Thursday, 1 December 2016

Inonotus dryadeus - Oak Bracket

Inonotus dryadeus - Oak Bracket

Whilst on the same winter break in East Anglia, Norfolk, last November 2015, as per my previous post,  I came across the best example of Oak Bracket I had ever witnessed. This was so large that it caught my eye about one hundred metres' away even before I had got out of the car.

This example was growing on a specific type of oak tree (Holm Oak) and was well in excess of 30 cm across.  I went over to take a look and before long a man joined me, a wild life photographer, who had travelled over 20 miles to take a look at this wonderful Oak Bracket.  He had spotted it growing some months before and had come to take another look.  It was great to stand, talk and admire this bracket with someone who appreciated that we were indeed admiring a very fine example.

A very large and superb Oak Bracket

Description:  a very large bracket that grows up to 30 cm across and even up to 15 cm thick. Pale grey when young and turning medium rust-brown with maturity.  Though some very mature examples can be black.  The outer surface is very uneven and rough in texture and sometimes particularly when still growing the margin edge can ooze rusty-red droplets.  These are not always to be seen though.  The pores are dirty grey-white and might have patches of rust colour present. Grows solitary at the base of oak trees during the autumn and winter.  This is not a common bracket.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Geoglossum cookeianum - Black Earth Tongue

Geoglossum cookeianum - Black Earth Tongue

This time last year I took a break on the East Coast of England, Norfolk.
I downed tools from writing the Field Guide to the Mushrooms of Britain and Europe and spent 5 days wandering around the deserted beaches and woodland in East Anglia.  
Therapeutic it was too.  Decent weather and light and I managed to find a few new mushrooms to photograph.  One of them being Black Earth Tongue.

This grows mostly in coastal regions amongst sandy soil and in short grass.  I nearly missed it.  Despite being black it is not easy to spot and could easily be mistaken for dried seaweed.

Description: up to 7 cm tall and 2 cm wide.  Dull black, elongated tongue-shaped and smooth with a blunt and curved tip. The stem is very short. The more dry the weather the more brittle the texture.  It was growing in small groups in short grass in sandy soil.  To be found usually May - November.  It is uncommon.

It rather fascinated me.  An all black fungus with a nice shape and my first find in a decade of searching.  Not a disappointment.  This was found at a location called Snettisham Scalp.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Peziza echinospora - Charcoal Cup

Peziza echinospora - Charcoal Cup

I recently went walking around the remains of an old coal open-cast mining site which is now a series of paths and trails and has a nice mix of trees including silver birch and grazing ground for cattle.   It was quite fascinating pottering about such a sparse landscape and little mounds of black coal deposits.  I also came across several old bonfire sites.  I'm always poking about in these sites because I want to find Bonfire Inkcap.  Not that day though, but I did come across Charcoal Cup.  

This is 3-8 cm across and when young is cup-shaped.  With maturity it spreads out a little with the margin becoming incurved.  The inner surface is shiny, smooth and dark reddish brown.  The outer surface is more pale brown and has a granular/scurfy texture.  This fungus is attached flat to the ground, having no stem.  It grows  in small groups that can be spread out on burnt wood and ground during the Autumn and Spring.

Young Charcoal Cup

Mature example

Showing scurfy outer surface

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Amanita muscaria - Fly Agaric

Amanita muscaria - Fly Agaric

The Fly Agaric is a fungus that when encountered excites people.  It is brightly coloured and begs to be photographed.  Although this is a very common fungus it is not always possible to get really good photographs as the cap soon becomes nibbled by slugs or other things.

This year I have seen the most amazing Fly Agaric in various stages from young to mature and these examples are worth sharing.

First here is a description.  Cap up to 20 cm in diameter, bright scarlet and covered with white warts that can initially appear pale lemon.  These warts can be absent as they can get washed off by the rain.  The gills are white and the stem is also white being up to 20 cm tall.  The stem has a large, loose pendulous ring and the base is bulbous and has ridges.  It is very common and can be found late Summer to Autumn amongst birch trees.  It is poisonous.

This photograph showing a young example with the scarlet cap just beginning to be visible

This photograph showing a semi-mature example

This photograph showing a mature example
This photograph showing the pendulous ring

This photograph showing the bulbous base with the ridges

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Book Launch - Field Guide to the Mushrooms of Britain and Europe. New Holland

Book Launch  - Field Guide to the Mushrooms of Britain and Europe.  Alison Linton. New Holland

Attenborough Nature Centre, Nottinghamshire, UK October 22nd/23rd October 2016

A different sort of weekend for me.  I'm used to being outdoors in woods or pastures in the countryside looking for fungi.

This past weekend was very different indeed and very enjoyable.  Attenborough Nature Centre, Attenborough, Nottinghamshire, UK, most kindly hosted a two-day book launch of the new field guide written by myself entitled Field Guide to the Mushrooms of Britain and Europe published by New Holland.  This book is aimed at beginners to the subject of mushrooms.  

Attenborough Nature Centre is a very popular Eco Visitor Centre within Attenborough Nature Reserve.  I was looked after very well as you can see from the photograph above.
I met lots of lovely and interesting people and it was simply great to talk to people who also find mushrooms fascinating, beautiful, and wish to start the journey of learning about them.

Below is a small video of the Book Launch should you wish to take a look.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Mushrooms Attenborough Nature Centre, Nottinghamshire, UK, Notts. TV

Mushrooms Attenborough Nature Centre, Nottinghamshire, UK

Last week I had the fabulous opportunity of taking part in a mushroom walk at Attenborough Nature Centre, Nottinghamshire whilst being filmed by Notts TV.  This was a very steep learning curve for me but a very memorable experience.  The TV journalist Owen Shipton and his assistant Stephanie were wonderful.

If you wish to see the little film the link is below:

This was superb timing as last week on the 9th October 2016 it was National Fungus Day.