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Sheffields Flora and Fauna


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Stuart0742

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.

Are thet poisonous ?

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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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I've just noticed this big weed although how I've missed seeing it before I don't know.

The hedge is over 5 ft high and it stands well above that as you can see.

I don't know what it is - Looks like a giant dandelion.

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Are they poisonous ?

By looking at your photo,

I could not tell you if they are poisonous Stuart,

there even seems to be some confusion with the latin name that I added.

Oily Waxcap - Hygrocybe quieta

Scarlet Wax Cap - Hygrocybe coccinea

My books say either inedible or not worth eating,

conclusion is: If not 100% sure, Don't eat.

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By looking at your photo,

I could not tell you if they are poisonous Stuart,

there even seems to be some confusion with the latin name that I added.

Oily Waxcap - Hygrocybe quieta

Scarlet Wax Cap - Hygrocybe coccinea

My books say either inedible or not worth eating,

conclusion is: If not 100% sure, Don't eat.

If your book says "inedible or not worth eating" that means they taste crap anyway.

Looks like no mushroom dinner for me and Stuart then :(

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madannie77

I've just noticed this big weed although how I've missed seeing it before I don't know.

The hedge is over 5 ft high and it stands well above that as you can see.

I don't know what it is - Looks like a giant dandelion.

Looks very much like a sow thistle to me, although I am unsure as to the exact variety. My experience of sow thistles is that they grow to about 3 feet, so I imagine your example has grown so tall because it is fighting for light in the hedge.

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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.

Now in the late 1970's before the world went health and safety mad our school had a science technician who had been redeployed from another, non-scientific job so he frequently "did things his own way".

During the summer the school got a large wasps nest in a place where kids had to walk past and could be at risk of being stung and it certainly paniced them having to go even within 10 feet of it.

"I'll get rid of it" says the technician and does no more than get the key to the poison cupboard and remove a stick of potassium cyanide from the stock jar. We called these sticks "candles" which gives a better idea of their size. the stick would have been about enough to poison the entire population of Chesterfield, - and YES in those days it was perfectly legal and acceptable for a school to posess the stuff, - even in the quantities we had!!

He then gets a beaker of (dilute) sulphuric acid and goes fearlessly marching up to this large buzzing nest, pushes the cyanide stick into it and then pours the acid onto it, - just as the Kommandant at Auschwitz would have done with zyklon-B (potassium cyanide) at the gas chambers.

The buzzing sound of thousands of wasps stopped abruptly.

Our technician marches back into school saying "That's sorted the little buggers out"

Something to do with using a sledge hammer to crack a nut comes to mind.

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madannie77

Now in the late 1970's before the world went health and safety mad our school had a science technician who had been redeployed from another, non-scientific job so he frequently "did things his own way".

During the summer the school got a large wasps nest in a place where kids had to walk past and could be at risk of being stung and it certainly paniced them having to go even within 10 feet of it.

"I'll get rid of it" says the technician and does no more than get the key to the poison cupboard and remove a stick of potassium cyanide from the stock jar. We called these sticks "candles" which gives a better idea of their size. the stick would have been about enough to poison the entire population of Chesterfield, - and YES in those days it was perfectly legal and acceptable for a school to posess the stuff, - even in the quantities we had!!

He then gets a beaker of (dilute) sulphuric acid and goes fearlessly marching up to this large buzzing nest, pushes the cyanide stick into it and then pours the acid onto it, - just as the Kommandant at Auschwitz would have done with zyklon-B (potassium cyanide) at the gas chambers.

The buzzing sound of thousands of wasps stopped abruptly.

Our technician marches back into school saying "That's sorted the little buggers out"

Something to do with using a sledge hammer to crack a nut comes to mind.

:o :o :o

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I've just noticed this big weed although how I've missed seeing it before I don't know.

The hedge is over 5 ft high and it stands well above that as you can see.

I don't know what it is - Looks like a giant dandelion.

