Saturday, 7 March 2009

A touch of the Highlands

This is the Scarlet Elf Cup, a small fungal fruiting body that grows on dead wood in leaf litter on the forest floor. I found this and many others growing in the leaf litter near the Station at Millers Dale in the Peak District National Park this morning. This is not a common fungus in these parts.

On to the Highlands - well, just north of Ipstones in Staffordshire
We have been driving past this farm for years, seeing the herd of Highland Cattle grazing on the pasture. They are a very hardy breed, able to withstand very wet and cold weather. Another advantageous characteristic of this breed is that they can survive on low quality pasture, eating plants and other vegetation that most cattle would leave alone.

Most breeds of cattle in the UK are de-horned at a very early age, but it is traditional to leave the horn on the Highland breed - they are often referred to as longhorns.
The bull was around today and it was worth a photo-stop to capture an image of this sturdy animal. He was resting on the ground and obliged me by standing up when I approached on the high bank next to the pasture. These are usually quite placid beast, but I was more secure with a good fence between me and him.

1 comment:

Helen said...

Nice picture of the bull, Paul. He looks a fine specimen, and its lovely to see different breeds to the ones that are usually seen in the fields, ie black and white! Have just been walking with Rosie in the Peak District, over at her blog. A lovely day, I would imagine. Nice to get out and away from the town and onto high ground.