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David

First velvet shank fungus of the year

Velvet shank

Velvet shanks are one of the few winter fungi. The fruiting bodies can survive freezing and then still product spores.

Velvet shank

This clump was growing on a stump, the normal habitat for this mushroom.

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David

Canalside former warehouses

Former canalside warehouse

Former warehouses backing onto the Birmingham canal near Horseley Fields. Pictured within minutes of each other. The one building was by an unfrozen stretch of the canal; the other, just around a corner, by a stretch where the ice cover was still all but complete.

Former canalside warehouse

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David

Squirrel footprints in the snow

Squirrel footprints in snow

Footprints left by a grey squirrel in a thin layer of snow. More on the bird prints which are also there in a couple of days.

Squirrel footprints in snow

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David

Kestrel

Kestrel

Another grab shot with a hand-held camera.

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David

Deep fox footprints

Deep fox footprints

Fox footprints in snow several inches deep.

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David

Woodpecker

Woodpecker, snow

A grab shot with a hand-held camera on a dismal day.

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David

Giant hogweed by a frozen canal

Giant hogweed in the snow

This giant hogweed was on the snowy bank of the frozen Staffs and Worcs canal near Castlecroft.

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David

Heron in snowy larches

Heron in the Compton lock larches

The larches are the trees behind Compton lock, where this heron can often be found on the lookout. These pictures were taken on Boxing Day, when the trees were weighed down with snow and ice.

Heron in the Compton lock larches

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David

Icy hazel catkins

Frozen hazel catkins

Hazel catkins encased in ice.

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David

Snowdrop

Snowdrops

This snowdrop was coming into bloom yesterday by Kinver church.

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David

Swans on an icy canal

Swan on a partially frozen canal

Swans on the partially frozen Staffs and Worcs canal at Castlecroft (above) and Compton (below).

Swan on a partially frozen canal

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David

Black-poplar catkins

Hybrid black-poplar catkins

This series of pictures of black-poplar catkins was taken yesterday.

Hybrid black-poplar catkins

My reference sources, some 20-30 years old, give the flowering season as March/April.

Hybrid black-poplar catkins