Sunday, 19 October 2008

Sunday 19th.October 2008

A walk around Cuckoo Wood , Burnt Gorse and the Orchid Bank this afternoon could not be classed as exciting as regards birds . A few Jays and Magpies , a couple of mixed Tit flocks , a small flock of Goldcrest , and sorry Warren , a Tawny Owl calling below Burnt Gorse . The strong breeze didn't help with hearing calls , and at times the falling leaves resembled a blizzard .

Those same fallen leaves have now carpeted the ground , which in turn makes fungi finding much more difficult . Be that as it may , I could only find one specimen of Magpie Fungus , so it looks as if they have had their time .
I went back to look at the Geastrum triplex-Earth Star that I posted when it had just emerged .Here on the left , it has opened up , raising the srore sack in the middle . But on the right , is another which hasn't even opened yet , and shows how the spore sack is protected as it pushes through . The splits are showing , that will form the star shaped collar . My second find was the superb Oudemansiella mucida-Porcelain Fungus . Superbly named , as it looks so easily broken , like porcelain . Sometimes , whole boughs can be found , festooned with this fungi .From the look
of it , someone has just clear varnished the caps , and is at it's best when young , like this specimen . Another of the Coprinus family was close by , but looking nothing like the Magpi Fungus . This one is Coprinus lagopus . Down amongst the leaf litter , and very easily overlooked , I found Helvella lacunosa-Black Helvella . The cap , if you can call it that , is more like a saddle , sat upon a stem that looks like a Cadbury's Flake , but smaller and black . There is another Helvella , H.crispa-White Helvella , which is more common . I found one whilst working on Hayes Common last week , but it was well chewed , and not worthy of a shot .
The last specimen found , a member of the Clitocybe family , was C.geotropa . Quite a large fungi , 35mm.cannister for comparison , and often found in arcs or rings , as indeed this one was a part of such an arc .

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