Saturday 3 December 2011

Scotland and Macrolepiota procera August 2011

Late August 2011

Devastated and grieving I decided to take solace with friends in Scotland.  (For reason why please read previous blog dated 3rd August 2011).  I spent a few days wandering around alone in deep pain half looking for fungi.   As a distraction I was very kindly taken to St. Cyrus National Nature Reserve near Montrose, Angus.

"The St Cyrus National Nature Reserve is situated between the village of St Cyrus and the sea. Thus it supports beach, dune, grassland and cliff environments – all of which are essential to the many creatures that live here. The cliffs serve as a breeding ground for terns and fulmars, while both the cliffs and dunes support an interesting number of plants – many of which are southern species. Other birds found here include stonechats and skylarks. The reserve also serves to protect the estuary-like habitat at the Esk River mouth."  Extract taken from The St Cyrus Website.

Near to the entrance of the Nature Reserve Visitors Centre, amongst tall grass was a solitary Macrolepiota procera (Field Parasol).  Could not believe my eyes.  I had been searching for the Field Parasol for the past eighteen months with Chris but no such luck.   Before my eyes was the most perfect and beautiful fungus. The size astounded me.  The stem being at least 1 foot tall and the cap the size of a decent dinner plate. The dark brown scales nicely covering the umbo.  The double superior moveable ring was impressive, so thick and huge,  resting on the distinctive patterned stem.  Amazingly,  around the corner I stumbled upon at least six more forming a circle in grass outside the Ice House.  All at their splendid prime and I managed to take some lovely photographs of the cap, gill, ring and stem.  So, so sad that I could not share this discovery with Chris.

These photographs can now be viewed on Browse 4.


Monday 28 November 2011

Fungiworld back on-line and Pholiota flammans

I am very relieved that Fungiworld is now back on-line after a 15 day absence due to a huge surge in visitors.   I have now purchased an unlimited bandwidth package so all should be well from now on.  

Blidworth Wood, Nottinghamshire, July 2011

Blidworth Wood lies in the southern section of Sherwood Forest and consists of pines and broad-leaf trees.
Decided to try this wood as a change from my usual Samson Wood which is located very close by.

Half buried under pine needles and which was nearly missed - was a Pholiota flammans.  Very bright yellow scaly cap as well as the stem. The ring being difficult to see.  Having found a Pholiota squarrosa previously in Scotland several years ago I had always been on the lookout for a flammans.  It did not disappoint, this small, solitary, bright yellow fungus.

This can now be viewed on Browse 4.

Friday 18 November 2011

Apologies for my website being off-line

18th November 2011

Apologies to all visitors who may wish to access my website  This is the only method I have of communicating presently.  My website has run-out of monthly bandwidth due to a huge surge in visitor numbers.  My web hosting company is being most unhelpful in releasing my details in order that I migrate to another web hosting company that will offer me more bandwidth.  Very frustratingly, I do not know when these technical issues will be resolved.  I am very annoyed at the situation and hope that a solution will be found before very long.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Volvariella bombycina and a poignant and sad end to July 2011.

Volvariella bombycina - July 2011

A nice summer evening, with a slightly moist atmosphere so we decided to visit Bramcote Wood west of Nottingham. Was very pleased to find a lovely little group of Marasmius rotula and admired their parachute-like caps.  I did not expect to find anything else but on the return path to the car something caught my attention.

A huge white cap protruding out of a half rotten arched tree trunk.   Cap dimension being up to 20 cm with the most exquisite texture.  Whitish silky fibrous texture, that felt like soft sheep wool.  Some of the strands having a yellowish tinge.   The fibres overhung the margin edge like a curtain pelmet.  The gills being flesh pink and the stem emerging from a volval bag. Amazing!  I just had to keep stroking those silky fibres.  Can be seen on Browse 3.

Everton Wood - July 2011

I had to work that particular day, so Chris visited Everton Wood, Notts/Lincs border to do some bird watching.  He sent me a text to say he'd found a huge attractive fungus.  I responded saying, .......well you know the sort of pictures I need - cap, gills and stem!  Previously, much as he tried, he just could not take good pictures of fungi. But on this occasion he did.  He took three magnificent photographs of a Lepiota(=Macrolepiota) procera - with special emphasis on the superior double ring.  I am so glad he succeeded as these photographs can now be seen on Browse 3.  Very tragically indeed my precious partner Chris died nine days later and this is a very sad and poignant blog for me to write.  Thankfully he did know his photographs would appear on the website - I just wish he could see them.

