Well , what exactly happened last night will probably never be known . I have been having sporadic trouble with Blogger over the last few weeks with comments not appearing on other Blogs and the like , but after drafting last night's post , with text in between the pictures as normal , I published the post , then got a phone call , and never checked to make sure that all was OK like I usually do . I was as surprised as anyone that all the text had disappeared . I have edited the post now , but just with short explanations of each photo . For those who thought that senility had set in , you are probably right , but last night's fiasco was down to Blogger .
Today's volunteering up on the Greensand Ridge , was very wet , but we managed to get a few jobs done before things got really bad early afternoon , when we decided , enough , and packed up for the day .
The only interest found today was a fungus , Stinkhorn-Phallus impudicus . An unusual species , which emerges from an egg-like sack , before rising up to 25cms. high . There are no gills or pores to release spores as with most fungi , this species relies on an unusual method of spore dispersal . On top of the white stalk , the head , which is covered in a dark olive slime which contains the spores . This slime smells revolting , often described as that of rotting flesh . Such a smell attracts flies from a long distance , and when they settle on the slime , some of it sticks to their legs , and when they leave , the spores are dispersed with them .
The top of this specimen had been eaten , probably by slugs as it emerged , showing another unusual feature of having a hollow stem . On a dry day , flies would very quickly carry off the slime , and soon afterwards , the fungus collapses .
The Stinkhorn is a member of the Phallaceae family , and almost exactly 5 years ago , to the day , I was lucky enough to photograph a rare member of the family Devil's Fingers-.Clathrus archeri , also known as Octopus Stinkhorn This species is believed to have been introduced in the wood used to make packing cases from Australia , which contained materials for the World War 1 effort . As everything was scarce at the time , the wood was used to make chicken coups and the like , and the spores got into the ground .
Tomorrow's work has already been abandoned due to another wet and windy forecast .
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