An October Nature Walk

On day 141 of 365 Days Wild I ventured out to the meadow, woodland and stream for a nature walk.

I have a tendency to always photograph the stream from the same few places – either from on the bank amongst the trees of the nature project or from beside the pond. This time I decided to slip out through the trees to see it from the other side of the bridge, where it continues on through farmland.

Technically, the stream is actually a dyke, or ditch, though there is some thought that it might have once been a natural stream that has been straightened and redirected for agricultural irrigation. I’m not sure what proof anyone has of this, though older residents of the village tell me that its course was definitely altered back in the 1970s. Before this time there was more water in it and they could row their dinghy all the way to a neighbouring village. That would definitely not be possible now, but that could just be because it’s been allowed to silt up in a number of spots. It’s possible that such a redirecting of its course had happened before, possibly numerous times. Dykes like this one criss-cross the East-Midlands landscape. They not only allow farmers to water their crops, but also provide habitats for lots of creatures.

Despite the number of toadstools that I spotted on day 140’s fungi hunt, there were yet more new ones around on day 141.

I spotted another little clump of what are probably Field Mushrooms (Agaricus campestris), this time growing alongside what are possibly Conical Brittlestems (Parasola conopilus).

From the black lines of the deliquescing gills and the rolled edges of the cap, I think this might be Hare’sfoot Inkcap (Coprinopsis lagopus) in its final stages as it autodigests. It probably only lasted a few hours past my taking of this photograph.

I spotted these wonderfully bright yellow toadstools growing in the meadow. I think they might be Yellow Fieldcaps (Bolbitius titubans).

Whilst I walked along the side of the meadow I spotted a lone Red Campion (Silent dioica) flower growing alongside the path. There are a few other places where this plant continues to flower but none of them are anywhere nearby! The splash of bright pink amongst all of the greens and browns was a delight to see. I posted my first picture this year of Red Campion on my Instagram (@hedgewitchymusings) on April 10th. I find it quite amazing that they continue to produce flowers even now, mid way through October, when so many other blooms have come and gone.

Finally, there are a number of sad looking patches around the meadow where the piles of cuttings were burnt. A few weeks ago these were scattered with the seeds of wildflowers that prefer ash-enriched soil. The brown patches are now speckled in green. It appears that some of the seeds are germinating. I wonder what they might be?

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