17 January 2014


Did you know that Beatrix Potter took two bird skulls on holiday with her?  We'll be revealing more about Beatrix Potter and her holidays at Hill Top and the Beatrix Potter Gallery this year.

The skeletons I've been looking at are those of winter trees up on Claife Heights on the west shore of Windermere. 

The larch branch looks creepily like an elbow.

Winter oaks against a backdrop of yachts on Windermere

The smooth bark of a grand old beech

As mentioned last week, we do get a lot of rain around here.  Rainfall is generally higher in the west of Britain which is not so good for sunbathing and BBQs but excellent for all sorts of mosses, lichens and liverworts.  We tend to take it for granted that our winter trees, rocks and anything which stands still for too long becomes festooned in cloaks of brilliant green - until someone comes from the dreary south or east and raves about them!

Moss tends to grow on the north side of trees.  This is shaded from the sun so doesn't tend to dry out.  So, if you're lost in a wood ........  The same applies to algae so woods often have a green tinge on their north side.  This is why I hadn't noticed the moss and ferns on this tree on Claife Heights before.  I usually do the walk from Claife Viewing Station northwards through the wood and then return along the lake shore.  One day I did it the other way round - a completely different view.

How many different types of moss can you find?