Friday, 30 January 2015

Avoncliff report 22nd January 2015

Bath Nats meeting at Avoncliff, Thursday 22nd January 2015

Fourteen of us gathered on a cold, atmospheric morning teetering between mist and hazy sunshine. Unfortunately, as we arrived we discovered that Avoncliff car park was already almost full, which rather cramped our style to begin with. Eventually, after some toing and froing in, out, and up and down hill – and aided by the impromptu taxi service provided by Terry Doman – we gathered around the noticeboard next to the aqueduct as I outlined my plans for the morning.

First we walked west along the wooded path out into the open riverside meadow where we paused to admire the scenery – and a colourful outburst of Velvet Shank or Winter Mushroom (Flammulina velutipes) on a decaying willow trunk, before returning the way we’d come. Along the path I pointed out a variety of bryophytes and fungi. The latter included some fine, velvety specimens of Jelly Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae) and the uncommon bracket fungus, Cerrena unicolor, which was difficult to spot at first, due to its worn down black pileus, but revealed its beautiful labyrinthine to toothed spore-producing surface when turned upside-down. Meanwhile, Terry Doman pointed out a micro-moth larva guzzling its way through one of the brown, stripe-like sori on the underside of a blade of Hart’s-tongue fern (Phyllitis scolopendrium).

Next we walked east, along the canal, after pausing by the weir, where a heron was standing sentry. We crossed the footbridge opposite the sewage farm, then climbed gently uphill through field and mossy, rock-strewn woodland to the steep road back down into Avoncliff, where we ended our walk almost on schedule.


Alan Rayner

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