Saturday 6 February 2021

Cycle ride, lichen and an old way marker

With the forecast for the weekend being for rain and then snow and the weather over the past few days not having been great, I decided to take the chance with a little bit of sunshine yesterday afternoon to go for a short cycle ride into the countryside. 

I've been reading up on lichen recently and it is amazing how many different species there are here in the UK! Looks like there's a lot to learn and some close up photography required

Right now I am not sure what the lichen on the left hand side of this branch is but I think on the right is another example of Xanthoria polycarpa. The tree that it was on I think was a larch looking at the few remaining cones on it. 

This tree was in a small patch on ancient woodland where Catterton Lane crosses the old Roman Road from Tadcaster to York, now marked as part of the Ebor Way footpath. I am looking forward to the bluebells and wild garlic that carpet these woods in Spring! 

On the opposite side of the road, being taken over by brambles and moss is what looks like a boundary stone or maybe even an milepost from the old road. The old route will probably have been in use until the building of the turnpike road which follows the more modern route of the A64. Walking along the old Roman road, I am always very conscious of the way in which the track has been worn into the earth by centuries of pedestrians, horses and carts. Maybe even the army of the Earl of Newcastle in 1642 during the Civil War

Once through Catterton and up the long hill towards Bilbrough, there's a junction and turning left this will lead past Normans Farm to the road between Askham Richard and Healaugh. From this road on a clear day you can see not only back towards Tadcaster and the breweries in the distance, but also looking north west, Armscliffe Crag in the far distance. 

With the sun quite low in the sky by mid-afternoon at this time of year I took the opportunity to experiment with the "Sunset" setting on the camera (though of course you could achieve this by changing the aperture, exposure and iso settings manually). I noticed this dead tree with a lonely crow on it and lining up this with the sun behind the clouds I created what I have entitled "Post-Apocalyptic Crow"!

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