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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Marasmius androsaceus - Horse Hair Toadstool

Marasmius androsaceus - Horse Hair Toadstool


I recently went camping in the Derbyshire countryside near to Matlock  and when walking through a lovely wood near to the Cuckoostone Walk, I found this little clutch of Horse Hair Toadstool.  The climate being ideal for mushrooms - sunshine, showers and humidity.


Not easy to photograph owing to the small size of its cap and the hair like stem.
Amazing how that fine stem can manage to push through twigs and logs.

The characteristics are below:

Cap 0.5-1 cm. It is very wrinkled/crumpled.  Clay-pink with a darker reddish/brown centre.  The gills are also clay-pink and distant.  The stem is dark brown/black being only 1 mm in width.  It is smooth and stiff, but not brittle.  There is still some flexibility and it will bend a little.
To be found on twigs, leaves and small pieces of wood.  It is common but has to be searched for as is all too easy to overlook.




First image showing the perspective and the second image the gills

















Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Laetiporus sulphureus - Chicken of the Woods

Laetiporus sulphureus - Chicken of the Woods

I'm always drawn to this mushroom - such cheerful vibrant colours - it is difficult to overlook.  The colours can vary from very vivid egg yellow to more toned down colours including hues of orange and pink.

The photograph shows a mature example whereby the margin edge has become wavy, thinner and more pale.   A younger example would have a thicker margin edge.  This was found on an old beech log which has been lying on the ground for many years.


Showing the wavy and crinkled margin edge with maturity



Dimensions: Up to 40 cm across and 12 cm thick with hues of pink and orange.  In tiers on dead trunks including beech, yew and other broad-leaf trees.  Pores smooth and sulphur-yellow.  Sour smelling.  Late Spring to early Summer and not common.  In a young example the margin edge is rounded and full.


Monday, 5 June 2017

Psathyrella candolleana - Pale Brittlestem

Psathyrella candolleana - Pale Brittlestem

I came across this fungus a week or two ago.  At first glance it looked very similar to Glistening Inkcap - Coprinus micaceus.  The fundamental difference being that Glistening Inkcap has glistening fine granules on the cap and the cap is grooved.

The Pale Brittlestem on the other hand, has very fine white scales sparsely scattered on the cap when young.  These can look floury when dry.  The cap itself is bell-shaped and then flattened and 2 - 6 cm across.  Frequently it has remnants of veil at the margin edge giving a 'toothed' appearance.  It is pale tan but can dry to almost white.  The gills are crowded and light grey to start with, gradually turning dark brown.  The stem is white, hollow and can be up to 8 cm tall.  Its habitat is on or near deciduous trees, logs, stumps and cut timbers. This example was found on a small timber step on a path in a mixed wood. It is common.


Showing floury white scales and 'tooth like' remnants of veil on the margin edge

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Polyporus squamosus - Dryad's Saddle

Polyporus squamosus - Dryad's Saddle

Over the years I have seen Dryad's Saddle quite a few times but normally a mature fruit body.  Yesterday, despite the very dry weather recently, I encountered my very first sighting of young ones emerging so thought I'd show a couple of photographs.




Very young Dryad's Saddle emerging


Young Dryad's Saddle


Mature example


This bracket can grow up to 60 cm in diameter and 5 cm thick.  It has broad dark red to chestnut-brown scales which cover a pale ochre background.  The pores are white and oblong/angular shaped.  The stem is very short and white, browning and can be scaly near the base.  To be found on the dead trunks of broadleaf  trees such as elm and beech.  To be found in Spring and Summer.

Three weeks later I revisited the dead tree trunk and it had grown to s huge size and more or less coverd the whole of the side of the dead trunk.

A  huge example

Monday, 10 April 2017

Polyporus leptocephalus - Blackfoot Polypore

 Polyporus leptocephalus - Blackfoot Polypore

Last July I visited Pitlochry (Scotland). Bad weather was forecast for the next day.
The forecasters were correct!  On the short drive into the town centre the sky turned almost black and became eerie silent.

Shortly thereafter the heavens opened and we pulled into the Co-op Supermarket car park.  A deluge of rain with terrible thunder and lightening.  I could see water gushing down the local 'burn' behind the supermarket.  Water was rushing down the streets knocking folk off their feet - I saw a woman's sandals floating down the road.

I rushed inside the supermarket to buy a sandwich only to be told the 'burn' had burst its banks and had flooded the floors - the fire engine was on its way and we had to evacuate!
I ran back to the car and sat tight.  Thirty minutes later it was all over and the sun was shining!  The only evidence being the sandbags protecting entrances.

Fungi thrive in such damp and humid conditions so I went to Pitlochry Golf Course and some nearby copses. I saw some prime Honey Fungus and a Blackfoot Polypore.

Characteristics: Cap up to 10 cm diam. Funnel - irregularly shaped. Ochre-brown and finely lined.  The cap has a depressed area at the point the stem attaches. Pores, circular, white and later turning darker brown.  Stem up to 5 cm and partly black or dark brown. On dead/dying deciduous trees.  Spring to Autumn. Common.





Showing outer surface





Showing pores and black stem





Saturday, 8 April 2017

Coprinus jonesii - Bonfire Inkcap

Coprinus jonesii - Bonfire Incap

Visited Scotland earlier this week.  I've made many visits over the years but never during the month of April. Very uplifting it was too - ablaze with vivid yellow daffodils and budding gorse, plus many new born lambs.

I revisited Crombie Park, near Arbroath, Angus, consisting of 200 acres of woodland and a loch.  The ground was very dry and there was an absence of fungi.  I did spot a peat bog though, and there the ground was more damp. Nearby was an old bonfire site with lots of dead, burnt wood lying around.  I nearly missed it but heavily camouflaged was a small group of Bonfire Inkcap.  This absolutely made my day!  Many years of seaching for this.

Characteristics: up to 6 cm tall, firstly conical then expanding.  At first the cap is covered in white/grey fibrillose veil remnants.  When this has  disappeared or partially so, the dark grey cap is striate from the margin edge inwards, taking on a grooved appearance.
The stem is white, woolly, but can be smooth in sections. The gills are dark, then black.
Found in burnt soil or charred wood.  Uncommon.



A perspective angle 



Showing fibrillose veil remnants and striate texture on cap and pieces of burnt wood on cap



Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Hypholoma lateritium - Brick Tuft

Hypholoma lateritium - Brick Tuft

Cemeteries are perhaps not the the most obvious place to look for fungi but I do visit such places quite regularly because I have found numerous different fungi over the years.
I think fungi like such habitat because there is usually a broad selection of tree species, compost heaps from dead flowers and plenty of green grass.

Yesterday I found a new fungus growing near the tree root of a holly and conifer tree.
This fungus was growing in a small group of four or so.  The cap being a lovely rich brick-red to reddish brown at the centre.  On close scrutiny I could see remnants of veil on the margin edge of the cap.  The gills were firstly pale yellow with an olive-brown hue, later to turn more brown.  The stem being about 5 cm tall, pale yellow near the apex and ochre-brown towards the base and it had a fine fibrous texture.

This fungus is quite common.






Showing yellow stem at the apex

Showing darkening gills later in the day