Friday 28 September 2012

Amanita strobiliformis

Amanita strobiliformis (August 2012)

Visited one of my regular haunts, Nottingham University Campus.  Usually I'm out searching for fungi very early in the mornings but on that Sunday afternoon, it was more of stroll around so I could show a friend some of the nice cultivated gardens.

En route to the first garden in a grass verge near to mixed trees, stood a quite large, but immature white fungus.  Next to it was another lying on the ground,  passed its best,  but good enough to get a photograph of the gills.  The immature one was in perfect condition.  I knew it was an Amanita but being immature did not have all its characteristics.  Puzzled I took a good photograph and studied my books.  At a loss, decided to consult an opinion from a contact in the Notts Fungi Group.  Luckily, he had seen the same fungi 2 days later than myself, had analysed the spore prints and was told it was Amanita Strobiliformis.  Both parties happy, his photo had not turned out too well so I could provide my image to the Notts Fungi Group and he had managed to get a good analysis!

It would have been good to see this fungi at its maturity as it is large, white with scales that over-hang the margin.  The stem is white and shaggy with remains of a volval bag, also having a large ring. The immature one I saw was certainly striking.  Usually solitary late Summer to Autumn and according to the books is rare so I'm glad to have seen it.

This image can now be seen on Browse 4.

Saturday 1 September 2012

Scutellinia scutellata

Chester and Scutellinia scutellata - June 2012

Visited a friend in Chester for 3 days.  A new city to visit which is always exciting.
Travelled by train as usual and once beyond Crewe, the scenery became more
rural and the Welsh mountains could be seen in the distance.  

I was most impressed with the 'feel' of Chester.  A city that felt more like a large town,
lovely wide grass verges on the outskirts and so fresh smelling i.e no petrol fumes.
Very near to Chester Racecourse is a small wood called The Dingle.  OS Grid SJ4065.  This small area of wood lies on the southern side of the River Dee.  Was attacked by lots of
mosquitoes but on a dead log I discovered a group of Scutellinia scutellata.
No more than 0.5 cm diameter, disc-shaped, smooth and scarlet.  Took me a while to realise what is was because the dark brown hairs are not easily visible unless at eye level.  Even then a hand lense would be useful.  I can now see why this is called Eye Lash Fungus.  
These pictures can now be seen on Browse 4.  For the first time ever, on fungiworld,  I have enhanced one of the photographs by darkening,  so that the 'hairs' can be clearly seen.

Thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Chester Zoo kindly arranged by my friend - getting a birds eye view from the monorail.  Felt quite pleased as we managed to sit in the exact carriage that the Queen had sat in just recently to celebrate her 60 years on the throne!

Also now to be seen on Browse 4 is Phaeomarasmius erinaceus which I mentioned in a previous blog.