These can now be viewed on Browse 3.

Saturday 24 September 2011

Bunny Wood, Nottinghamshire and Sowdley Wood, Clunton, Shropshire, June/July 2011

Bunny Wood, Nottinghamshire, June 2011

A half day trip to Bunny Wood.  Everywhere very dry and so was surprised to find a Polyporus varius.
Although it was well hidden in a hollow that had a damp muddy patch.  In the middle of the muddy patch lay a log and there was the solitary Polyporus varius.  A lovely looking fungus with a frilly margin which reminded me of the leaves of a cabbage lettuce.  The light was very bad so the photograph is rather grainy.
There was also a fun moment at this point.  Chris exclaimed that he had found an exotic looking fungus.
Alas it was a false alarm.  Someone with a very good sense of humour had set out to fool fungi hunters by placing a porcelain mushroom under a bush complete with a bright purple elongated cap and a white wavy stem!

Sowdley Wood, Clunton, Shropshire, July 2011

Based ourselves at Bishops Castle for the weekend.  The weather being absolutely gorgeous.  Sunny, warm and dry although there had been some rain the previous week and so was hopeful that I would find some fungi.  Chris spotted something bright yellow half hidden under some leaves under a pine tree.
Unusual characteristics.  Ugly looking with a thick stem that was turning black.  The texture was very felty and we had a debate as to whether it was like a peach or a nectarine.  I won the day and it was agreed it felt like a peach.  I later identified it as an Onnia tomentosa.   Unusual to be growing at such low altitude.

The following day we had another successful day.  On a dead log I found Trechispora mollusca which is white and resembles a lace-table cloth in appearance and it is rather porous.

Also found some small brown like fronds growing on a pine tree trunk - only 1 cm in length which I cannot yet identify.  We found a lovely location for lunch.  A field surrounded by trees.  Alone with birdsong, wild flowers, butterflies and nice views - it felt like paradise.

These photographs can now be seen on Browse 3.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Isle of Skye, Scotland, May 2011

A difficult blog to write. See previous blog for the reason why.


We found the lovely Aros Visitors Centre on the outskirts of Portree surrounded by a spectacular wood.
The Visitors Centre served an incredibly nice Lime Merangue Pie which I guzzled very quickly. Very nice place with ample parking.

Drizzle and very high winds persisted with the tops of the tall pine trees noisily crashing together.We tramped around this wood for a good few hours.  Chris was particularly excited because he spotted a Golden Eagle whereas I had my eyes on the ground looking for good fungi.  Not much to be seen until we found some small cream, disc-like rubbery textured caps amongst moss on a bank.  I think they might be Tarzetta.

Braes Beach

Again, wind blowing us about again - even making photography difficult and the wind so strong that my anti-shake mechanism on my camera failed to work.  Found an interesting specimen in a sandy/soil/mossy bunker by the sea.  Egg-shaped cap, buff background but with grey mottling.  Am not sure yet what it is.

Claigan near Dunvegan (Coral Beach)

My birthday.  Severe gales overnight and fresh snow on the mountains but the sun shone for most of the day although the wind never abated.

Was most impressed with this coral beach. (Dessicated sun-bleached algae) resembling the colour of white tropical sand. We spent a good half day there.  On the way back to the car we walked across a large open meadow. In dung I found what I believe might be Psilocybe coprophila or subcoprophila.  Buff coloured fungi in groups in cow dung.

The day and my birthday ended in a very spectacular manner.  On the drive back to our cottage, we had to stop the car twice due to severe hail storms but were rewarded on the second stop by the most impressive and very special double rainbow.

I will never forget my time in Skye with Chris.  It was too special for words in every respect.

All photographs can now be viewed on Browse 3.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Fungi hunting and Chris 3rd August 2011


Regular readers of my blog will be aware that from time to time I make reference to "Chris" in my narrative.  I am absolutely heart-broken to write that sadly Chris (my beloved partner) has died in a tragic accident.

