Tuesday, 18 August 2015

I Didn't know Holly Ferns could do this!

Here is a photo of Hutton Roof's Holly Fern No. 2 which was taken on the 2nd July 2015

Holly Fern No.2 on 2nd July 2015 - Note predation - Click over photo to enlarge
So here we have a photo of the Holly Fern No.2 taken on 2nd July 2015.  So this is a photo shortly after predation by a possible Roe Deer.  Four of the original fronds have been bitten off completely, leaving four mature fronds.

The next photo I want to show you is the one I have taken today on 18th August 2015 and you will see there is six mature fronds.  So you will see that the two new additional mature fronds are a much lighter colour than the four existing much darker fronds.

Holly Fern No. 2 on 18th August 2015 - Note two replacement Fronds have grown which are far lighter in colour
(Click over photo to enlarge)
I was very surprised to find that two new replacement fronds have grown during the six weeks since I checked it out last.  Although the new ones are fully mature, they are a far lighter green in colour than the existing four fronds.

On the next photo (taken today 18th August 2015) you will note the "sori" from one of the existing fronds, and just like you would expect they are a rusty brown in colour.

Here is the "sori" on the back of the existing fronds
The next photo I want to show you is the sori on the back of one of the new fronds and as you can see they are much "fresher" and of a creamier colour.

Here is the "sori" on the back of the new fronds
I was yet again very surprised to see just what Mother Nature can do, showing us that in a matter of six weeks (or probably less) two new fronds have come through in replacement of four original fronds that had been previously predated,  It seems really strange to have two of the fronds a much lighter colour density and even more strange to see the sori at two different stages on the same plant.

For anyone who already knows this particular plant (Holly Fern No.2) is a strange one to start with in so much that it is intertwined at the root with its cousin the Hard Shield Fern ("Aculeatum") and you will probably see from the 18th August photo above that a small runt frond has formed yet again which it does in most years. 2013 runt had matured into a full frond for the 2014 season.  Though the 2014 runt did come through but just never developed. We have in the past had the bottom "pinnae" examined with further analysis for chromosome testing, with the results coming back confirming "Aculeatum".  So it is being watched with much interest to see if there are initial indications that maybe one of these days the "hybrid" will come through.

Leaving that aside the birdlife was a lot quieter, just as you would expect, but a pleasant surprise to see a single Stonechat present in Dalton, along with a party of about ten hawking Swallows, and a Kestrel which let me walk past it within some 20 yards. I said to myself, I wonder if I can get past this bird without disturbing it! and yes I walked "gingerely and slowly past looking back occasionally to see if the birds was still there and you could see it looking across at me, but sure enough it stayed there and continued its observational hunting.

The bracken should any day now start receding, you can see it becoming heavily scared with browing here and there.  Strange to see Fox and Cubs up here in Dalton, but sure enough sitting proud as punch at the side of the track and posing for this photo:

Fox and Cubs in Dalton
Antler Moth just has I entered Hutton Roof Common
Some beautiful "rare" Southern polypody
Dark Green Fritillary  much worn and probably in its last hour