Monday 21 July 2014

Exmouth February 2014 Floods and Dung Cup (Peziza vesiculosa)

Exmouth February 2014 - Floods and Dung Cup (Peziza vesiculosa)

So much can change in four months. The previous October 2013 the weather was mild with wall to wall sunshine and with no inkling that Britain was soon to experience storm after storm (from December - February) each one being stronger and inflicting more damage.  As it turned out the storms were the worst for 60 years.

Undeterred, I carried on with my plans to visit Exmouth to have a break and look for fungi.
Making plans was not easy.  The train timetable meant very little. No advance bookings allowed either.   Flooding at the Somerset Plains meant my train would get to Bristol and then take a detour around the London-Paddington route - a longer journey but I was prepared. A 5 am start to get the only train without a bus alternative.

The Cross Country train was only a quarter full.  It seemed no-one wanted to travel.  There were only a handful of people in my carriage - all a little subdued.  I saw the flooding on the television - but nothing can prepare for the reality.  For 30 minutes on both sides of the carriage - just water as far as the eye could see.
Poor people and wildlife.  I felt a little guilty capturing human misery with my camera.  But it was mesmerizing being on a train that appeared to be skimming across miles of water. Credit to Cross Country Trains for their punctuality and cheerful service.

Exmouth had taken a battering but not as much as Dawlish just over the bay where a section of the railway was hanging in mid-air and a battle was on to rebuild the route ready for the Easter Holiday.
Every night from my hotel room I saw the arc lights brightly lit as Network Rail worked around the clock and the tides.

Peziza vesiculosa (Dung Cup)

I came across this little fungus in a heavily horse manured park.  Dung cup is specific to horse manure.
There were lots all lying on the surface of the manure.  The dimensions are: 3-8 cm diam.  When young it looks like a little shallow button, upon maturity it takes on the appearance of a cup with an uneven margin.  The colour varies from dark buff to light tan.  The exterior of the cap is markedly creased and the inside is smooth. 

There was not much else to photograph as it seemed the floods had washed away all the spores and fruit bodies.

These photographs can now be viewed on Browse 5,