals with a brown central rib (technically the four petals should be called a corolla because they are not actually individual petals but fused together) The overall effect is of a light brown flower head surrounded by a ring of white stamens.

Ribwort Plantain flower (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain flower (Plantago lanceolata)The stem is deeply ridged as are the lance-shaped leaves and depending on who you read, one of these ribbed features gives the plant the name Ribwort.

Ribwort Plantain flower stalk (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain leaf (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain plant (Plantago lanceolata)Taxonomy:

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Lamiales

Family: Plantaginaceae

Genus: Plantago

Species: Plantago lanceolata

Ribwort Plantain plant (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)

Wildflowers in winter.


Corruption and Decay in Darkest England

Now with new improved Fizz.

By the time Fizz and I got out yesterday it was getting dark and there was no chance of getting any decent pictures. This morning it seemed a bit brighter and we decided to have another try.

FogThis fog was to the South and on the hills. First we are heading North to Badger Alley, it is not so bad there.

Yesterday I found some more Oysterlings and I want a chance to photograph them.

Badger AlleyI have heard Oysterlings described as the most photogenic of fungi and I didn’t think that when I found them growing on slimy green vegetation.




OysterlingsThese look quite a bit nicer. These mushrooms have got legs, there are lots of little ones still to come so I shall be back to visit these again soon.

So that is the Oysterlings. Next….

Don’t eat yellow snow!

Remember our Pear-shaped Puffballs?

Pear-shaped PuffballI told you that all Puffballs were edible but that you must cut them and make sure that they are pure white inside. I need to show you what I mean.

I am reluctant to take another one of these as I want to watch them mature and decay but this is an important stage in their development. So selecting the biggest one….

Pear-shaped PuffballThis one has started to yellow. You shouldn’t eat them like this.

Pear-shaped Puffball

Pear-shaped PuffballNow this isn’t where we are going today. Fizz and I are going back up to the Sweet Chestnut Coppice to look at the Honey mushrooms that we saw about two weeks ago. The coppice is up there in the fog.

FogI have to keep Fizz off the road as much as possible so we are going through the fields. Here are your Fizz shots for today.

FizzI am afraid that I have already got her messed up a bit and she is no longer “fresh back from the cleaners.”

Fizz in Fog.



FizzEventually we have to take to the road but we have by-passed the narrowest parts.



FogOnce we get up here we are safe and can walk on the grass.

FogHere is the wood we have come to visit. You can just tell that the light in there is going to be perfect for photography.

FogThis is what I have to put up with every day in England!

I quite like fog it is better than constant rain 🙂

So where did we leave that tree?

FogSo here is our first fungi in the coppice. This is Hairy Curtain Crust, Stereum hirsutum. This grows all over the world and you will find it in Australia and North America. It is very common and we will see a lot more in the next couple of months.

Hairy Curtain Crust

Hairy Curtain Crust

Hairy Curtain CrustWho is rocking the log!

A IdiotWhat sort of an idiot are you? Just asking.

A IdiotGet off the log.

A IdiotHairy Curtain Crust.

Hairy Curtain CrustNotice that she was on a lead in those last pictures. I have just heard an animal moving about in the woods. We don’t get to see it. It was probably Deer, there are a lot of them around here but there are also Wild Boar and Boar would be dangerous for Fizz. (they might knock her off her log) She is safe so long as she stays close.

My next find is a stinker.

Stinkhorn FungusPhallus impudicus, this is a Stinkhorn Fungus and it is living up to it’s name. I don’t often find them with the gleba intact like this (Gleba is the disgusting bit), flies are usually quick to eat that bit but I guess in Winter there are not so many flies around. This specimen has been hanging about for a bit and is truly repulsive.

Stinkhorn FungusI want to have a closer look. I am a boy and I like disgusting things 🙂

I need to dig it up and see it’s egg.

Stinkhorn FungusSadly it broke when I lifted it. The stem is very hard and brittle.

Stinkhorn FungusInside the stem is sitting in the egg but does not seem to be attached to it in any way.

Stinkhorn FungusIt just slides out.

Stinkhorn FungusThe jelly like egg remains.

Stinkhorn FungusUp at the other end the stem didn’t seem to have any attachment to the cap either. The cap just slid off and slimed everywhere and it stank.

Stinkhorn FungusInteresting but that’s enough of that.

Let’s move on to the Pigskin Poison Puffball.

These are the decaying remains of the Common Earthball,  Scleroderma citrinum.

Common EarthballQuite a few of them had opened like cups and now contain a soup of poisonous spores and rainwater. (I need to photograph all aspects of a fungi’s development.)

Common Earthball

Common Earthball

Common Earthball

Common EarthballThen finally we found our Honey Fungus. That too was decaying.

Honey FungusI was very interested to find that my Honey Fungus, Armillaria ostoyae was itself being attacked by another fungus. This is some kind of parasitic fungi. I don’t expect to be able to get an ID on it but I am trying to find out more as we speak.

One expert has already advised me to collect some in a tupperware container and see what develops. Hmm….. Not sure that I am ready for the responsibility of keeping another pet.

If I find out anything then I shall let you know.

Honey Fungus

Honey Fungus

Honey Fungus

Honey Fungus

Honey FungusDid I tell you that Winter cut really suits you? You look lovely.

(Ha ha! I remembered to read the back of my hand)

FizzCome on. Let’s go home before the Boar get us 🙂


The Beauty Parlour

It is a lovely foggy morning and I am stuck inside. Why? I just had a phone call.

Can you leave Fizz until the afternoon, she’s getting her hair done today.”

Fizz“Really, so soon? Okay.”

Now be honest fellas (I am talking to the gentlemen now) If your wife or girlfriend announced that she was getting her hair done… I mean on a scale of one to ten…?

You would probably want to set yourself some little reminders, right?

ReminderIf you find that is not the case with Fizz then, face it, she has you wrapped around her little finger.

This is what she looked like last time. 😀

FizzDo you want to know her secret, ladies?

She is a master of timing.

She lets herself go a bit, not in any perceptible way but just enough so that her visit to the salon makes a difference. It is all about choosing the right moment.

FizzThis is just a preview of today’s post. Shortly we will be “Messing the Dog up again!” Also my next post may include some nature notes and possibly some mud 🙂

Frosting the Dog

Well, it wasn’t really much of a frost and I think we may have to put off declaring a “State of Emergency” for a day or two.

FrostThere was some frost on the little things.

Little ThingFrost can be quite destructive and Spindle berries were dropping off the tree as I was trying to photograph them.

Spindle Berries

Spindle BerriesA few of the remaining flowers were totally frosted and I don’t think that they will last much longer.

HogweedIt feels a bit like we are saying goodbye to the colours of Autumn and hello to the greyness that is Winter.

BlackberriesToday wasn’t very cold.The Puddles were not frozen…

Mud(There is nothing like a cool drink of mud to set you up for the day)

There was no frost at all under the trees. They have a warmth of their own, trapping warm air and protecting their surroundings from exposure to the cold night.

I am not really sure that this is frost on the grass and not just cold dew.


GrassBut Winter is coming…. and the Sloes will taste sweeter.

Sloe Berries

Sloe BerriesFizz got an extra walk and she has got insulation so she doesn’t mind the cold and when we got home I had some toast (In case it gets bad later)