Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A final fungal foray

I'd finished wrapping all the presents and the sun was shining, so I treated myself to a stroll around Whiteleaf Hill. Actually I think it's the hill next to Whiteleaf, but it's very close! This wood has been a brilliant place to look for fungus and we've found all sorts of treasures up there over the last couple of months. Not quite sure what to expect, I was interested to see what impact the cold weather had had.
The back of Whiteleaf Hill through the trees
First thing I found was the Earthstar that we'd first found about a month ago http://bugmadgirl.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/earthstar-earth-tongues-and-sickeners.html. It was looking a bit sorry for itself now, but I'm fairly sure it was the remains of the same one. It was no longer attached to the ground and the star and collar were gone, but you can still clearly see the ball in the centre.
All that's left of our lovely Earthstar

It's pretty amazing to think that so much of it is still remaining. It took some Magpie Ink Caps 24 hours to drip away to nothing. This has been in the same spot now for over a month!
After snuffling around through the leaves for a while it became clear that the fungi party was pretty much over. The huge wood mushrooms, lined up like dinner plates in the leaves were all gone. As were the clumps of Sulpur Tufts, the little bonnets, porcelain mushrooms, puffballs, in fact it was quite hard to find any fungi at all. I kept looking though and did find a few bits and pieces ...

The Candlesnuff seemed to still be going strong

I'm not sure what these are - they look a bit like puffballs that have had the tops bitten off and their insides nibbled out. There were no other puffballs around though and puffballs are all green and sludgy inside, which these weren't. Maybe they're Bird's Nest fungus and the 'eggs' have been dispersed (?)

I liked the way the gills on this one had fanned out

There were signs of new fungi growing - I think this
will be a Rosy Bonnet

There were a few patches of Coral fungus

This could be a White Saddle/White Helvella

I found a few of these brown ones - maybe a Butter Cap

More Butter Caps

Some blue bracket fungus growing out of cheesy patches

I found a few little bonnets, but not many

Earth tongue

A bracket fungus growing both sides of a log

When I turned the log over, it looked like a snake skin

Artists fungus

This was broken off
Underneath it was yellow with a thick grooved stalk

I also found signs that there were some woodland flowers growing up there earlier in the year. This looks a little like an old orchid stalk, so it may be worth taking a look when the orchids are around next year.
So I managed to find some fungus, but I think the best of the season is finished. It's been fun though!

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