November 2009

Lisette and I went for a walk in the forest 'behind our house' today. There's a path leading up to what's called Dal Palland about two minutes away by foot. Along this path we found a couple of very impressive mushrooms. In dutch we can call these Parasolzwammen, which is a name for an entire family of mushrooms. In English I'm not sure if I do these same, so I'll stay safe and call them 'mushrooms from the Macrolepiota family'. Very big these things were anyway. Lisette kept her hand beside one to show the size.
Further along we found more mushrooms, among which a couple that were mere fragments of the size of the Macrolepiota's (2nd picture below). Also some very strange shaped ones, we later found these are called Zakjestrilzwam in Dutch, (Peck) Seaver in English (and Ascotremella faginea is it's scientific name).


Went for another walk in the forest today. In Dal Palland we came across a very impressive Porcini (Boletus edulis, Gewoon Eekhoorntjesbrood in Dutch). This species lives in symbiosis with oaks, a tree that was growing about 15 meters away. The mushroom shown on the picture below is the fruit body of this fungus. There's a vast underground network (mycelium) that is connected to the roots of the oak. The mycelium expands the surface area of the oak's roots, providing the plant with more minerals and water than it could otherwise reach. The fungus in turn receives carbohydrates from the oak, a substance the fungus cannot produce on it's own.
A bit further along, around the same place where we'd seen two back in September, we came across a Red Squirrel (Sciurus Vulgaris, Eekhoorn in Dutch). Very quick and agile, so a bit hard to photogrpah, escpecially in poor light. So the picture below is a bit unshapr, but it'll have to do.
A bit further along still we came across some other interesting mushrooms, Shaggy Ink Caps (Coprinus comatus, Geschubte Inktzwam in Dutch). They were mature, as can be seen by the fact they are very inky and that there's only a small bit of cap left. The ink contains the spores, which I think are then distributed by water. A while ago, I took a couple of these mushrooms from Lisette's parent's garden and 'inoculated' a patch of soil in our back garden with the ink. No idea if that'll work, but we'll see (or not).
Not that we haven't got some excellent mushrooms in our garden as it is. The ones on one of the treetrunks in our back garden are looking very nice indeed.


When I looked out the window right after getting up this morning it was very foggy. We could hardly see the trees on the lateral moraine. By the time we walked into Dal Palland, the fog had pretty much dissipated. It had left a lot of dew on the fields in Dal Palland though, which was rapidly evaporating under the suddenly strong sunshine. It was really beautiful, it looked like smoke was rising from the fields.
In the field where on October 25th I photographed some beautiful Fly Argarics we now found a very beautiful Porcini (Boletus edulis, Gewoon Eekhoorntjesbrood in Dutch).
Further along in the forest I photographed a tiny mushroom. I found one by turning over some leaves earlier during the walk but didn't photograph that. It wasn't long after that I regretted that, so when we walked in an area with lots of leaves covering the soil, I tried to find one again. It was of course very easy, as countless numbers of these small mushrooms belonging to hard working fungi are making sure all those leaves are digested. The minerals will return to the soil for the tree to use when it starts to make new leaves.


The neighbours of my mom have moved out of their rented house and the housing corporation decided to cut down a pretty large Silver Birch (Betula pendula, Ruwe Berk in Dutch). My mom's husband Ton aranged a couple of trunks for me! :) I've placed them in the back garden, but by the time I'm writing this (a couple of days later), we've put the biggest of the trunks in the garage to dry so we can place it in the livingroom. :)
I've put up a birdfeeder a little while ago. Of course the Great Tits (Parus major, Koolmees in Dutch) and Blue Tits (Parus caeruleus, Pimpelmees in Dutch) were the first to notice. Great Tits spill a lot of seeds as they seem to only be interested in sunflower seeds, throwing aside pretty much everything else. But the Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs, Vink in Dutch) and Dunnocks (Prunella modularis, Heggenmus in Dutch) don't mind. After a little while Marsh Tits (Parus palustris, Glanskop in Dutch) also started to visit frequently. I expected Greenfinches (Carduelis chloris, Groenling in Dutch) as well, and after a little wait I wasn't dissappointed. :)
Now I'm waiting for the first Coal Tit (Parus ater, Zwarte Mees in Dutch) and seeing a Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla again would be excellent as well...


