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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wed 28th Nov 2012 - Afton Marsh, Freshwater.

As can been seen from the pictures above, warm clothing was the order of the day for this week's GG session (plus a good pair of wellington boots and WARM socks!). Our tasks were at the far south end of the marsh, close to boundary with Freshwater Bay car park. The recent rain has finally given way to a dry, but much colder, spell of weather - so the idea of a big fire to keep us warm was an appealing one. Nick the ranger soon had the fire going but it took some time to get it really established, well done Nick! Team GG were soon attacking the overgrown areas with lopers and bow saws, dragging the material back to the fire area where it was chopped up prior to burning. The problem is with marsh areas is that, as you transit to and from an area, the ground becomes increasingly boggy and you end up standing in water half way up your boots, brrrrrrr...! The brisk northerly wind was a good reason to keep yourself active and warm - or find a job in the area of the bonfire! A quick head count showed that we had around 30 people at the session and excellent progress was made at clearing areas of the marsh so a big WELL DONE to all those who braved the cold.

Carrie's Nature Lesson.

This week’s find by Martin (and again kindly identified by Dr Colin Pope) is a Blushing Bracket (Daedaleopsis Confragosa) as there are often shades of pink or mauve in the upper surface. The maze-like network of pores on the underside is striking and bruises reddish when rubbed, hence the name Blushing Bracket.  This tough slow growing fungus can be seen on riverside willows in midwinter, when very few other fungi are in evidence. The bright brackets catch any sunlight, and stand out starkly from the dark background of the branches or trunks to which they are attached.
They are most commonly seen in tiers on dead or dying willow trunks and branches, but have also been found, although less frequently, on alder and just occasionally on hazel birch and poplar.

Many thanks to Carrie for the nature lesson and photographs this week.

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