Saturday 1 February 2014

Bulgaria inquinans - Exton, Exmouth October 2013

Bulgaria inquinans - Black Bulgar 

I returned to Exmouth during October 2013.  Having visited earlier in the year (February 2013) when I was hopeful about finding some fungi,  but the weather then was arctic with temperatures plummeting to -6 with even colder windchill, so I found nothing.

During October 2013 I was blessed.  Apart from one episode of rain early one morning I experienced wall to wall sunshine with temperatures reaching a heady 18 degrees.

Stayed again at The Manor Hotel, Beacon Hill which is just lovely.  The staff are wonderful and the relaxed atmosphere is ideal for me. "The Manor Hotel is just a few houses away from the former residence of Lady Nelson and Lady Byron. It was one of the first properties to be built on The Beacon and is in fact Exmouth's oldest hostelry dating back to the 1790's and was once visited by the composer Franz Liszt in 1840.Just a short stroll to both the beach and the town with stunning sea views across the Exmouth bay." 

My aim was to cycle along the River Exe coastal path to Topsham a fourteen miles return trip.This I did and the fabulous bonus was that a very kind member of staff  lent me her mountain bike.
It is a superb trip as the path is wooden, very safe,  and hugs the Avocet single track railway line running from Exmouth to Exeter. 

I came across Bulgaria inquinans at Exton.  They were growing on a dead log tucked away some distance from the path.  Unfortunately they were behind a metal fence, and luckily my camera lense just fitted in between the railings. A huge number of them - some young and others at full maturity.

The characteristics are:  1-4 cm across, black, rubbery and shiny at maturity.  When young more brown with a tightly in-rolled margin.  At maturity it resembles a disc.  The habitat is on dead wood of deciduous trees, oak and less likely beech.  Autumn.  

This is not to be confused with Bulgaria exidia which is more rubbery and flexible in texture and not so disc shaped.

On the return cycle back, I ate my sandwiches sitting on the bike, alone, having the pleasure of watching three fox cubs squealing, playing and grooming themselves in the sun.
A great day.

These photographs can now be viewed on Browse 5 of