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Springy Turf Moss (Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus) is plentiful on the Boggy Brae. It makes up a good proportion of our back lawn and winter is the time of its forte while the grasses rest. Its English name fits it perfectly.
As its name suggests, Springy Turf Moss grows in extensive turfs when it gets the chance. Below, a tree and some of its surrounding turf have been uprooted, and the height or length that the moss’s shoots grow to can be appreciated.
Healthy turfs look like this from above…
…and like this from the side
The wildflower Red Campion has a long flowering period and often flowers well into October even this far north. There have not been any flowers on the Boggy Brae plants for some weeks but this week, in spite of the wind battering and rain, hail, sleet hammering it has had, this plant put forth two new flowers.
I found this interesting thing on the back of a fern leaf today. I thought it was a lichen but someone tells me he thinks it is a gall. It’s very small, about 8mm across the widest part from point to point. Later, a third person said he thinks it is a fungal crustation on the corpse of an insect. Since I found what looked like an insect leg attached to the Thing, I’m going with that last explanation.
This piece of lichen had fallen off a tree. I propped it on the red plastic lid of a clean baking powder tub (they are useful containers for small things) and tried some shots. I haven’t been very successful with lichen photography so far.
Someone on a Facebook group page tells me this “Frilly Lettuce” lichen is Platismatia glauca.
I found this tiny spruce tree under a rhododendron. Although I like it at this size I don’t want it to grow big so I yanked it out. I read in The New Sylva by Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet that Norway Spruce “rarely produces viable seed in Britain” (p63) so either this is not a Norway Spruce though large, mature trees of that species growing near us would suggest that it is, or the Boggy Brae garden is one of the rare places that Norway Spruce seed does turn out to be viable! I pull out several seedlings like this, and larger ones, every year.
While people down south tweet pictures of divers wild flowers still in bloom, here on the Boggy Brae, north of 56º, actually blooming flowers are reduced to a few scrappy remnants of Common Cat’s Ear (Hypochoeris radicata).
I still haven’t cut back the multiple suckers of the old plum tree gone wild. I’m quite enjoying their colour:
Some of the summer-rampant stems of Greater Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus) are still green. The top of this stem is a metre off the ground, supported by a tangle of honeysuckle stems:
It and some still green fern fronds have sometimes caught evanescent rays of winter sunshine during this period of soggy dark winter weather:
A baby rowan tree, still holding onto its leaves, a hazel leaf blown down from up the hill, a leaf from one of the Boggy Brae’s baby oak trees, and a sprig of Common Tamarisk Moss (Thuidium tamarsicum), which is one of the commonest mosses in the garden. This is the first time I’ve found any of its capsules.
A picture of the still well-leaved hazels up the hill in the woods, and a capsule of Thuidium tamarsicum.