Sunday, 24 March 2013

Ramaria stricta

Ramaria stricta

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.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Snowy Waxcap

Snowy Waxcap - Hygrocybe virginea - December 2012

Interesting day at work.  One of my colleagues had found a waxy white fungus whilst out dog walking and had brought it to show me in a little container. 

Its features were very distinctive ie waxy texture, very decurrent gills, and widely spaced.  Colour being white at first then ivory as the day wore on.   It had been found in small groups growing amongst pasture grass on the edge of woodland.   The cap is up to 3 cm diam and the stem also concolorous with the cap  is about 3-4 cm.  I didn't have my camera with me so had to use a colleagues little shoot and point camera.  After much fiddling about with an unfamiliar camara on a very cold day,  I managed to get a couple of shots that were good enough to be included on the website. So thank you to LB for bringing it to show me, and to RM for letting me use his camera, and for repeatedly re-positioning the Waxcap, and for his patience in the car park on a freezing cold day, and with me!  whilst I jumped up and down in frustration trying to master his little camera.  These can now be viewed on Browse 4.

Brittle cinder - Kretzschmaria deusta 

Whilst walking around Wollaton Hall, in Nottinghamshire I decided to peer into a hollow, dead stump lying on the ground.  Tucked away inside was a Brittle cinder.  This is an irregular and wavy fruit body resembling a cushion.  Battle ship grey with a whitish margin.  With maturity it turns black often crumbling when rubbed between one's fingers.

This can also be seen on Browse 4.