Common Earthball

Common Earthball, Scleroderma citrinum, has ‘a characteristic smell of old rubber’ according to Wildlife of Britain, the Definitive Visual Guide or strong odour ‘of gas or acetylene’ (Encyclopedia of Fungi, Michael Jordan). As I’ve mentioned before, this didn’t stop me from slicing the young ones, with firm white flesh, and frying them in a bit of butter […]

Artichoke Gall

These artichoke galls began to form earlier this summer when a female gall wasp Andricus fecundator laid a single egg in each of the terminal buds of this branch of a sessile oak. Artichoke galls are also known as larch-cone galls or hop galls. The larva develops protected by the overlapping scales. An adult female will […]

Bats in the Lime Trees

Lime trees, particularly a variety of the Common Lime, Tilia X europaea, with a columnar shape, were a favourites with the Victorians and were planted in the grounds of a now-vanished villa, here in the Dearne Valley between Barnsley and Rotherham. The century-old trees were given preservation orders when new houses were built in the old walled […]