After meeting with one of the Rangers at the Visitor Centre at High Elms , I only managed an hour or so this morning , with one eye on the constantly threatening skies , for a look around the area surrounding the Centre , staying within easy reach of the car . At times in the woodland it could have been night , with the dark sky and the leaves still intact on the trees . It was in such conditions that I came across this very friendly Robin , and had to crank up the ISO to 1600 to get a shot , but that didn't help with the sharpness of the image . Tucked away in the corner of the Centre's garden , I came across a plastic sided bee-hive display . Almost in the middle of the centre cell , I noticed what must be the queen , Queen 18 from her sticker . I was surprised that she wasn't bigger when seen alongside her attendants . Interesting also that workers were toing and froing from the hive , even in the far from good conditions .In the orchard , along with many species of Apples and Pears , was this strange fruit , the Medlar . I must admit it doesn't look very appetising , and when I looked it up when I got home , I find that after growing on the tree , it needs to be picked and then go through a process called bletting , where basically the fruit is stored to go rotten , before being used for jams , jellies and the like .Colour was at a premium , but I did find a few plants of Meadow Cranesbill-Geranium pratense still in flower .
Little fungi was found down this end of the Park , but those found included : Lepiota cristata Some better specimens of Mycena pura , than those last found .And a young specimen of Grifola frondosa at the base of this tree .
After several light showers during the visit , they began to get much heavier and I headed for the car . By the time I got home , the rain was almost torrential .
And finally , in answer to a comment made by ShySongbird on yesterday's post . Unfortunately you are unlikely to find Amanita muscaria-Fly Agaric in your local area , because of the geology .
Given your location on the edge of the Cotswolds , the soil is likely be alkaline . The Fly Agaric will be found mainly under Birch and Spruce on acidic soil . But , like the Greensand Ridge , amongst the North Downs , there might be an acidic outcrop in the area , and would be worth a look for the species .
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