Reelig Glen- 13 February 2016

The sun shone in a nearly clear sky most of the morning and early afternoon, but on the forest footpath at the base of Reelig Glen while the light above was welcome there was very little heat penetrating down to the shadows beneath the very tall trees.  Seventeen TDFC members took the short path, anti-clockwise, round the deepest part of the glen.

John Miller led us and explained the interest, the biology and the physics of some of Scotland’s, and Britain’s, tallest trees.  The depth of the glen and the protection this offered and the natural prevelance for the trees to stretch up toward the light, and the fashion for planting favoured tree species over the past 140 or so years has made Reelig Glen the calm place we now enjoy, and the fruitfulness for

The species list below demonstrates the variety Reelig offered even in mid-February.

13/02/16 Reelig Glen
NH 54 NH 55 42 NH 55 43 Notes

Erithacus rubecula Robin
Milvus milvus Red Kite
Buteo buteo Buzzard
Certhia familiaris Treecreeper

Talpa europaea Mole Mole hills
Sciurius vulguris Red Squirrel Drey & cones

Xylaria carpophila Beechmast Candlesnuff Fungus
Sparassis crispa Cauliflower fungus
Exidiopsis effusa Hair ice fungus B.Ing – Lots of hair ice seen
Eutypa scabrosa B.Ing
Melanomma pulvis-pyrius B.Ing
Propolis versicolor B.Ing

Asplenium (Phyllitis) scolopendrium
Asplenium trichomanes
Blechnum spicant
Dryopteris affinis agg
Dryopteris dilatata
Dryopteris filx-mas
Polystichium aculeatum Shield-fern, Hard

Abies alba Fir, European Silver
Abies procera Fir, Noble
Larix decidua Larch, European Champion
Picea abies Spruce, Norway Champion
Picea jezoensis Spruce, Hondo
Picea sitchensis Spruce, Sitka
Pseudostuga menziesii Fir, Douglas Dughall Mòr ;  tallest in Scotland
(66.4m, 4.56m circumferance)
Taxus baccata Yew
Tsuga heterophylla Hemlock-spruce, Western

Flowering Plants
Calluna vulgaris Heather
Chrysosplenium oppositifolium Saxifrage, Opposite-leaved Golden
Fagus sylvatica Beech
Geranium robertianum Herb-robert
Hedera helix Ivy
Ilex aquifolium Holly
Juncus effusus Rush, Soft-
Luzula sylvatica Wood-rush, Greater
Oxalis acetosella Wood-sorrel
Ranunculus repens Buttercup, Creeping
Rhododendron ponticum Rhododendron
Rubus fruticosus Bramble / Blackberry
Rubus idaeus Raspberry
Rumex obtusifolius Dock, Broad-leaved
Tilia europaea (x) Lime Tallest in Britain
Vaccinium myrtillus Bilberry
Veronica montana Speedwell, Wood
Viola riviniana Dog-violet, Common

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2 Responses to “Reelig Glen- 13 February 2016”

  1. David McAllister (from Dr Bruce Ing) says:

    Dear David
    Many thanks for the parcel which arrived this morning.

    I have some doubts about the real connection between hair ice and Exidiopsis effusa. However the material you sent did have a small flat fruit body of E. effusa and there were also traces of Eutypa scabrosa, Melanomma pulvis-pyrius and Propolis versicolor.

    The last two are common but the others are not! What a shame that you were in Inverness-shire not Ross!
    The only grid squares now needing our attention in E. Ross are NH 13,23,24,25,37,47 and 57. The response has been very good!

    Thanks again, and all good wishes

    (Fungal records added to species list above – DWM)

  2. David McAllister says:

    TDFC members have now 7 record for the supposedly rare hair ice, which appears to be relatively common in the cold humid conditions we have this year.

    Hair ice forms in conditions of high humidity when the temperature is near 0°C. It forms on branches which have no bark. The crystals are in the region of 0.02mm diameter which matches the diameter of medullary rays or [1] in wood.

    The crystals should recrystalise into larger crystals and should melt if the temperature rises above 0°C – they don’t do either which indicates the presence of an antifreeze! Hair ice will often form on the same branch over several years but stops forming if the branch is treated with a fungicide.

    So the formation scenario is:
    Ice crystal are forced out of medullary rays and are stabilised by a substance which acts as an antifreeze, released by the mould Exidiopsis effuse.
    The latter needs further research to confirm.