As a keen gardener, I was interested in your photo Vox, I can´t identify it but Taraxacum is the Latin name for the dandelion and believe it or not there are over 100 varieties, so it could well be some form of this plant. I love your hedge, Pyracintha, or firethorn, I think. (Not to mention the lovely old stone Sheffield house behind it :)) . Amazingly, firethorns are grown prolifically over here, mostly in the central reservation of the motorway, I cannot believe how it thrives with no water, traffic fumes, etc. but it does and after the oleanders have faded, gives a beautiful, if somewhat distracting (when you are driving) display.

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:o :o :o

I know madannie.

It always amazes me what we used to do and get away with without accidents a few years ago

But today you can't do a chemistry experiment using sugar, salt and water without having a risk assessment.

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I know madannie.

It always amazes me what we used to do and get away with without accidents a few years ago

But today you can't do a chemistry experiment using sugar, salt and water without having a risk assessment.

Reminds me as well when I was at Norfolk (Stuart will remember this one) we had a pint of maggots in a jar with a wire gauze top and bottom to let air circulate.

They were left oover a weekend and all turned to a jar of buzzing trapped flies that we didn't want.

They were also silenced immediately by pouring a small quantity of diethyl ether (ethoxyethane to you) through the wire gauze.

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madannie77

I know madannie.

It always amazes me what we used to do and get away with without accidents a few years ago

But today you can't do a chemistry experiment using sugar, salt and water without having a risk assessment.

Not often I am rendered speechless!

I have handled some fairly dodgy materials in my life as a chemist at school, university and in industry, but always with due regard for the hazards involved, which appears not to have been the case here.

(Spot the understatement).

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I read all your posts with great interest. What a minefield England has become. Wasps - ha we can buy a simple but very toxic spray here to deter the little blighters. Used with the appropriate caution it is very effective. Reading the label of contents it would never be allowed in Blighty. Is it just because people have become more stupid (or compensated saturated??) My husband can remember his Dad burning the bugs out of his greenhouse, with a pure sulphur bomb, light it and run!!! DaveH, you are the scientist, enlighten us :P

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madannie77

Looks very much like a sow thistle to me, although I am unsure as to the exact variety. My experience of sow thistles is that they grow to about 3 feet, so I imagine your example has grown so tall because it is fighting for light in the hedge.

Forgot to add that the sow thistle is a member of what was known as the compositae family of plants which includes dandelions, daisies and thistles. It has probably got another name now as reclassification seems to take place regularly and I no longer bother keeping up with the details.

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Not often I am rendered speechless!

I have handled some fairly dodgy materials in my life as a chemist at school, university and in industry, but always with due regard for the hazards involved, which appears not to have been the case here.

(Spot the understatement).

I think we knew the hazzards madannie, and we used our common sense on how to deal with those hazzards safely without having to rely on beurocratic regulations which admittedly provide a safe way of working but assume that you don't have common sense and professional judgement and so can be very restrictive.

I would never advocate or endorse any unsafe practice or "rule breaking" but, 30 years ago, regulations and working practices were different.

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I read all your posts with great interest. What a minefield England has become. Wasps - ha we can buy a simple but very toxic spray here to deter the little blighters. Used with the appropriate caution it is very effective. Reading the label of contents it would never be allowed in Blighty. Is it just because people have become more stupid (or compensated saturated??) My husband can remember his Dad burning the bugs out of his greenhouse, with a pure sulphur bomb, light it and run!!! DaveH, you are the scientist, enlighten us :P

The sulphur bomb is just a lump of sulphur that you set fire to and it burns giving off toxic sulphur dioxide gas. It is very effective at getting rid of pests in underground burrows such as mice and moles. However, these have probably been banned now as the gas, the main cause of acid rain, causes untold environmental damage. Having said that my wife informs me that the garden centre she works at still sells sulphur candles which are still available legally.

You will have to let me know what the ingredients of the wasp spray so I can say what they are. However, most household chemicals these days are controlled by EU legislation which means that a particular chemical would either be legal or banned in all EU member states, so if it's available in Spain you can more than likely get an equivalent chemical composition in Britain.

