Saturday, 19 April 2014
Tuesday, 15 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
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 date 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?
Monday, 3 February 2014
Saturday, 25 January 2014
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
Friday, 3 January 2014
In 2012 this micro-moth was trapped and wrongly identified. It was thought to be new to the area and photographs were sent to the county recorder at Keele university. Re-examination by Dave Emley shows it is the Nationally scarce moth, Lampronia fuscatella.
It was 14mm long, it favours birch and was seen on 27th May. It is a first for the county and indeed is unknown in the Midlands and beyond. Most records are around the coast and along the Welsh border.
Clearly, the distinguishing feature is the orange-yellow tuft on the head and a slightly purplish sheen to the wings. It has a common name of “scarce bright”.
Monday, 19 August 2013
Cnephasia genitalana was seen on 13th August and again on 14th. It was verified by Mike Dale. This micro moth is known from southern and eastern counties of England and a few locations in south Wales. Why it turns up in Hammerwich is difficult to answer, but it could easily be overlooked or mis-identified by moth enthusiasts. There are three moths of very similar appearance. Its food plant is ragwort and buttercup and there is plenty in the parish. Another sort of treasure!
Cochylidia implicitana was trapped on August 10th, but it has taken a time to verify this moth. It is its first appearance in Staffordshire and is not known in the Midlands. Sightings have generally been near the south east coastal counties. It could well be a moth whose distribution is moving north and west.