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Friday, 1 October 2010

Wed 29th Sept 2010 - Yafford.

Mark's Pics.

Carrie's Pics.

This week the GG Team were out in the depths of Yafford. To give you some idea of how grown in the pond was when we started, the first people on site were struggling to even find it in the undergrowth! Considering the weatherman had forecasted a downpour, we had an excellent turnout and was rewarded with the rain almost holding off until 1pm. The team were soon slashing into the brambles and undergrowth as others donned the thigh-waders and started clearing the reeds and weed. Care was taken to ensure that any wildlife was safely rehoused nearby. By the time we all came to leave, the pond was fully opened up to the road with pathways cut through the surrounding areas. A big "well done" to all those who helped out!

Carrie’s Nature Lesson

Two finds this week, the first being Water Mint (Mentha Aquatica) - like other members of the large mint family, water mint has strongly aromatic leaves which may be used for culinary purposes. The round terminal head of pinkish flowers is quite distinctive. There may be whorls below the main flowerhead, and the hairy leaves are purplish-green, toothed and in pairs. It is a very useful plant for pond margins and bog gardens, where it will add a splash of colour and a whiff of scent, as well as attracting butteflies. Small tortoiseshells and peacocks especially seem to be attracted to this plant, and it is also the food plant of the attractive green tortoise beetle.

Our second find was a Giant Puffball (Calvatia Gigantea), which reaches a foot or more in diameter and is difficult to mistake for any other fungus; when mature a large specimen will produce a huge number of spores. If collected before the spores have formed, while the flesh is still white, it may be cooked as slices fried in butter, with a strong earthy, mushroom flavour. However, it does not store well in the freezer, and the entire freezer rapidly acquires a strong mushroom smell!

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