As things are so quiet , I'm taking the oportunity to expand on a comment from John/Go Wild in Kent , following my last post , regarding fungi .
I mentioned that I had looked for a fungi that might have been fruiting , and John hadn't realised that fruiting was occurring at this time of year .
Although Autumn is considered 'fungi time' , with over 3,000 species in Great Britain , there are always some species fruiting or sporulating , at any given time .
Breifly , from an amateur enthusiast , what we see as fungi/mushrooms/toadstools , is only the fruiting body of the organism , which produces the spores , which then drop or shoot out of the fruit , to carry on the species .Given the right conditions , and the organism is at a sexual stage of it's development , the fruits are formed .The fungi organism lacks chlorophyll , and therefor has to feed off other materials , live or dead trees , roots or buried rotten wood etc.
The fungus organism is a mass of fine hairs , called hyphae . These develop into a network, called the mycelium , within the host material . Much of this mycelium cannot be seen without a microscope , but more robust material , like that which enables Honey Fungus or Boot-lace Fungus-Armillaria mellea to spread , can be found under the bark of infected trees .
The following are a few examples of fungi fruits , found at this time of year . The shots were taken over the past few years .
Sarcoscypha coccinea-Scarlet Elf Cup , taken at High Elms last year ( Early Winter/Early Spring)This was the one I was looking for the other day .
Flammulina velutipes-Velvet Shank ( Late Autumn-Spring ) .
Piptosporus betulinus-Birch Polypore or Razor-strop Fungus ( All year round ).
Crucibulum laeve-Common Birds Nest ( Autumn / Early Spring )
Common is in the name , but believe me it isn't . The twig the fungi is on is thinner than a little finger .
Daldinia concentrica-King Alfred's Cakes or Cramp Balls ( All Year ) .
Daedaleopsis confragosa-Blushing Bracket ( All Year ) .
Many of the 'bracket' fungi can be found all year round .
I do hope I haven't been 'telling too many Grannies or Grandads how to suck eggs' .
Last comment , amazing how the feeders have been less busy since the cold snap finished .