Saturday, 15 May 2010

The Wall at Rushend (1)

Many is the time I have driven along the gated lane from Falstone to Lanehead, following the line of the long-since redundant Border Counties Railway. The lane follows a contour along the valley side; the River North Tyne is below you to your right, the overgrown old trackbed alternately to one or the other side as bridges are crossed. In places the lane is separated from the occasional field, but more often from rough upland grassland, by post and wire fences. In other places, old field walls remain, some holding on, the majority decaying, tumbling and in places breached. At Thorneyburn, the level crossing gates are always open now but if your imagination ran away with you, you might still hear a distant train, whistling for them to be closed against you, or see a whiff of smoke rising from the brick chimney of the still-surviving plate-layer's hut.

Between Thorneyburn and Rushend the field wall is home to numerous species of lichen, and it was seeing Cladonias growing there on the moss which caused me to stop and take a closer look.

Looking westwards along the wall towards Thorneyburn station, beside the greening trees

The gaps between the coping stones were like miniature canyons, in places filled with forests of tiny Cladonia (and moss as in this first picture) ...


Using a penny to give scale to the Cladonia

All of them I think are Cladonia diversa

Looking down on a large group of Cladonia

A closer view of a smaller group

Here, the red apothecia have become confluent, covering the whole of the top of the cup

In following parts I will describe other lichens found living on the wall at Rushend.

9 comments:

McFingon said...

I enjoyed reading your posts. I've never seen this kind of vegetation so thank you for sharing. I'll come visit again.

Wilma said...

Wonderful macros; a whole new world.
Cheers,
Wilma

sebi_2569 said...

very interesant blog;and beautiful photo, bravo

holdingmoments said...

Fascinating Emma. Like Wilma says, a whole new world. Great macros, and good to have the penny for size comparison. Those last two shots are amazing.

Emma Anderson said...

Thank you everyone for your comments: Keith and especially the visitors above from Romania, Canada and Belize.

kirstallcreatures said...

I really like the first landscape shot of the dry stone wall Emma. The lichen pics are coming along a treat, I'm enjoying the diversity of colours and forms. I keep an eye out for them on my adventures but find identfication a little tricky. Best wishes, Linda

irishwildlifephotography said...

Although tiny and insignificant looking at first glance, the lichens are so intricate and beautiful close up. Great pictures.

Roy said...

Lovely old dry stone walls Emma.

Emma Anderson said...

Thanks too to Linda, Kevin and Roy for your kind comments.