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Looks very much like a sow thistle to me, although I am unsure as to the exact variety. My experience of sow thistles is that they grow to about 3 feet, so I imagine your example has grown so tall because it is fighting for light in the hedge.

Looks like you're right there MA. Thanks

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hilldweller

Reminds me as well when I was at Norfolk (Stuart will remember this one) we had a pint of maggots in a jar with a wire gauze top and bottom to let air circulate.

They were left oover a weekend and all turned to a jar of buzzing trapped flies that we didn't want.

They were also silenced immediately by pouring a small quantity of diethyl ether (ethoxyethane to you) through the wire gauze.

The electron-microscope suite at Stocksbridge Works was located in what had been a row of old stone cottages (Corn Mill Cottages). The cottages were inundated with crickets and cockroaches which were everywhere. The technicians used large quantities of ether in squeezee bottles to clean samples before they went into the microscopes.

The technicians used to amuse themselves by zapping the insects with a jet of ether from the bottles. When I had to carry out repairs I used to be light-headed after a few minutes. The equipment was full of sparking relays and contactors and it was the biggest wonder that the place didn't disappear in a flash of flame, the lower explosive limit being something like 2% in air.

hilldweller

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The sulphur bomb is just a lump of sulphur that you set fire to and it burns giving off toxic sulphur dioxide gas. It is very effective at getting rid of pests in underground burrows such as mice and moles. However, these have probably been banned now as the gas, the main cause of acid rain, causes untold environmental damage. Having said that my wife informs me that the garden centre she works at still sells sulphur candles which are still available legally.

You will have to let me know what the ingredients of the wasp spray so I can say what they are. However, most household chemicals these days are controlled by EU legislation which means that a particular chemical would either be legal or banned in all EU member states, so if it's available in Spain you can more than likely get an equivalent chemical composition in Britain.

You are quite right of course Dave, I was just joking, somewhat tongue in cheek about the rather lax attitude the Spanish sometimes have to H&S rules and regulations :) The spray comes with copious warnings, health advice and certifies that it is permitted for "general public use". The ingredients are in Spanish and my translation skills are not up to chemicals I'm afraid but perhaps they are near enough to the English for you to recognise ... Tetrametrina, permetrina, butoxido de piperonilo, disolvente and propelente csp. Only to be used outside, spray and scarper, it is very effective though.

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hilldweller

You are quite right of course Dave, I was just joking, somewhat tongue in cheek about the rather lax attitude the Spanish sometimes have to H&S rules and regulations :) The spray comes with copious warnings, health advice and certifies that it is permitted for "general public use". The ingredients are in Spanish and my translation skills are not up to chemicals I'm afraid but perhaps they are near enough to the English for you to recognise ... Tetrametrina, permetrina, butoxido de piperonilo, disolvente and propelente csp. Only to be used outside, spray and scarper, it is very effective though.

The second insecticide on the list which apparently translates as permethrin is highly toxic to cats according to various sources on the t'internet. To the extent that cats have died after being in contact with dogs which have been treated with it. Apparently it is used in dog flea treatments and must not be used on cats.

My preferred wasp disposal method is to use a high pressure water hose on the entrance and drown the little so & so's. If any start getting near me a quick blast from a power sprayer soon changes their mind. If I were a wasp I think I might prefer drowning to being nerve-gassed.

hilldweller

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The second insecticide on the list which apparently translates as permethrin is highly toxic to cats according to various sources on the t'internet. To the extent that cats have died after being in contact with dogs which have been treated with it. Apparently it is used in dog flea treatments and must not be used on cats.

My preferred wasp disposal method is to use a high pressure water hose on the entrance and drown the little so & so's. If any start getting near me a quick blast from a power sprayer soon changes their mind. If I were a wasp I think I might prefer drowning to being nerve-gassed.

hilldweller

Basically some or all of the igredients can also be found in some household fly sprays,

but probably in a lower percentage.

