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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wed 10th March 2010 - Community Orchard, Adgestone.

Our visit this week was to the community orchard at Adgestone, which is owned by Island 2000. Our first task was to plant eight mature fruit trees in the open space behind the picnic benches, to extend the orchard further into the site. Our second task was to work on improving the access for walkers, as the recent very wet weather has made some of the pathways impassable due to being completely under water. We used some larger trees to make the edges of a new path next to the very muddy one, then cut lots of one metre pieces of willow to make the base and covered this with soft grass from elsewhere on the site. We finished one pathway, and will be back here again in two weeks to work on the one that is currently still under water.

Carrie’s Nature Lesson

Our find this week was an unusual fungus known as Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha Coccinea) (see picture), which appears in winter on dead wood in damp, shady places. The caps, which are edible when cooked, are usually 2 or 3 cm in diameter, but can be as large as 5 cm. The irregularly shaped cups have a smooth, red inner surface, and a much paler felty outer surface. The very short stipe, often buried in leaf litter, is the same colour as the outer surface of the cup. Due to the wet weather, they are appearing slightly later than usual, and here on the Island they have the local name of “Dungeon Lamps”. This is connected with the custom of bringing the fungi still attached to pieces of wood into the house, as a form of decoration in the dark winter months.

Once again it is a big thank you to Carrie for the editorial and photographs.

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