Wednesday, 14 September 2016

30°C outside, but it still feels like autumn

Despite it being 30°C outside, there was a distinctly autumnal feel to the woods today.

The leaves are still on the trees, causing patches of deep darkness broken by dazzling spotlights of sunshine. Each one seemed to contain two or three speckled woods chasing each other around, dancing in the sunshine.

Some of them were settling on the ground, cleverly camouflaged in amongst the leaf litter. They'd fly up as I walked through the leaves, flutter around my head, then settle back down in almost the same spot that they came from.
Very cleverly camouflaged, especially when their wings were shut
All sorts of fungi had popped up throughout the woods, spurred on by the day of rain we had on Saturday.

I spotted a few firsts for the year including saffrondrop bonnets, red cracking bolettes and coral fungus. They'll soon be a fairly common site, but for the moment, they're a pleasant discovery and a hint of things to come. 

Saffrondrop bonnets - they have so much orange liquid in their stipe (stem)
that you can snap the stem and write with it
Bolettes, like big fat buns, had burst through the leaf litter.
I think these are probably newly hatched red cracking bolettes, which
will open out and then crack across the top of their cap

Coral fungus
I came across a huge giant polypore growing out of the end of a fallen tree. I love it when a fungus is so big you can use a Labrador to show the scale!
Giant polypore and Rosie
Giant polypore

They're pretty cool from underneath as well
In a few weeks the spider webs will be shimmering with frost, but today they were catching in the sunlight. They're such amazing feats of engineering!

Orb web spider
Poor Bug Mad Girl has the 11+ test tomorrow, so I'll make her blackberry and apple crumble for tea (using apples from the garden and blackberries from the hedgerow). It's not really the weather for it, but I doubt that will stop her. Then a stroll through the woods might be just what she needs to unwind after all the stress!
Perfect post 11+ relaxation!

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