Without Chris,  most of the photographs taken in the past fifteen months would not have appeared (or in due course will appear) over the next few months on my website.  Chris accompanied me continuously to dangerous and remote areas of woodland, cliff edges, and other rough terrain, ensuring my safety at all times. He held me tight whilst I clung to tree trunks, slippery river banks and other situations too numerable to mention, all over the UK, including the Isle of Skye in Scotland and The Republic of Ireland.
Fundamentally he protected me.  I have now lost my precious Chris and protector. 

When I have recovered, I will carry on taking photographs of British Fungi.

I will continue to make reference to him in the blog until the end of July 2011.

Christopher John Cheshire 1963-2011
'Play, Smile, Think of me, Pray for me'

Thursday 21 July 2011

The Roaches, Staffordshire and Isle of Skye, Scotland, April/May 2011

The Roaches, Staffordshire April 2011

A very hot day indeed.  Drove to The Roaches in Staffordshire.  The Roaches taken from Les roches (Rocks) is an impressive mound of rocks rising to 505m.  The primary reason for this trip was to have a challenging walk.  And a challenging walk it was, scrambling up to the top of rocks with Chris at times pushing me up from behind as my legs were too short to climb from one  rock to the next - sun high in the sky and every where dry and dusty. I did not expect to see any fungi as the ground was dry due to lack of rain.

We walked through Lud's Church which is a hidden chasm with sheer walls 60 feet high.  These walls being damp and covered with moss, lichen and ferns even in a mini drought.  Decided to hunt through the mossy walls and found a minute solitary little fungus.  Cap pure white, 0.3-0.5 cm diameter with white very close gills. The stem being very flexible and almost transluscent.  Currently I cannot id this.

Isle of Skye, May 2011 

This was our first trip to the Isle of Skye so did not quite know what to expect either with the weather or the geography.  An Atlantic low settled over The Inner Hebrides all week, so it was extremely windy with outbursts of heavy rain.  This made the scenes very dramatic and of course brought out the fungi spores.  Spent the week in an old Crofters Cottage.

Briars,  An Entoloma I think.  Greasy cap with the right characteristics.

Trottenish Penninsular, Panaeolus campanulatu or sphinctrinus possibly.
Lovely little fungus, in deep wet grass. Grey mottled cap more buff in the centre.
Nice close dark gills and a beautiful tapering stem with floury texture.

All can now be viewed on Browse 3.

Saturday 9 July 2011

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire and fungus in plant pot, March 2011

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire March 2011

After lunch of soup and the lovely Sussex pasties, and the excitement of photographing Coprinus pseudoradiatus in the dung,  mentioned in the previous blog, we moved on.  It wasn't too long before I spotted a pinkish looking fungus on a tree trunk.  I think it might be Peniophora lycii.  Definitely a delicate pink, encrusted but had some irregular patches. 

Also found a small solitary fungus growing side-ways out of a tree trunk.  Small cap no more than 2 cm diameter, mottled brown/rust colour.  Uneven margin, with very wide gills and a short slightly obese stem.  I cannot identify this at the moment.

Later in March I decided to move some dead leaves from a plant pot in my garden and hiding underneath were some tiny fungi.  Cap no more than 2 cm, rusty brown streaked with purple, particularly at the margin.
Has a delicate rusty brown ring three quarters from the bottom of the stem.  At the moment I am unsure of its identity. 

All of these can be viewed on Browse 3.

Received an email from a student (Ruth Gaona), studying Biology at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.  She requested permission to use one of my photographs of Jew's Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae) for a specific project.  Here is the link to this website 
This is a very informative and detailed piece of work for anyone wishing to learn more about Jew's Ear.

