Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Snipe, a kingfisher and a goldfinch

Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago
The sun shone this morning for the first time in a few days so I visited Arundel WWT for a few hours. At the Ramsar hide a kingfisher flew past and quite a few snipe. The Lapwing hide has up to a dozen snipe with the light falling well on them. The woodland feeders had a Goldfinch and a large rat was clearing up the seeds on the ground. Finally, a jackdaw perched on a tree by the lake. Some waterfowl were showing signs of pairing up. A few fungi were flourishing but I haven't had time to identify them.
Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis

Jackdaw, Corvus monedula

Brown Rat, Rattus norvegicus

Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago

views over the wetland and Burgh

unidentified fungi:

Monday, 3 December 2018

Celtic silver unit, Verica Cavalry Duo

Verica Cavalry Duo
On Saturday I found my first Silver unit right at the end of a day with Midweek Searchers in Hampshire. A bronze arrowhead with a lovely green patina had already come up, plus some hammered and Roman coins. Most of my good finds have been found in the late afternoon and this was no exception - it came up at 3:40pm. I was astounded when I recognised it and there was only one other detectorist left on site to show it to. Five minutes later he found his own prize – a lovely little bronze Roman coin.
My unit is known as a Verica Cavalry Duo, c.AD10-40 of the Atrebates / Regina tribes. It is a scarce coin and finely produced. The name Duo is because there is a horse and rider on each side of the coin, the only unit with this feature. The second side is less well struck and off centre, but the first side has wonderful detail. The name of King Verica is clear.

There are few historical references to the Celts in Britain. The following information is gleaned from some on-line resources.

At the time of the Roman Conquest, the Atrebates were the second most powerful tribe in southern Britain, it was an appeal for help from their king, Verica, which provided the Emperor Claudius with the pretext to launch his invasion on Britain in 43 AD. The Atrebates were a Belgic tribe of Gaul and Britain before the Roman conquests.  They may have been united with the Regini, under a common king (Comios, or Comminius). Comminius was appointed king of the Atrebates in Gaul in 57 BC by Caesar. He was sent to Britain in 55 BC before Caesar’s first expedition to persuade the Britons accept Caesar. Instead, Commius was arrested, and handed back to Caesar when the latter landed.
Atrebates Regnii
A secondary, and earlier, capital could be claimed at Noviomagus (Chichester, West Sussex), which belonged to a division of the tribe known as the Regninses. These people were thinly scattered north and south of the Weald and seem to have escaped true conquest or even much influence from the Atrebates. Another tribal centre was at Cunetio (Mildenhall, Wiltshire)
After the legate Titus Labienus tried to execute Commius for conspiracy, Commius vowed to never associate with Romans again. He eventually fled to Britain, where he was again king of the Atrebates.
Commius, 57 – c. 20 BC 
Tincomarus, c. 20 BC – AD 7, son of Commius
Eppillus, AD 8 – 15, brother of Tincomarus
Verica, 15 – 40, brother of Eppillus

Following the Roman Conquest, the territory of the Atrebates was divided into three separate civitates, one of these was centred at the settlement at Silchester, near Reading. Another major centre was at Chichester.

hammered coin,14mm diameter
Earlier I had found a rather miserable looking hammered coin, probably a penny around one of the Edwards. The unusual feature of this coin is that the cross appears on both sides. It should have the king's head on the obverse. The first coin I found was what I believe is a Roman minim, a tiny coin without any markings.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Fungi stacking and The Brick

Wrinkled Peach, Rhodotus palmatus
I returned to the woodland on Tuesday and Wednesday for more photo stacking with fungi. They are perfect subjects as on windless days they do not move while you take multiple shots of the subject at different focal lengths. The only potential problem is flies landing during the process. Unfortunately the Wrinkled Peach had finished exuding its lovely pink globules so I could not match the images that Mark and Jim captured a few days ago. I found a new fungus for my galleries, a group of Trooping Funnels. A queen wasp hunted among the leaf litter and I disturbed a moth, The Brick, while preparing a Fly Agaric for photographs.
Artist's Bracket, Ganoderma applanatum

Birch Polypore, Piptoporus betulinus

Candlesnuff Fungus, Xylaria hypoxylon

Common Wasp queen, Vespula vulgaris

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria

unidentified mushroom

Hen of the Woods, Grifola frondosa

Stump Puffballs, Lycoperdon pyriforme

Stump Puffballs

The Brick, Agrochola circellaris

Trooping Funnel, Infundibulicybe geotropa

Trooping Funnels

Trooping Funnel