By mollyblobs

Holly Speckle

A busy but enjoyable day with an early trip to Spalding to collect the long-handled pruner that we'd accidentally left at Molly's last time we visited the house, as well as a few more bags of assorted clothes, books and other belongings to sort through. Ishall be very glad whe the Charity shops open again. 

We were back in Peterborough just in time for me to take Alex to a nearby garden, where he spent the morning re-shaping an overgrown holly hedge. When I collected him at lunchtime he'd saved some of the best berrying branches for me to use in a Christmas wreath. I found this dead leaf among them, covered with Holly Speckle. This ascomycete fungus is very common on dead holly leaves, and is very distinctive, if not beautiful. Despite being widespread, there are very few local records.

Much of the afternoon was spent making mini mince-pies and soft amaretti biscuits to accompany mulled wine at the socially-distanced switching on of the Christmas lights in our street. All the neighbours had decided that we should put them up earlier than usual, to provide a bit of cheer in a gloomy world. It was lovely to see so many people out on their drives, enjoying the occasion. We're hoping to do another doorstep social on the weekend nearest to the Winter Solstice.

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