Sunday, 2 January 2011

Committing patch adultery

I can't help it. I take on a patch, get keen, visit on a regular basis, get to know it well and then, after a certain amount of time, find another area that tickles my fancy. I don't totally give up on a patch, I just adopt another and add it to my suite of places to visit. But, I find myself feeling guilty about doing so, as if I'm being unfaithful to my other sites.

I've posted about my return to Beddington SF before. It was my original patch. I have campaign medals for for active service at this sewage farm between 1974 - 1986; 1993-1994 and am currently on a mission there right now. Today I went to Canons Farm and felt ashamed. I really felt as if I ought to apologise to the farm for having neglected it and admit to two-timing with that great bully of a patch up the road. I feel the same when I go back to Holmethorpe. I feel that I ought to beg forgiveness from Gordon and Graham and beat myself with birch twigs for being so unoriginal as taking my binoculars and telescope back to Surrey's premier site.

Enough of this angst. Canons Farm accepted my apology and gave me a lifer, a fungus called Exidia plana (pictured above). It looks like a flattened black brain and similar to another species called Witches Butter. Fungi have the coolest names - if they let kids at school know that they could go out into the woods and see Dead-man's Fingers, Stinkhorns and Witches Butter then we might have a few more naturalists coming through the ranks.


Graham James said...

Gordon and I have the birch twigs ready, Steve!
I don't think many birders are totally faithful to one site alone and why should they be?
You are an all-rounder when it comes to nature and devoting all your time to one patch would be limiting.

Kingsdowner said...

Somewhat unnecessary self-flagellation there!
And the fungus looks like what made Beddington SF famous.

Steve Gale said...

Graham, you are very lenient! Let's hope Gordon is just as forgiving.

Steve, you have given me an idea as to an English name for this species! Have you got the new Kent flora yet?

Kingsdowner said...

The mind boggles with possibilities - Gale's Poo, perhaps?

I did indeed receive the Flora for Christmas,and will comment in due course. Hope you're enjoying it.