I knew a lot of anglers who collected wasps nests to use as bait,

and the most effective wasp killer was Cymag (sodium cyanide)

it was used for many years by farmers,

gamekeepers and mole-catchers for the control of rabbits and vermin.

Highly toxic,

and I'm glad to say it is now banned from use in this country.

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The electron-microscope suite at Stocksbridge Works was located in what had been a row of old stone cottages (Corn Mill Cottages). The cottages were inundated with crickets and cockroaches which were everywhere. The technicians used large quantities of ether in squeezee bottles to clean samples before they went into the microscopes.

The technicians used to amuse themselves by zapping the insects with a jet of ether from the bottles. When I had to carry out repairs I used to be light-headed after a few minutes. The equipment was full of sparking relays and contactors and it was the biggest wonder that the place didn't disappear in a flash of flame, the lower explosive limit being something like 2% in air.

hilldweller

That was its biggest danger hilldweller, and the main reason for it being withdrawn from general use.

NOT its toxicity,

NOT its anaesthetic properties

BUT its very low flash point and high flammability

It was responsible for a large number of laboratory fires because of this.

Interestingly, as madannie and I contributed to another topic on ingredients in various concoctions such as Hendersons Relish last year, -

Diethyl ether used to be an ingredient in a number of "warming" throat lozenges which had a distinctive taste such as HALL's VICTORY V LOZENGES.

They still make them and they still taste about the same, but I don't think they put ether in them any more.

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You are quite right of course Dave, I was just joking, somewhat tongue in cheek about the rather lax attitude the Spanish sometimes have to H&S rules and regulations :) The spray comes with copious warnings, health advice and certifies that it is permitted for "general public use". The ingredients are in Spanish and my translation skills are not up to chemicals I'm afraid but perhaps they are near enough to the English for you to recognise ... Tetrametrina, permetrina, butoxido de piperonilo, disolvente and propelente csp. Only to be used outside, spray and scarper, it is very effective though.

Wow!!

Not only do I have to translate the chemical formulas I have to translate it back into English from Spanish as well

Tetramethyl ??? (seems to be an incomplete compound name?)

Permethrin (see hilldwellers previous post)

Piperidne butoxide (a nasty nitrogen based hetrocyclic compound, - seriously affects human male fertility so I'm not handling it!)

Solvent and Propellant (un-named chemicals which the nasties are dissolved in and the gas used to spray them out of the can)

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madannie77

That was its biggest danger hilldweller, and the main reason for it being withdrawn from general use.

NOT its toxicity,

NOT its anaesthetic properties

BUT its very low flash point and high flammability

It was responsible for a large number of laboratory fires because of this.

Interestingly, as madannie and I contributed to another topic on ingredients in various concoctions such as Hendersons Relish last year, -

Diethyl ether used to be an ingredient in a number of "warming" throat lozenges which had a distinctive taste such as HALL's VICTORY V LOZENGES.

They still make them and they still taste about the same, but I don't think they put ether in them any more.

They don't have chloroform in them now, either

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Basically some or all of the igredients can also be found in some household fly sprays,

but probably in a lower percentage.

I knew a lot of anglers who collected wasps nests to use as bait,

and the most effective wasp killer was Cymag (sodium cyanide)

it was used for many years by farmers,

gamekeepers and mole-catchers for the control of rabbits and vermin.

Highly toxic,

and I'm glad to say it is now banned from use in this country.

The use of cyanides is where our technician got the idea to use one of our potassium cyanide "candles" to sort out the school wasp nests.

He DID know what he was doing and acted fairly safely with little danger to himself (other than being stung by wasps)

It's just that its not a very conventional or envirnmentally friendly way of doing things.

As Steve says, - thankfully now banned and, due to the toxic risk it presented to humans, unobtainable for general use.

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They don't have chloroform in them now, either

Ether

Chloroform

As well as being pretty good sore throat tablets and nasal decongestants they must have made fantastic sleeping pills as well.

Although I can't remember them having that effect.

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