Yes, it's fungi time again! I always look forward to this time of year when I can get out into the woods in search of these colourful curiosities.
Let me set the scene.....Landscape photographers do it with wide angle lenses and tripods whilst standing and staring, misty eyed, into infinity....Bird photographers do it with mega long lenses whilst sat in a warm and comfortable hide(?)....Fungi photographers do it with macro lenses, bean bags, flash guns, cable releases and reflectors whilst crawling around on all fours, in the darkest and wettest corners of the woods, their arse in the air and their nose almost buried in the smelly, dirty and rotting leaf litter!
Here is a selection of images taken on a couple of recent visits I made to my local woods.
Yellow Stagshorn (calocera cornea) Grows in clusters up to 8cm (3in) tall on dead conifer wood.
Shaggy Parasol (macrolepiota mastoiea) Can be seen growing in woodlands, parks and gardens. The cap can grow up to 18cm (7in) in diameter.
Verdigris Agaric (stropharia aeruginosa) These start off with a blue-green coloured convex and slimy cap that, with age, flattens out to around 8cm (3in) in diameter and develops the yellowish patches as shown here. Grows to around 10cm (4in) tall and can be found in wooded areas, parklands and gardens. In one of my reference books under the heading that says if its edible or not ....it says...poisonous (probably)...are there any volunteers out there willing to clarify the situation?
Common Funnel (clitocybe gibba) With a cap diameter and a height of around 8cm (3in) this, as the name suggests, is one of the most commonly found funnels, in deciduous woodland and grassy areas.
Lilac Bonnet (mycena pura) This fungi is very variable in size and colour and this is possibly the pink form (mycena rosea) it crows to about 8cm (3in) tall with a cap measuring 5cm (2in) diameter. Grows in mixed woodland but is mostly associated with Beech.
Rooting Shank (xerula radicata) This 20cm (8in) tall early fruiting Shank is very deep rooted and has a cap diameter of 10cm (4in) It grows on buried wood.
Rufous Milkcap (lactarius rufus) this is one of the large family of Milkcaps that derive their name from the way that their cap and gills exude a milky looking (the colour varies between species) type of latex when damaged. 8cm (3in) tall with a cap diameter of 10cm (4in) this particular Milkcap is closely associated with acid conifer woods.
Burgundydrop Bonnet (mycena haematopus) When damaged or broken this Bonnet releases a red coloured liquid, hence the name. It grows to around 7cm (3in) high with a 4cm (1 1/2in) diameter cap that starts off conical and then develops into a flatter bell shape. Grows on decayed deciduous wood.
Sticky Scalycap (pholiota gummosa) 15cm (6in) tall with a 10cm (4in) diameter flattened cap. Grows in clusters, this small cluster was part of a large ring, on decayed or buried wood of deciduous trees.
Chestnut Dapperling (lepiota castanea) A small Dapperling with a distinctive colour, The 5cm (2in) diameter cap starts off conical and gradually flattens out. Grows to a height of around 5cm (2in) in deciduous woods. It is deadly poisonous causing liver and kidney damage if ingested.
Candlesnuff Fungus (xylaria hypoxylon) This very common fungus can be found year round growing on the dead wood of broadleaved trees. It gets its name by the fact that its appearance resembles a burnt candle wick. The fruiting body grows up to 6cm (2 1/2in) high.
Common Puffball (lycoperdon perlatum) The distinctive apical pore, the dark coloured circular patch on the top, helps separate this from other similar puffballs. Grows to around 9cm (3 1/2in) tall and is very common in most woodland. The body is pear shaped with a thick, stumpy stalk; white when young (as here) and covered with conical spines that are slowly discarded as it turns brown with age.
Angel's Bonnet (mycena arcangeliana) This greyish-yellow bonnet, that gives of a smell similar to that of iodine, grows to around 7cm (3in) tall with a cap, that starts off conical then becomes bell-shaped, of around 5cm (2in) diameter. It grows in clusters, sometimes large, on decaying deciduous wood, typically Beech or Ash.
** As we know mother nature often doesn't conform to the shape, colour and size that is prescribed to the things that we find around us, taking this into account the above ID's are accurate to the best of my ability, I'm a long way off from being an expert! So, if anyone thinks that I may have got something wrong or has more accurate knowledge please feel free, your comments would be much appreciated...I won't be upset...honest!!