Saturday 25 June 2011

The subject of Slime-flux (fungus) and a visit to Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Slime-flux (fungus)

Received an email from a gentleman from Hampshire who has corresponded with me previously.
Whilst out walking in East Meon, Hampshire, he came across what is believed to be a
Slime-flux (fungus).   There are differing opinions as to what exactly is a slime-flux (fungus).
Opinion seems to be that it is a blend of fungi.  A mixture of bacteria and fungus.
It seems that several types of fungi are present and not all of the same genus and because bacteria is present as well,  it has been referred to as a "Microbial Mat".  (Microbial Mat is a term I have extracted from an article from The Association of British Fungi Groups).
The process can be caused by felling or pruning a tree, or a branch snapping off naturally, then fungi and bacterial invasion occurs.

For further information please refer to:
Field Mycology Oct 2006 7(4) p128-131 by Alick Henrici, Joyce Andrews and John Bailey regarding the "Tyntesfield Monster" that puzzled Kew until its identity was established.

Two photographs of the Slime-flux (fungus) can be seen on Browse 3.

With very special thanks for the photographs and pdf article sent by JB.

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire, March 2011

 "Calke Park is a rich and varied landscape, from rolling grassland to ancient oaks.  80 hectares of the 240 hectare park is a National Nature Reserve, of international wildlife and importance and a Site of Special Scientific Interest"
 Source National Trust.
Set off for Calke Abbey.  Packed lunch included flask of tomato soup and cold Sussex pasties made the night before.  We were blessed with sunshine, though it was cold.  Two hours passed and no fungi to be seen, until I decided to investigate some cow dung.  Was very excited to discover something.  For obvious hygiene reasons I managed to curb my enthusiasm until after lunch on a nearby log.

I believe the fungi in the dung is Coprinus pseudoradiatus which is very similar to C radiatus but the stem is much taller in C pseudoradiatus.  A lovely delicate little mushroom -  grey cap, with the characteristic grooves of Coprinus. 
All photographs can be viewed on Browse 3.

Thursday 16 June 2011

Shining Cliff Wood, Derwent Valley, Derbyshire, December 2010

Shining Cliff Wood (Derbyshire)  is a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the large variety of plants and animals found in this very old wood.  The Woodland is on long term lease to the Forestry Commission. The walk takes you near the Cromford Canal and Tow path. 

Set out with Chris on a very cold December Saturday to Shining Cliff Woods situated in the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire.  Although I originate from Derbyshire this was new territory for me but a very pleasant walk.  We got a little lost but a nice Security Guard still on duty allowed us to take a short-cut through the factory he was guarding.

Very quickly discovered a pure white bracket shaped fungus.  I think it is Crepidotus applanatus.  It was growing in tiers in a dead branch.  It has a very rudimentary stem.  Before long I found a distinctly triangular shaped fungus growing on a pine tree.  This could well be Pastia stiptica.

Moving on to 2011 I spent the weekend in Woking Surrey.  Came across a bracket shaped fungus - though it had gills rather than pores and had a slightly granular soft surface.  I have not identified this yet.

All of the above can now be viewed on Browse 3.

Monday 30 May 2011

Crich, Derbyshire, Everton and Samson Woods, November 2011

Crich, Derbyshire.

Crich is a village within Amber Valley,  Derbyshire.  Nearby is the famous Crich Tram Museum.  The TV series Peak Practice filmed scenes in Crich, better known in the series as Cardale.

Decided to visit The Crich Memorial Stand on a bright, sunny but cold November day.
Even in Summer it is cold on top of  this steep hill.  Saw a fungus that is buff, and has a very precise and sharp margin.  Stem being coarse and mottled.  So far I have not identified this one.

Also during November I made a return trip to Samson Wood in Nottinghamshire.   Discovered what I believe is Reticular lycoperdon.  A pea size fungus, buff,  in small clusters on a tree trunk.  I was puzzled at first as to what it could be - but on gently squeezing one was surprised to find it full of dry, powdery gleba.

I also made a trip to Everton Wood, Yorkshire/Nottinghamshire.  Spotted a very unusual fungus.  It has a pure white cap and a very shiney brown stem that resembles the colour and texture of highly polished wood or teak.   So far I have not identified this.  Also came across something that has a white cap but with a delicate pink hue.  White distant gills and a grey/translucent stem.  Again, I have not identified this yet.

All of the above can now be seen on Browse 3.

