Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Grangelands and Pulpit Hill fungi

I took a walk around Grangelands and The Rifle Range today, one of four new sites recently taken over by BBOWT. During the autumn and winter I usually walk around Pulpit Hill, which looms over the site, as it's a great spot for fungi. Today I thought it would be nice to see if there was anything interesting out on the grassland though.
The view from The Rifle Range, up to Pulpit Hill
I have to admit it initially felt a bit bleak as I was sliding around in the mud! Strange to think of the transformation it will go through though, as within a few months it will leap back to life and be covered in orchids and other wildflowers and be absolutely buzzing with butterflies and other insects.

The red kites were drifting around in the wind, keeping an eye on what I was up to. They love it up there and we often see a dozen or more soaring overhead.

I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a lot of fungi out in the grassland of Grangelands. There were several magpie inkcaps in the grass, which I've only ever seen in amongst the beech trees before. They always look so statuesque, but you have to catch them at just the right time as they start to deliquesce and literally drip away to nothing within a couple of days.

Magpie Inkcap
I also found some coral fungus, which I think must be meadow coral as it was out on the grassland. It's usually yellow, but I think it turns this ochre colour as it matures.

Meadow coral
Then I spotted three little fungi which I think must be waxcaps (possibly blackening waxcaps, but I'm not sure).

Grangelands is a great place and never disappoints. Even in the middle of December there are treasures to be discovered!

Then I headed up to the top of Pulpit Hill and walked through the hill fort. I wanted to check on some strange little baby fungi that I'd found a few days ago, to see what they'd turned into.

White and slimy, almost like porcelain ... I had my suspicions about what
this would grow up to be!
Three days later it had turned into some lovely shiny porcelain fungus.

There were plenty of other fungi around in the beechwoods, but you do have to look quite hard for it now.
If you have the unattractive name of Hairy Curtain Crust, then you may as well
make yourself look like a beautiful sun!

Ochre brittlegill - I found just one in the middle of the hill fort
A little cluster of 'sunhats' - not sure what these were but they were a
lovely shape

A large funnel growing under a log was surrounded by gnats

Glistening inkcaps - covered in tiny white scales that make them 'glisten'

Yellow brain
And finally, there were lots of slugs out munching their way through the fungi. They're definitely enjoying all this mild, damp weather!

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