Sunday, 12 October 2014

UK Fungus Day

Today is UK Fungus Day, so we headed off to Dancer's End nature reserve to see what we could find. I don't think anybody told the fungi it was their big day because there was very little around. It has been very dry recently, but we've had some rain in the last week, so I thought there would be more. We did find a few interesting fungi though ...

There were lots of Candlesnuff fungi just starting to grow out of the moss. When they get a bit older, the white tops turn into little spiky antlers.

Candlesnuff Fungus

We struggled to find many toadstool type fungi. This one looks like half a pigeon's egg, with a little nibble taken out of it. It may be a young Common Ink Cap, in which case when it gets a bit older, the black gills will turn to liquid and 'drip', which is where the name ink cap comes from.
Common Ink Cap
We also found some little tiny umbrellas, which I believe are Fairies' Bonnets. They start off looking like little thimbles, then open out as they age, eventually turning inside out. They're very delicate and paper thin with little stripes on the cap.

#100DaysOfNature Day 81 - Fairies' Bonnets

We couldn't find many types of bracket fungus, except for this one that was hiding away inside a tree stump. I think this is called Artist's Fungus and is named because you can draw on the white lower surface and the shape vaguely resembles an artist's palette.

Artist's Fungus
We found some small turquoise fungus growing on a rotten tree trunk, called Green Wood-Cup. This is the fruiting body, but you can see the mycelium growing inside the log in the picture below it.
Green Wood-cup fruiting bodies
Green Wood-cup mycelium inside the log
There were some King Alfred's Cakes around, named because of their burnt appearance.
King Alfred's Cakes
We also spotted a large Squirrels drey, hanging right over the middle of the path and a rotten tree stump that was covered in strange circular lumps and bumps.

Squirrel's drey

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