Daniel Greenwood

The language of leaves

Posts tagged ‘Summer mushrooms’

Fungi Friday 28th August 2020

2020 has been a challenge for all three of us fungi photographers down here in southern England. But we are starting to see a change in the weather. Therefore, something is stirring in the Kingdom of Fungi. On a side note, did you know that the fungi was only given its rightful place, taxonomically distinct from plants in 1969? 1billion years on Earth and they were only just recognised as being separate from plants 51 years ago! Obviously scientific study hasn’t been going for a billion years.

One species which has appeared after recent rain is chicken of the woods. I’ve seen it in two different places, but the same habitat which means the species is responding to wider atmospheric change, not localised. You will see better shows from this pretty outrageous fungus, the rain had actually made it more like scrambled eggs.

As so often with chicken of the woods, it was growing on a fallen tree trunk, sweet chestnut in this case, and its orange colour flashed into the corner of my eye from the deep shade where it was growing.

My second major recent sighting drew me back to where I first found an interest in fungi: trees. Storm Francis has thrown their toys out of the pram in recent days and I was pretty astonished to see that some sycamore trees, young ones, had lost their leaves already. I am guessing there is a link between a lack of spring/summer rain and an earlier autumn, in terms of trees shedding leaves. That’s based on observation only.

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I don’t know if this is Francis’s work, but this standing dead horse chestnut has been brought down in the past week. It has some huge bracket fungi growing from one side, which will have softened the wood further. It’s important to remember that it’s rarely fungi that fell a tree, but the wind. Fungi just put in the groundwork. Great job.

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I am sure this is a species of Ganoderma bracket fungus but I’m not sure which kind. I cycle past this every couple of weeks nowadays and always stop to feast my eyes on these gigantic fungi. If this is one single fungus, it could be 15 to 20 years old.

For more about brackets, check out this epic I wrote a couple of months ago.

There probably won’t be a #FungiFriday for me next week as I’ll be on holiday. Don’t fret, autumn is afoot (ashroom?) now, so get ready for the good stuff!

Thanks for reading.

More mushrooms

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Fungi Friday 12th June 2020

At last, this week some rain arrived. I headed to my local woodland to see if any mushrooms had taken the bait. I went there with a slender hope of seeing anything because it has been so dry this spring.

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Common cow wheat

It was pleasing to see special woodland plants such as common cow wheat, another of those species which is not actually so common anymore.

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Juniper haircap moss

The bryophytes also looked more lush and watered after a day of rain in the past week.

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This stunning drinker moth caterpillar was chilling (literally) on a boardwalk. I moved my fellow redhead to safety before it got squished by evening strollers.

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My special summer patch was free of fungi, it may be another month before anything comes up there.

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The mycelium of green elfcup

Just like last week, green elfcup was evident in those beautiful blue-green stains on bits of fallen wood.

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I was quite startled to spot this growing out of the buttress of a tree. I think this might be rooting shank, a species which is often found at this time of year. It’s a signal of summer.

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The slugs are obviously hungry at the moment because much of the fungus had already been eaten. The slime trails below are the smoking gun.

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Nearby I saw what I thought was an old tennis ball. Upon closer inspection it was in fact a mushroom making its way up into the world.

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This is almost certainly a member of the Amanita family, home to fly agaric and the death cap. It could be tawny grisette. You can see it is appearing from a veil. There is the typical Amanita patchiness to the remnants of the veil. I did wonder if this might even be Caeser’s mushroom. I will try and check back in a few days if it can last that long.

Thanks for reading.

More mushrooms

 

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