Hammerwich Treasure

Hammerwich Treasure
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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Pammene giganteana–now known as the early oak piercer

1227 Pammene giganteana April 2014(1)1227 Pammene giganteana April 2014

This micro-moth is on the National Scarce List B and is new to south-east Staffordshire. It was last recorded in the County in 2010. It has only ever been recorded in April for Staffordshire and this male just made it on April 1st. The larvae feed inside oak apple galls.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Hammerwich Hoard latest

An article entitled “Staffordshire Hoard was accumulated over decades” appeared in the May/June issue of “British Archaeology”.
It concluded the hoard was “the prize collection of an individual of power”. So clearly, the current measured view is that it was owned by someone who was at the level of a warrior kingship. If the bell3date of burial is now moving towards A.D.650 – 655 it points to Penda of Tamworth. However, if the crumpled cross could have been attached to the front cover of a Christian book such as a Gospel, and the pectoral cross is that of a bishop (it is strikingly similar to Cuthbert’s cross) and the decorated handle that is described as mysterious could instead be the handle to a bishop’s hand-bell, then a second individual of power is involved. The only one known to Mercia at this time is Bishop Diuma, but it could also be a roving bishop from elsewhere. All this is beginning to show the hoard is a window to relationships at the top of a Mercian hierarchy. 
And another conjecture. Is it really true there is no feminine piece in the hoard? There are two lentoid brooches which look remarkably like the tortoise brooches worn by women at shoulder or breast level to connect their clothing. Is this the Queen’s contribution to the deposition?
breast plate 2breast plate possible

Monday, 3 February 2014

Early moths

 March moth, two oak beauties, dotted border and pale brindled beauty.
1926 pale brindled beauty 1

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Fungi seen only occasionally

 Exidia thuretiana Netherton Green Jan 2014 (2)Phellodon melaleucus Netherton Green Jan 2014 (2)

On the left is Exidia thuretiana and can only be seen in this form after much rain.
On the right is Phellodon melaleucus in prime condition because it later turns dark and even black. Both were recorded from Netherton Green at Lion’s Den on Hall Lane.

 This is Daldinia concentrica or Cramp ball and below is Sarcocypha coccinea or Scarlet elf cup. Both were seen at RSPB reserve at Middleton.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Garden spider

Araneus diadematus Garden or Cross or Cross orb-weaver spider (1)Araneus diadematus Garden or Cross or Cross orb-weaver spider (2)
Also called the cross or cross orb-weaver spider.
It appears in a garden from June to October, but this one was after moths in January.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Out of season

 1728 Garden carpet 15 Jan 20142240 Blair's shoulder knot 15 Jan 2014

On the left is a garden carpet and on the right is a Blair’s shoulder knot. Nothing uncommon about these two moths, but both appeared on the morning of January 16th. The garden carpet is normally seen from April to September and the Blair’s shoulder knot in October and November. It is possible that both are late and somehow have survived the gales, rain and frost. Alternatively, they could have emerged from pupae early with the recent mild temperatures. Whatever has gone on has raised eyebrows of several expert “mothers”.