I noticed an interesting plant growing in our garden today. It's not like it's tiny, but I guess I didn't notice it before because it's growing a bit in the back corner. Either way, I don't know what species it is. It lookes like something from the Scirpus genus (a Bulrush in English if I'm not mistaken). We'll see I guess! :)
The Spotted Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum, Gevlekte Dovenetel in Dutch) is still looking beautiful with it's big flowers. It just keeps on going. :)


During a walk at Wylerberglake I saw a beautiful Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis, Ijsvogel in Dutch), which I didn't manage to photograph unfortunately. I did get the Goosander (Mergus merganser, Grote Zaagbek in Dutch) on a picture, though I've seen better photographs of this beautiful bird. I did get a nicer look at it through my binoculars though. :)

We went for a walk in the forest again today. Not long after entering Dal Palland we came across some mountainbikers... It's forbidden to ride a bike in this forest, so we told the three men so. Of course, like usual, we got stupid responses. These people know they're doing something that's not allowed but do it anyway. They probably think they're not causing any harm. But it's very, very dangerous to cycle in this forest. Not so much for themselves, I don't care if they hurt themselves doing stuff that's not allowed, but this forest is full of differences in height. So cyclists can pick up quite some speed descending. Of course the paths aren't straight either, so they're can't possibly see around all the turns. It's dangerous for adults walking in the forest, getting hit by a mountainbiker at high speed can easily cause broken bones. But on a sunday at around 11, there's plenty of people with small children in the forest as well. If a small child is hit by a biker it's very likely this child would even get fataly injured!
But it's not just dangerous for people. Bicycles on paths meant for hikers speed up erosion of the paths. Also, there are plenty of rare and beautiful plants growing only just beside the paths that are easily destroyed by a mountainbiker trying to stay on the sometimes narrow paths.
I'd like it if the Dutch Forestry Commision (Staatsbosbeheer), who owns this forest, would do something about this (which is why I've sent them an email about this today). It wouldn't be bad if there would be some more patroles, they might tell people to keep their dogs leashed as well. I like to see Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus, Ree in Dutch) sometimes, but at broad daylight, running scared through the forest because a dog scared it out of hiding? No thanks...
Near the end of our walk, which was pretty much ruined by frustration caused by the cyclists, we saw something nice afterall. At first I thought I heard a woodpecker doing it's work, but then I noticed a Nuthatch (Sitta europaea, Boomklever in Dutch) working very hard hacking into something. The picture below isn't great, but it shows a bit of the hard work it was putting into it.


As I was brushing my teeth this morning I noticed a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major, Grote Bonte Specht in Dutch) on the birdfeeder! Now the list of birds I've seen in our garden (not birds flying over it, but only birds that were actually in our garden) counts 30 species (among which one species with two sub-species, the Long-tailed Tit/White-headed Long-tailed tit). Below is the updated list, a bit different than the one I posted back in november 2008.

  • Coal Tit (Parus ater, Zwarte Mees)
  • Siskin (Carduelis spinus, Sijs)
  • Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris, Groenling)
  • Blackbird (Turdus merula, Merel)
  • Dunnock (Prunella modularis, Heggenmus)
  • Great Tit (Parus major, Koolmees)
  • Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus, Pimpelmees)
  • Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs, Vink)
  • Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto, Turkse Tortel)
  • Jackdaw (Corvus monedula, Kauw)
  • Tree Sparrow (Passer montanes, Ringmus)
  • Robin (Erithacus rubecula, Roodborst)
  • Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes, Winterkoning)
  • Brambling (Fringilla Montifringilla, Keep)
  • Magpie (Pica pica, Ekster)
  • Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos, Zanglijster)
  • Racing Pigeon (Columbia livia forma domestica, Stadsduif)
  • Whitethroat (Sylvia communis, Grasmus)
  • Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybitaTjif Tjaf)
  • House Sparrow (Passer domesticus, Huismus)
  • White Wagtail (Motacilla alba, Witte Kwikstaart)
  • Common Swift (Apus apus, Gierzwaluw)
  • Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus, Houtduif)
  • Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla, Zwartkop)
  • Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus, Staartmees)
  • White-headed Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus caudatus, Witkopstaartmees)
  • Marsh Tit (Parus palustris, Glanskop)
  • Goldcrest (Regulus regulus, Goudhaan)
  • Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus, Kokmeeuw)
  • Short-toed Tree Creeper (Certhia brachydactyla, Boomkruiper)
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major, Grote Bonte Specht)