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Its a hard life for some !

Funny things tortoises.

When I was a kid the pet shops used to sell them for so little they practically the rag and bone mans give away, - like goldfish.

Even Blue Peter had one, called FRED with its name on its shell, and when they found out it was female they had to paint an ectra letter on and call it FREDA

If you left them in the garden they could disappear for months but eventually they did come back.

In the winter you had to take great care with hibernation (Blue Peter explained this every year when FRED / FREDA hibernated) as although it was natural it was a major cause of tortoise mortality.

Then for years you NEVER saw a tortoise, it was as though they had either been banned or had become extinct.

The ones you do see as pets now cost an absolute fortune and I am not sure that you don't actually need some sort of licence / paperwork to keep some of the rarer varieties.

It's almost as though, quite rightly, that they have become a protected species.

I do know that when they were cheap and plentiful many of them were imported into this country under the most appaling conditions and many of them did not survive the journey. This also used to happen with exotic birds like parrots.

Hopefully this "trade" has now been stopped.

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Kingfisher on the River Don next to Norfolk Bridge. As fish now thrive in our rivers and Canal, so do the birds that rely on them for food.

She's back!   W/E.

The plant I know as traveller's joy (old man's beard is another name for it, properly known as clematis vitalba) en mass near Broughton Lane bridge, August 2019.

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Funny things tortoises.

When I was a kid the pet shops used to sell them for so little they practically the rag and bone mans give away, - like goldfish.

Even Blue Peter had one, called FRED with its name on its shell, and when they found out it was female they had to paint an ectra letter on and call it FREDA

If you left them in the garden they could disappear for months but eventually they did come back.

In the winter you had to take great care with hibernation (Blue Peter explained this every year when FRED / FREDA hibernated) as although it was natural it was a major cause of tortoise mortality.

Then for years you NEVER saw a tortoise, it was as though they had either been banned or had become extinct.

The ones you do see as pets now cost an absolute fortune and I am not sure that you don't actually need some sort of licence / paperwork to keep some of the rarer varieties.

It's almost as though, quite rightly, that they have become a protected species.

I do know that when they were cheap and plentiful many of them were imported into this country under the most appaling conditions and many of them did not survive the journey. This also used to happen with exotic birds like parrots.

Hopefully this "trade" has now been stopped.

I totally agree with you Dave, how cruel we were in those days. (I can remember Maces selling baby alligators or crocodiles :o :o as a child I so wanted one ) I am guilty of having 2 tortoises when I was a kid, a big'un and a little'un. I seem to remember they were called Porky and Bess. We kept them on the lawn with a wire fence round and the big one, Porky used to "shoulder up the fence" and let the little'un out. Poor old Porky never got out, we had him for years but Bess, once gone, was away to what fate who knows. I am so glad this stuff is banned now.

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In the early 50's my grandad told me a story about an young wood-cutter who cut and shaped a young sapling. He tended it every day for 10 years until it was the shape he wanted. When it was strong enough to take his weight he came every day to sit on it to eat his dinner.

He said he would take me to see the tree, and after that we used to go there sometimes and sit with sandwiches and tea.

I of course had no reason to doubt the truth of the story which, to a five year old, seemed completely logical.

Over the years I'd forgotten all about it - until yesterday.

At a guess, the tree would only have been about 10 years old at that time which makes it around 60-70 years old now.

How it came to be this shape, I can't imagine.

Difficult to make out the shape because of the ivy and brambles, but I think you should get an idea of it from these - 55 years later.

This is how I remember it being from my childhood.

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Waterside Echo

Yes but the tortoise looks well looked after. ;-)

Doreen is 54 now and life has not been easy for her. We don`t know much about her early years, but up until 10 years ago she spent a lot of her time in a tin bath and came to its present home in a very bad way. We are looking after her for a couple of weeks whilst her owners are away. W/E.

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I found this character on our bamboo today. I know it's a shield bug, but anyone know which? I think it could be a nymph, but I'm not sure. It was about the size of a fingernail.

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Here we go again folks, it's that time of year again, any of our fungi experts identify this one please? (And please don't say it's honey fungus, it's in our front garden!)

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Here we go again folks, it's that time of year again, any of our fungi experts identify this one please? (And please don't say it's honey fungus, it's in our front garden!)

No it is not Honey fungus so you are safe Peter,

Honey fungus usually grows from the roots of trees and if left uncontrolled

it will eventually kill the tree.

But you do need to get your writing quills and parchment ready,

as they look like Common Ink Caps to me.

:)

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But you do need to get your writing quills and parchment ready,

as they look like Common Ink Caps to me.

:)

I think Bayleaf may have been wondering (or at least I was), if they are safe to eat?

If they are non-toxic and edible the next question is are they worth eating?

As some wild fungi, although not toxic and safe to eat have awful tastes and are quite unpallatable.

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I think Bayleaf may have been wondering (or at least I was), if they are safe to eat?

If they are non-toxic and edible the next question is are they worth eating?

As some wild fungi, although not toxic and safe to eat have awful tastes and are quite unpallatable.

Thanks to Steve I looked them up. Apparently they're edible as long as you've not had any alcohol for several days and don't imbibe for several days after eating them, otherwise you'll be extremely ill. I think I'll give them a miss, too great a sacrifice!

