The Ear Muff

I look down the garden, eyes dipped below the sash window frame. If I sit upright it disappears. A crow. Our windfalls were intended for the local thrush community but the jays, magpies and carrion crows have muscled in. Nearer and to the right of me, the tiny goldcrest contrasts brightly with the thuggish corvid. I watched a crow harrassing a sparrowhawk a day or so ago. They swagger in the air. One jousted with a disinterested buzzard last week. The hawk droppped onto a pylon. Game over. Go away crow.

I bought a Salix caprea pendula this morning. I read about Salix caprea in the latest Gardener’s World. George explained it is mainly used for hedging but recommended the pendula variety as a more compact, attractive specimen tree. I have just the spot for it. An excellent addition for wildlife. I may still plant the bare-rooted hedge saplings. 95p each. It would be rude not to.

I always do a fungi walk and today I found this, which I have decided is the Ear Muff fungus. I am sure it has a scientific name but that will have to wait. Judging by the shape I think this would suit a front-row rugby player, prop or hooker. fungus1

I have reblogged a post about Porcupine, a splended magazine that deserves its comeback. I hope you dip into this. The post is by Graham Reels, also author of Sevens, as we are almost on a rugby theme. Don’t be fooled by the French site. Its perfectly safe and the book is in English. It seems that Odonatologists just want to have fun.

Tomorow is another train up to London day. Interview number three. Then the excitement mounts on Tuesday – new stair carpet. Wednesday is almost beyond belief – new woodburner. Thursday is a blank, much as most of my life has been. Who knows what Friday will hold? Well I do. The Christmas tree arrives. 7′ tall and a godsend for Lulu. A proper tree instead of a ‘litter tray’. I set her on a cat this morning. She barked ferociously. At me. And the cat turned away in disgust. Oh well, the temperature is dropping so I suppose I ought to get the ear muffs out. Would I look good in burnt umber?

26 thoughts on “The Ear Muff

  1. You would, I think, look good in burnt umber. What a glorious photo, Andrew.

    Personally I’m quite fond of crows and jays but I’m perverse that way. Your Salix will be wonderful.

    • It has been said that I would look good burnt, Melissa. Umber is a bonus. I like corvids too. Intelligent birds. Thanks for commenting 😊

  2. Are those sort of fungi edible or poisonous? You’ve had a mild winter return to the UK so far fingers crossed it continues or are you hoping for a white Christmas? Any hoo have a fabulous time.
    Best wishes Charlotte

    • Charlotte, I assume all fungi are poisonous unless I am 100% sure otherwise. Just having a quiet ‘settling in’ Christmas but the tree arrives today. Have a lovely time. Andrew

  3. Handsome muff fungus, Andrew. I am assuming a Polypore sp. and I have never seen a furry one…aside from the mycelia of a fungus attacking another fungus.
    Quite busy week you have on tap…thank goodness for Thursday.

  4. We are supposed to trap the Indian Mina, but who can trap birds? The parrots seem capable of fighting them off quite well. In any case, our J.Russell Terrior, monsieur Milo has taught them a couple of lessons. I like the fungi shot.

  5. We often see little birds harassing the bigger ones, in groups of two or three. It seems there’s strength in numbers. The honey eaters gang up on lone magpies, who just sit and ignore them with disdain. Crows might be a different matter.

    • Mobbing is quite common. Small birds will try to drive away predators, usually birds of prey but also cats, snakes and occasionally people (Arctic Terns for example). We don’t have honeyeaters here but I’ve seen a fair few down under.

      • Magpies become very aggressive during nesting season in spring and swoop unsuspecting passers-by. The rest of the time they are quite nice birds but the honeyeaters would disagree with me!

  6. It’s most definitely the rugby player’s “cauliflower ear”! The idea of a “fungus walk” sounds like a good one, and one I’ve never done. But first I need a book for ID purposes. I shall attend to it. Fungus often goes unnoticed unless it’s in-my-face spectacular.

  7. Need to see the new tree as we have to put some trees in the new garden. Hope Lulu enjoys her new “litter tree”

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