Navelwort

Navelwort

Navelwort – or Umbililcus rupestris, can be found growing from walls and sheer faces.

Part of the Stonecrop family, it’s a really nice, fleshy green, and not dissimilar to mange tout in taste or texture, in fact, you could easily use this as a substitute in salads or stir-frys. These ones were a bit bitter, but the younger specimens are a lot sweeter.

It can also be used medicinally as a cooling agent for burns and a diuretic.

Planking!

Planking!

Planking is one of the nicest ways to cook fish.

This is a cedar board, which has been wetted, then placed over the coals.

Can you guess what did this?

Can you guess what did this?

Something that crops up at the back of my place.

I know what it is, but does anyone else fancy having a guess at what it could be? There’s clearly been some activity here – the grass doesn’t grow in this spot, so it must have been brought here – evidence of this is the trail of strands.

Scroll down for the answer!

This is where a badger likes to have a snooze above ground!

Jews Ear

Jews Ear

Sometimes, you might hear that Jews Ear, (Auricularia auricula-judae),

grows exclusively on Elder. That isn’t the case as here it is on some fallen Ash. It ‘mainly’ grows on Elder, though, so it would be the first place to look.

A little exercise….

A little exercise….

…….I did a few years back, dissecting owl pellets.

Found plenty underneath a tree which was favoured by a Tawny Owl down by Sutton Bingham Reservoir. It’s quite a good survey method for discovering which small mammals are in the area – just soak the pellets in a bowl of warm water and let it seperate and strain/sieve/pick through the bits. What you’ll end up with is akin to bunging a load of Meccano sets into a box and jumbling it up. Here we have field and bank voles, common shrew and Pygmy shrew. Tawny skull was from roadkill found at another time – I’d actually given it a burial, but it got dug up by badger.