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Thanks to Steve I looked them up. Apparently they're edible as long as you've not had any alcohol for several days and don't imbibe for several days after eating them, otherwise you'll be extremely ill. I think I'll give them a miss, too great a sacrifice!

Likewise Bayleaf.

Although I like mushrooms I much prefer an alcoholic drink so it really is a no contest.

However, I once watched a documentary on the medical treatment of alcoholism using a sort of aversion therapy to get alcoholics off the bottle as it were.

This involved giving them some sort of "drug" which, after taking it, would make them feel so ill if they then consumed alcohol that they wouldn't want to and so stop drinking.

Makes me wonder if the "drug" in this treatment was in fact nothing more than "extract of ink cap fungi" <_<

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Likewise Bayleaf.

Although I like mushrooms I much prefer an alcoholic drink so it really is a no contest.

However, I once watched a documentary on the medical treatment of alcoholism using a sort of aversion therapy to get alcoholics off the bottle as it were.

This involved giving them some sort of "drug" which, after taking it, would make them feel so ill if they then consumed alcohol that they wouldn't want to and so stop drinking.

Makes me wonder if the "drug" in this treatment was in fact nothing more than "extract of ink cap fungi" <_<

Spot on Dave! a common name for it is 'Tippler's Bane', and it's used in the drug Antabuse to produce nausea when alcohol is taken .

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Spot on Dave! a common name for it is 'Tippler's Bane', and it's used in the drug Antabuse to produce nausea when alcohol is taken .

Must have been my chemists intuition come out there.

Most modern drugs are derived from natural products, mostly from various plants.

I seem to remember doing something about the fungus Ergot and the drug LSD on here which even caught out our fungi expert SteveHB with the connection.

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Another Fungi, for our resident "Fun Guy" Steve to identify

ok not seen in Sheffield, but not to far away

I had to do a bit of searching to find that one Stuart,

they look like Scarlet Wax Caps (Hygrocybe quieta)

what is distinctive are the wide gills and broken rim around the cap.

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I had to do a bit of searching to find that one Stuart,

they look like Scarlet Wax Caps (Hygrocybe quieta)

what is distinctive are the wide gills and broken rim around the cap.

OK "fun guy" Steve,

I may be on to a mushroom meal at Stuarts next week if you can tell us if those Scarlet Wax Caps are safe to eat.

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Mom's garden hut has been disused for years and is rotting away so I had a look nside to see if it would last another year before I have to demolish it.

Discovered this inside.

I presume it is a wasps nest but its much bigger than I've ever seen. (over a foot tall)

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ukelele lady

Hi vox

We once found one about that size in the false roof of our porch.

We could hear this type of scratching noise for weeks until we discovered what it was.

When we got it out [ I like how I keep saying WE ] a fisherman friend of mine said

he wanted it for the live grubs that were in it. He was welcome to it so WE put it in a

black bin bag and he took it fishing.

We get a wasp nest almost every year , WE got rid of one only two weeks ago. :o

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Hi vox

We once found one about that size in the false roof of our porch.

We could hear this type of scratching noise for weeks until we discovered what it was.

When we got it out [ I like how I keep saying WE ] a fisherman friend of mine said

he wanted it for the live grubs that were in it. He was welcome to it so WE put it in a

black bin bag and he took it fishing.

We get a wasp nest almost every year , WE got rid of one only two weeks ago. :o

WARNING!!!

Before attempting to remove a wasps nest read posts #178 to #181 of this topic.

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ukelele lady

WARNING!!!

Before attempting to remove a wasps nest read posts #178 to #181 of this topic.

Just read those Dave, I wouldn't use anything that would set the house on fire.

The powder is the best, wait till dusk when most of them are in the nest or just going home, then empty some of

the powder into a thin plastic tube or pipe, insert the pipe into the hole where you have seen them all going in,

then blow. You must remember to blow and not suck he he .

Within 5 mins you will see those left out will refuse to go in and those in never come out again.

After 15 mins nothing, all clear. We must have got rid of 8 or more nest now , all in different places.

The last one being just under the guttering .

Our neighbour paid £75 for someone to spend the same amount of time to get rid of one .

It does help to wear long sleeves , gloves , googles etc just in case but at this time of year they seem a bit sleepy.

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Just read those Dave, I wouldn't use anything that would set the house on fire.

The powder is the best, wait till dusk when most of them are in the nest or just going home, then empty some of

the powder into a thin plastic tube or pipe, insert the pipe into the hole where you have seen them all going in,

then blow. You must remember to blow and not suck he he .

Within 5 mins you will see those left out will refuse to go in and those in never come out again.

After 15 mins nothing, all clear. We must have got rid of 8 or more nest now , all in different places.

The last one being just under the guttering .

Our neighbour paid £75 for someone to spend the same amount of time to get rid of one .

It does help to wear long sleeves , gloves , googles etc just in case but at this time of year they seem a bit sleepy.

Alternatively given the time of year and the fact that it's not causing a nuisance, just wait for the winter when they die off. If I remember rightly only the queen hibernates to start a new generation in the spring? And apparently they never go back to an old nest, they start from scratch every year.

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