Thursday, 13 November 2014

Earthstar, Earth-tongues and Sickeners on Whiteleaf Hill

I have had the most amazing morning snuffling around through the beech leaves on Whiteleaf Hill. I found lots of new fungi that I haven't seen before, but by far the most exciting was my very first Earthstar. Bug Mad Girl will be so cross that she had to go to school so wasn't with me, as Earthstars are right up near the top of her wish list. 

They're pretty strange looking fungi, with a round ball in the centre that contains the spores. You can see the hole in the top where the spores have been 'puffed' out. The ball sits in a sort of cup that lifts it clear of the ground. Then six arms have folded back to make up the star shape. What a brilliant find!

There was one patch of red fungi with white gills and a thick white stem, called Sickeners. As the name suggests they are poisonous, but the slugs seemed to be enjoying them as they all seemed well nibbled. It's strange that you can walk all through the woods and come across 5 or 6 of these in one small area, then not see any more of them anywhere else in the woods.

The Candlenuff fungus was out in force, poking out through all the mossy logs. I also found some similar fungus in with it though that was all black and slightly club shaped. This is called Earth-tongue and is also a new find for me.

I spotted a few patches of White Coral fungus. Very aptly named as it really does look like coral.

There was a lot of jelly fungus growing on fallen braches and tree trunks. It seems to come in all shapes and sizes.
Red jelly

Pink jelly that looked like brains, or maybe intestines!

More pink jelly

Grey jelly
There was lots of Porcelain fungus throughout the leaf litter. They are very white and look very sticky. Almost all of the ones I saw had insects stuck to the top of them.

It wasn't all about the fungi today though. A Buzzard flew directly overhead and I also saw a Jay. I also disturbed a flock of Chaffinches, that were so well hidden that I only noticed them when they flew away and flashed the white bars on their wings. An enormous flock of Pigeons flew down the path in front of me. Every time I got close they would all fly ahead a little way then settle.  Then as soon as I got near again they would move further on. That carried on for quite a lot of my walk.
One of the Chaffinches

A large flock of pigeons led me down the path

Some of my other fungal finds ...

A type of bracket fungus that looked quite a lot like bird poo

There were lots of little bonnets around

Bracket fungus

Yellow Bracket fungus
Dark red domed fungus

Maybe a Parasol Mushroom
The Parasol mushroom from the top

An Ink Cap, past it's best!

Sulphur Tufts

Sulphur Tufts up close

Large, flat white fungus that overlapped each other - not sure of the name
Large Wood Mushroom

No comments:

Post a Comment