Sunday 22 January 2012

Stoney Wood , Derbyshire, September 2011

Stoney Wood, Near Wirksworth, Derbyshire September 2011

My web designer for Fungiworld and friend Craig, offered to take me out for the day.
Without Chris, I am a little restricted for reasons of personal safety, and don't feel inclined to fungi hunt in remote woods or areas, so was eager to have a day out.  Besides which it would raise my spirits.  A pleasant, sunny day, so off we set.

Stoney Wood being very small on the outskirts of Wirksworth, Derbyshire.  Located on the edge of  abandoned quarries previously mined for Derbyshire Stone.  The first fungus I spotted in tall grass and moss I think is Hygrocybe Virginea (Snowy Wax Cap).  Pure white, waxy texture, with a slight twist in the stem.  Growing in small groups. 

We started to follow a gravel path and before long realised were were on the edge of a huge dis-used quarry.  Climbed over a big gate to see if there were any fungi on the edge of this huge area.  Walked about 100 meters and found an unexpected sight.    A deep quarry filled with vivid bright blue water, yet the sky was not vivid blue!  It would have not looked out of place in the tropics.  A white car in the distance, started to make its way towards us.  A lady got out and told us we should not be on the quarry land.  Her job was to make sure people did not go down to the quarry and be tempted to dive in or swim.  We explained that we would not go near and were just looking for mushrooms.  A lady doing a very good job.  She never took her eyes off us.  Also she explained that no matter what the weather, or the season, and even on dull Winter days the water was always vivid blue.  An American rock band had apparently filmed a video there.  We took lovely photographs and left.

Made our way back to Stoney Wood for a picnic.  I searched in more grass and found two Clavaria (White Spindles).   Two lovely little fungi - white,  the larger one being about 6 cm tall with a club-like tip and the smaller one being only 2 cm tall and narrow and slender.  My first white Clavaria having previously seen yellow.

A good day out, my spirits lifted slightly and I won't forget that Blue Lagoon in a hurry.

These fungi can now be viewed on Browse 4.

Sunday 8 January 2012

Laccaria amethystea and Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea)

Arbroath, Scotland, August 2011

Still in Scotland with my friends and extremely grateful for their company and fabulous hospitality.  I felt safe. Also indebted to them for allowing me to shed tears whenever, and wherever I needed to. And for accepting my zombie like state and aimless wanderings.  

Whilst out 'wandering' around the edge of the golf course amongst broad leaf and conifer trees,  I came across a small group of Laccaria amethystea.  The depth of the deep purple colour was impressive. Especially as cap, gills and stem are all such a deep colour.  My photography that day was definitely not at its best and the photo is not as clear as I would have liked - the lighting was bad and the location was difficult and I got stung quite badly by nettles.

September 2011 

Calvatia gigantea - Giant Puffball.  A first for me.  Was tramping around the Nottingham University campus early one morning when I came across two Giant Puffballs.  One young and one mature growing near to each other.  Unfortunately for me, they were surrounded by huge nettles, but I managed to photograph both.  The mature one being larger than a football but still not as big as it could be.  I couldn't resist trying to pick it up to test the weight.  Of course it was lighter than expected and the texture being cork like.  Did not lift it much as didn't wish to damage it.  I could not help wondering just how many people a Giant Puffball would feed!

These pictures can now be viewed on Browse 4.