Tag Archives: btweenblinks

I’d just like to thank…

Some time ago, my blogging colleague Rick, the man behind the superb blog ‘btweenblinks‘ gave the ‘Versatile Blogger Award’ to TheNaturephile. I was extremely pleased that someone liked my blog sufficiently to recognise it in this way but I deferred acceptance because at that time I had only dipped my toe into the waters of the blogosphere and in order to accept the award I had to pass it on to fifteen other worthy blogs. I was only reading a very small number of blogs so I was unable to extend the award to the requisite quota just then.

And then a couple of days ago an email dropped into my inbox from Lorna of ‘lornastearoomdelights‘ which is an utterly delicious blog dedicated to the worship of all things tea, cake and chocolate, and she has awarded me the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger’ award.

I’m now immersed above the knee in the blogosphere and there are enough top quality entries on my blogroll to fulfil the acceptance obligations, which also stipulate thanks to those who nominated TheNaturephile and to include a link to their blogs. The links are above and thank you very much indeed to Rick and Lorna for their nominations. I’m very happy they both consider Thenaturephile worthy of these accolades. Please pay a visit to both blogs and enjoy them as much as I do.

As well as passing on the awards I must share seven snippets of trivia about myself, so I’m going to follow Lorna’s lead and combine the nominations and the trivia in order not to overburden you, dear reader, with stuff you may wish you didn’t know.

First off, my nominations, in no order, for the two awards are as follows. They’re not all nature or photography blogs, just an eclectic selection that make me chuckle, think or simply say ‘Wow!’:

Wandering Woody – http://wanderingwoody.wordpress.com/ – tales of the wild and conservation predominantly from the north east of England

Natures Place – http://beingmark.com/ – some of the finest macro photography I’ve ever seen

naturestimeline – naturestimeline.wordpress.com – fascinating phenological phenomena from southern England

Montana Outdoors – http://montucky.wordpress.com/ – beautiful views of the nature of Montana

My Daily Denmark – http://mydailydenmark.wordpress.com/ – a delightful collection of images of everyday objects from Denmark which remind me of wonderful times spent over there when I was a kid

Pieces of me and other sundry things – http://seekraz.wordpress.com/ – marvellous photographs and thought provoking words from the state of Utah

The Lantern Room – https://thelanternroom.wordpress.com/ – beatifully varied nature photography

Haphazard Linkages – http://haphazardlinkages.wordpress.com/ – highly amusing and interchelated views of society, nature and sundry phenomena.  A very entertaining read

krikitarts – http://krikitarts.wordpress.com/ – wonderful wildlife (including lichens!)

dutchgoesitalian – http://dutchgoesitalian.com/ – pasta, wine architecture and all things cultural from Italia

everyday nature trails – http://theresagreen.wordpress.com/ – natural phenomena from Wales and Spain – two countries covered!

And lastly because this is the newest blog on my list,

stephanielane2012 – http://stephanielane2012.wordpress.com/ – natural and social history from the southern states of the U.S.

And lastly, seven random facts about myself…

1) When I’m not photographing and blogging I’m learning to play bass guitar
2) I love making things out of wood (basic joinery – not cabinet making!) and my ultimate goal is to make a bass
3) Two things make me see red: inconsiderate driving and littering
4) My favourite shops are online, except bookshops and music shops
5) I’ve drunk beer on 4 continents (Africa, Asia, America and Europe) and I love them all, but the best is Adnams Broadside from a pub in Southwold
6) I try not to waste anything, especially energy, so my bike is my transport and I’ve recently installed solar panels on my roof
7) The thing I wish for most is a world that my kids will be happy in

Suffolk Symbionts

During our trip to the east coast a couple of weeks ago a fair chunk of our time was spent wandering around churchyards and woodland and scrubby heathland. Because the air is so clean in that part of the world the gravestones and the trees, and any dead and rotting wood hosts numerous species of lichen.

A robin watching over the lichen encrusted gravestones in Dunwich St Andrews graveyard

I think lichens are highly under-represented in the annals of popular natural history, but having said that I’ve seen some superb posts from fellow natural history bloggers in the recent past, most notably from  ‘btweenblinks‘ and ‘Montana Outdoors

There have not been so many from this side of the Atlantic though so here’s my attempt to showcase some of my local lichens. Lichens are a symbiosis between a fungus and an alga where the fungus gathers nutrients from the substrata and the alga provides the photosynthetic apparatus. I’ve read that there are around 1800 species of lichen in the UK alone and up to 20000 globally. They provide homes for spiders and small insects, and have provided various dyes for colouring cloth and the active ingredient of litmus pH indicator is derived from a lichen. And they make great pictures:

Oak  moss or antler lichen, Pseudevernia furfuracea

Lichens are difficult to identify without a microscope and reagents for analysing them and the substrata they are growing on, so the identifications in this post are from this guide from the Natural History Museum.

I found the antler lichen growing on a deciduous tree at Dunwich Friary and I think there are probabaly another three species of lichen in this photograph, including the common green shield lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata. I took the picture by standing back a couple of metres and using ISO 400, F/8.0 and shutter speed 1/60s, and there was just sufficient light to make it work. The trees were reverberating with the song of great tits and robins while I was on my lichen hunt making it a very enjoyable couple of hours.

Pleurosticta acetabulum

Pleurosticta acetabulum doesn’t have a common name in my NHM guide. I really like the colours in this image, the background is the reedbeds of Minsmere and the diffuse red/brown of the defocussed reeds accentuates the greens, greys and browns of the lichen.

Leafy xanthoria, Xanthoria polycarpa

The leafy xanthoria was ubiquitous in this part of the world, many of the trees were festooned with it. This one was also at RSPB Minsmere with the reedbeds in the background and I like the warm colours especially as this was on a very cold, grey morning.