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February 2013

posted 6 Mar 2013, 08:24 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 6 Mar 2013, 08:51 ]
Pipe Green covered by snow
A fairly quiet month for the Green, with some very mixed weather. Sometimes it felt as though Spring was around the corner and then the next day it was firmly back in the grips of Winter. On one of the sunnier days, Bob Russon managed to take this fantastic picture of a heron sitting by Leomansley ponds. Looks as though he is about to catch his breakfast!

Image to the right courtesy of Bob Russon, Lichfield & District Local RSPB Group
Pipe Green covered by snow
Another sign that Spring is on the way is this small patch of snowdrops on a bank near Leomansley House. A welcome sight on what feels to be a long and grey winter. Other signs of life include the emergence of the leaves of the cuckoo pint or lords and ladies This belongs to the Arum family but is probably more recognisable in the Autumn with its striking orange berries.
Pipe Green covered by snow
Just to illustrate that small is beautiful, I took this photograph of what I think (although I am no expert on these matters) a common orange lichen that was growing on a tree branch. When you look at this lichen closely, you can see that it has an amazing structure. Lichens are a symbiotic organism containing both fungal and algal cells, where the fungus provides the structure and the algae the food. The orange colour is due to a pigment known as parietin, which is produced by the fungal cells and protects the algal cells from too much sunlight. What must be your ultimate sunscreen!