Friday 29 April 2011

Everton Wood, North Nottinghamshire/South Yorkshire border

November 2010.  Visited a new area called Everton Wood.  En route to this wood we had to drive up a minor road.
The wood is next to open pasture land.  Something caught my eye.  A huge ploughed field that had been heavily manured was full of quite large fungi.  I have never before seen fungi growing in such abundance in a large soiled area.
They were quite large, cap up to 20 cm, whitish grey, all growing or just appearing out of a volva sac.  At this stage I cannot identify them so will seek an opinion.

Also whilst in this field I came across what I think might be peziza vesiculosa which also favour manured soil and is frost resistant.

These can now be viewed on Browse 3

Monday 18 April 2011

Elvaston Castle and Samson Wood

October 2010.  Another batch of photographs taken last October.

Firstly, Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire.  Found an interesting fungus which resembles Boletus Calopus.  The cap being very light grey with a very definite suede/velvet texture.  The stem though has no characteristic netting pattern.  In fact, it looked like a rhubarb stick!
Also came across what I think is a Mycena rosea.  This was solitary and buried in leaf-litterSmelt of radish.

Also October 2010.  Samson Wood, Nottinghamshire.  Found what I believe is a Boletus edulis and finally a beautiful Omphalina ericetorum amongst grass and moss.

All can now be seen on Browse 3.  

Thursday 31 March 2011


Received an email from a gentleman who has corresponded with me previously.

Whilst out walking in Hampshire he came across a Slime-flux-fungus.  Some of these primitive fungi grow up to 40cm in length.  More about this subject in a few months when I shall be adding a photograph to the website.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Elvaston Castle, Elvaston, Derbyshire

Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire

"Set four miles south-east of the city of Derby is Elvaston Castle Country Park, a picturesque site featuring over 200 acres of woodlands, parkland and formal gardens.
At the heart of the estate lies Elvaston Castle - a Gothic Revival masterpiece designed by James Wyatt in the early 1800s, based on the original house dating back to 1633. Wyatt's design, built for the 3rd Earl of Harrington, became home to the Stanhope family until the estate was sold by the then Earl of Harrington to Derbyshire County Council in 1968. The Council have operated it as Elvaston Castle Country Park since then".

Spent a few hours at Elvaston Castle, on a Sunday afternoon last October 2010.  One of those nice Autumn days where you can still feel the warmth of the sun on your back.  

A thrilling time as in a few square feet (Chris and George who were helping me hunt) found two or three types of coral fungi growing amongst mossy grass.  Clavulinopsis laeticolor, (yellow and club-like) and Clavulinopsis fusiformis (also yellow with acute tips).   I also found another coral-type fungus nearby which was light brown to buff and at this moment am uncertain of its identity.

These can now be viewed on Browse 3.

Sunday 13 March 2011

Weekend work on my website fungiworld

It has been difficult to concentrate this weekend on editing my photographs and up-dating the website because of the terrible earthquake in Japan.  I have been awaiting news from a friend who is currently in Tokyo.  The task has taken far longer than usual as I keep checking the latest internet news images.

Thankfully, at last I have received an email that he is okay.

Last October 2010 I visited a wood near Blidworth, Nottinghamshire called Sansom Wood.
It is a nice wood with a special atmosphere - a mix of broad-leaf trees and pines.
I discovered some new fungi during my visit and they are now available to view on Browse 3.

Jelly fungus or Leotia Lubria.  The cap looked black but on closer inspection it was a very deep olive green.
Also Hebeloma mesophoeum.  The cap being distinctive with what looks like a brown circle in the middle of the cap.

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Fungiworld - latest images

Last September 2010 I spent seven days in the Republic of Ireland.
Included on the website are photographs taken whilst walking around Killarney National Park, The Inch Peninsular and The Gap of Dunloe. 

It was a very special trip, not just for the fungi hunting but also an opportunity for me to savour the special magic of Ireland.  The weather was kind and we had very little rain.

I walked the length of the Inch Peninsular and found, much to my excitement,
Psathyrella ammophila and Hygrocybe conicoides in the sand dunes.

It is the first time I have ever seen fungi growing in sand, and it was both thrilling and fascinating.

Another exciting find was Lycoperdon mammiforme in Killarney National Park.

These pictures are now available to view on my website.