Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Swithland Fungi

I managed to get out this afternoon with Nichola. We had a great couple of hours wandering around Swithland Wood on our own, and we were lucky with the weather as during our walk the wind dropped, the sun shone a little and it was pretty mild. The only shower was the constant fall of acorns. Almost the moment we got back to the car it started to darken and within five minutes of leaving it was full-on torrential rain all the way home.

Whilst it was very pleasant, it wasn't quite the autumnal spectacular it might have been. Most of the trees still held plenty of green leaves, and the colours otherwise were mainly yellows. The Red Oaks were the exception, but these had gone over to brown already.

Within the wood there are two water-filled slate quarries, with one in the middle being pretty large. Trouble is for as long as I can remember these have been fenced off and are inaccessible - they can only be glimpsed through the fence and trees.

I've got no idea if there is anything in these pits that would properly support wildfowl, though I do remember seeing Little Grebe on here years ago so there must be something in there.

Whilst mooching about looking at any fallen trees, we came across this old log that has been embedded with coins ....

I've never noticed this log before, or seen anything like it. Searching on the web this evening though suggests that this is a 'wish tree', whereby people hammer in a coin and make a wish - probably derived from some mediaeval belief of wishing away ailments.

Once I read about that, I immediately wished that people would stop being such bellends. Notably this log was devoid of fungi, moss or anything else. Perhaps corroding coinage leaches chemicals into the wood?

Happily I did find fungal interest on other trees. One I'd not seen before was this ...

Bulgaria inquinens - Black Bulgar

I also found one of these, only the second I've seen though I'd like to find a fresh one ....

Phallus impudicus - Common Stinkhorn

Others were more expected or less identifiable ....

Pholiota squarrosa - Shaggy Scalycap

Ascocoryne sarcoides - Purple Jellydisc

Xylaria hypoxylon - Candlesnuff

(probably) Hypholoma fasciculare - Sulphur Tuft

Some sort of bonnet ....

Some sort of slime mould ....

I also pointed the camera at this, and realised when I got home that there was a missed opportunity (I wasn't focussing on anything entomological whilst out) ....

Presumably a Rhizophagus sp. ?

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