Snow, snow and more snow. This Winter has not been favourable for finding fungi - the ground either being covered in snow or frost and the air temperature being too dry. Regardless, there was a sudden overnight thaw and so I set off for a tramp around the Nottingham University Park. It was still bitterly cold, but I decided to persevere. It paid off. I was just about to give up when thought I would wander along a minor road lined with shrubs, conifers nearby, covered in tree bark. It was there I spotted a coral fungus. A huge clump and somehow it had been preserved under the snow the previous day. Very tall, beige with lilac hues. This was different to other coral fungus I'd seen before. I took some photographs and in my excitement and probably because I was so cold, I forgot to take a sample.
I checked my books and had a feeling it was Ramaria Stricta, (Upright Coral) as the height was about right and it was very vertical, so sent the photos over to my contact RR at the Notts Fungi Group. He thought the same but wanted to do a spore test. So I said I would collect a sample. The first chance I got was prior to my evening Nordic Walking class. So in the pitch black on hands and knees, dodging security, as my car was illegally parked, I managed to find it and collect a decent sample in a plastic container. Safely kept in the fridge over night I handed over the sample to RR the following evening. The spore test confirmed R. stricta
so a great result. In some parts of the country this is vulnerable and is on the red data list but it seems it is not so uncommon in Nottinghamshire. All worth the effort as the photo has also been added to Notts Fungi Group website.
Also, as mentioned earlier in a previous blog, the photographs are on the website of Mycelium found on a log that had a chunk of bark missing, thus exposing the usually hidden mycelium.
These photographs can now be viewed on Browse 4.