Riddles in the Dark

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday 26 December 2011 13:36

What did you get for Christmas? I struck gold. Goblin Gold in fact. I have been more than a little obsessed with the moss Schistostega pennata ever since I realised it has the colloquial name of Goblin Gold (and also Luminous Moss). When I also discovered that it reflected light back at you I just had to see it. Using some grid references I found by looking into a crystal ball (NBN Gateway) I headed to the Forest of Doom (Cannock Chase) with my trusty elven sidekick (my niece Jessica) on a quest for treasure. Milford Common is part way between Rugeley and Stafford, and as well as being the place I once saw Belted Kingfisher, it is also a place that triggers many fond memories. Armed with nothing more than an enchanted amulet (GPS) and a magical spyglass (hand lens), I parked the Pegasus (P-reg Fiesta) on the stony plateau (pay and display carpark) and headed into the forest...

...Firstly I found a liverwort new to me growing on a sandy outcrop. It was Calypogeia arguta with distinct little divergent teeth on the leaves but sadly the photos did not come out well. I also saw a bunch of Fairies mug a Goldcrest for a winter gnat. What is the world coming too? One of these sentences is true, you chose.

I found this pretty little micro moth in a cave but it's a common one I have seen before. Agonopterix ocellana.
Sadly, the small patch of Goblin Gold I did find was looking a bit tired and old (2nd photo) and was not reflecting the light in the exciting way I had hoped. It is not surprising that there is Goblin Gold about in these parts as in Rugeley on Christmas Eve, I also saw a number of Goblins (chavs) but I didn't approach them as they had a Cave Troll (a massive chav). I put Sting back in its scabbard (CD case) and returned home with two new notches on my belt (pan-species list) whilst listening to the Pixies (Pixies). Anyway, I will have to go and find some more Goblin Gold in some more substantial caves further north. I think a trip to the Peak District is on the cards...

(I don't actually like Sting by the way but I needed to put that in to make the joke)

3 Response to "Riddles in the Dark"

Charles Roper Says:

Love it. Living the World of Warcraft for real. Who needs MMORPGs when you've got NHRPGs (natural history role playing games)

Dan Wrench Says:

Gotta love that Goblins Gold! I remember seeing it in a rabbit hole on the Long Mynd, Shropshire when about 12 years old and had to wait 10 years before realising I wasn't imagining it after all and it was actually quite common there. Offa‘s Dyke footpath in S Shrop is also very good for it.

Gibster Says:

My Goblin Gold glowed hugely, as luminous as The Illearth Stone, oozing emerald malevolance in a truly unholy way. Go Google!

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