Thursday, 3 September 2015

A walk in the woods

I love snuffling through the woods as you just never know what you might find. First thing I bumped into today was a giant polypore, a massive fungus with overlapping rosettes in shades of brown and black. It was quite something!

The whole thing was about a meter across, with each rosette about 20cm wide. This picture is with my hand against it to show the scale. They are fairly common fungi, but still quite spectacular when you come across one and very intricately patterned.

It was home to all sorts of little creatures, providing a habitat for slugs, spiders, harvestmen, lots of tiny black flies and all sorts of other things that I didn't spot.

The cool, weather has made all sorts of fungi start to fruit ...
Either lilac bonnets or amethyst deceivers
Rosy bonnets

Then I came across something very strange on a fallen log. It looked like a fluorescent piece of orange sponge and was quite literally the colour of an orange highlighter pen.

I believe it's a slime mould called tubifera ferruginosa. A first for me and definitely an odd sight in the middle of the woods.

I was walking through the shade of some dense conifer trees, when I noticed a patch of sunlight shining through the branches. I could see lots of flies buzzing around in the sunlight, so decided to take a closer look.
As I got closer I could see them and hear them. There were hundreds of marmalade hoverflies (at least I think that's what they were) buzzing around the branches in the sunlight. I'm not sure what they were all doing there and why they were only on those branches, but they didn't seem to be on any of the other trees nearby. Perhaps they were just sticking to the sunny branches?
They even settled on me when I got closer to the tree
I left them to it but it seemed quite strange to see them all hanging out together in the woods like that.

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