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Sphaerophoria scripta
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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
no 1113963
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Visit Our CentreEFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkIn response to the coronavirus problem and the Government's recommendations, the EFC Green Centre public activities will be closed until further notice.

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This forum has now been more or less replaced by the Club's Facebook page at
Essex Field Club on Facebook

The weblog below is for naturalists to use to report interesting sightings, ask questions, report on field meetings and generally post pictures and any information or questions generally relevant in some way to the wildlife and geology of Essex. You will need to register and be logged-on to post to the forum, and you need to upload pictures first, for use in posts. Find out more

Fri 30th November 2012 20:27 by Mary Smith
Winter is at hand
I have just been reading the recent offerings of birds, fungi, a caterpillar, and other forms of life, seen in different places by different folk during November. However, we all woke up to a sharp frost this morning; not just a ground frost, but an airfrost, which is the 'real' one, producing white lawns and also white trees and white roofs. My husband walked through a park in Hornchurch this afternoon and saw frost on shady patches of grassland at the warmest part of the day: about 1:30 to 2:00pm, when it got to 4.2°C.  Forecasters say we will have a repeat performance tomorrow morning. So November is almost past, and real frosts usher in December, a strong taste of winter. There is still a chance of finding Field Blewits, aka Blue Legs, Lepista saeva, one of my favourite ones to eat. And soon we should be finding Velvet Shank, Flamulina velutipes, which is frost hardy and can be found all through the winter but, although definitely edible, one has to wonder whether it is worth the effort of collecting for the pan as its taste is so mild that whatever you cook it in will cover up its own flavour. Meanwhile, birds of any kind seem scarce in our garden now, with the exception of a Magpie or two, a Wood Pigeon or two, and the ever-present Ring-necked Parakeets. Yes, we live in suburbia, but even here we normally see more birds than this. I suppose that the wettest spring since records began has killed huge numbers of young nestlings, so now we are missing new adults. We also missed wasps all summer and autumn, but I have to say that I am less worried about them!  I just hope that next year will be a hot dry one, but the turbulent weather of this year is undoubtedly due to global warming, so we can only say that next year is likely to be even more turbulent. We wait to see.....


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