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8/6/21 News From The Old Cornmill – When Harry Met Sally

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to Harry the Heron, who patrols the stretch of the Derwent by my front door. It would appear that Harry has found a mate (I’ve named her Sally) and you can just make out the two of them in the centre of the picture. Sally isn’t spending aContinue reading “8/6/21 News From The Old Cornmill – When Harry Met Sally”

7/6/21 Minibeast Monday – Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillars

Walking into town, by the river today, I was pleased to see that the Stinging Nettles contained a good brood of Small Tortoiseshell butterfly caterpillars. These once common butterflies are now in serious decline. We’re not 100% sure why, but it could be to do with changing weather patterns. Stinging nettles are their food plantContinue reading “7/6/21 Minibeast Monday – Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillars”

14/05/21 The Quick Forage – Garlic Mustard and Ramsons

Foraging often conjures up an image of getting out at first light and collecting herbs and fungi from remote, inaccessible locations. This is the exception, rather than the rule. Most herbs are wayside herbs, growing beside the road on verges and beneath hedgerows. Take this little private road which runs between my home at TheContinue reading “14/05/21 The Quick Forage – Garlic Mustard and Ramsons”

10/5/21 Minibeast Monday – Long-jawed Orbweavers

A minibeast that escaped last week’s blog from Thirlmere. This is a Long-jawed Orbweaver spider of the Metellina genus. Like all orbweavers, they spin a web to catch their prey (if you look closely you can see that this one is just starting to put the foundation lines in). Unlike other orbweavers, the long-jaws don’tContinue reading “10/5/21 Minibeast Monday – Long-jawed Orbweavers”

7/5/21 Foraging Friday – Jelly Ear Fungus

Out walking locally during the week I came across some Jelly Ear Fungus, Auricularia auricula-judae. This is an edible fungus, but in all honesty, not the most palatable, being somewhat bland and chewy. The best thing to do with it is to dry it and grind it down into a powder. It can then beContinue reading “7/5/21 Foraging Friday – Jelly Ear Fungus”

30/04/21 Foraging Friday – Sea Kale and Rock Samphire

We found a couple of foraging plants in this week’s #CumbriaNature blog, Beside The Seaside This is Sea Kale, Crambe maritima, the blanched shoots of which used to me a most sought after (and expensive) vegetable. The young leaves can also be used the same as Curly Kale. No recipe this week as it wouldContinue reading “30/04/21 Foraging Friday – Sea Kale and Rock Samphire”