Dead nettle

Dead nettle

Yesterday’s hedge sparrow wasn’t a sparrow. And now a dead nettle which isn’t actually a nettle. It gets its name because the plants look very similar to nettles, and they are dead, i.e. harmless, lacking any sting.

Jelly ear fungus

Jelly ear fungus

The upper surface of this fungus is folded so looks with a little imagination like a copy of a human ear moulded in brownish jelly.

It used to be known as the Jew’s ear fungus. It commonly grows from the trunk or branches of an elder tree. According to tradition this was also the tree from which Judas Iscariot hung himself.

The specimen below is about as close as it gets to actually resembling an ear.

Ear fungus

House spider

House spider

These house spiders are normally seen in late summer and autumn, when the males go off in search of females, fall into a bath or sink, and are unable to get out unaided.

This one managed to get itself into the same difficulty in March.