Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Oct 13th Mousehold Heath

Gills of a Tawny Funnel
It was Fungi Foray Day at Mousehold Heath today. Dr Tony Leech, our fungi expert, led the large group of fungi enthusiasts and complete novices (such as myself) around the site in search of these fascinating organisms. I have been on several of Tony's walks through the years and we always get so engrossed in our search that we barely get far before our time begins to over run.

Tony filling his basket with fungi
Sharing his knowledge with us

Sessile Earthstar
Of course, partly thanks to people bringing along their own fungi, it took a while to get out of the car park. One of the fungi brought over happens to be an earthstar, a Sessile earthstar. As you may know I have been looking for one with no success, so it is nice that one comes to me for a change. An earthstar is basically a puffball with petals that fold beneath it and was ripe enough to release its spores like a puff of smoke. I still want to find one for myself though, one day.

Yellow Stainer (I think)
Hairy Curtain Crust
Honey Fungus
Autumn colour
After finally leaving the car park with a look at some honey fungus, we entered an area of grassland beside the roadside. We ended up finding so many fungi, that we spent most of our time in this area, gradually nearing the woodland edge. We went to find the fungi and brought them back to Tony to identify. He is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to fungi, giving both english and scientific names. There were so many names that I am finding it hard to remember any of them now that he has told me. And it wasn't just names, Tony wasn't afraid to taste or smell them either or cut them up to show us the structures inside that helps in identifying the various species.

Tawny Funnel
This area of grassland provided a lot of little gems, from yellow spindles to waxcaps, and in a spot Will once created a bonfire, some tiny cup fungi were growing from the ashes. We also found the odd fly agarics, blushers, turkeytails, milkcaps and many other fungi. Here are a few of what we collected...

Plums and Custard
Yellow Spindles
Can't remember what this is
Brown Rollrim or a brittlegill (can't quite remember)
Milkcap seeping 'milk'
Some kind of cup fungus we found on the remains of a bonfire
Forgotten this one too
Sulphur Tuft
Common Frog
Not sure
Fly Agaric
Fly Agaric
 In the woods, we found even more fungi. Brown rollrims, amethyst deceivers and bay boletes, candlesnuff, blushing brackets and shaggy scalycaps, just a few of the many toadstools, brackets and other strange fungi that we found here.

Brown Rollrim (gills)
Brown Rollrim
Can't remember
Bay Bolete
Underside of Bay Bolete is full of tiny tubes instead of gills
Amethyst Deceiver
Two of the many sizes of an Amethyst Deceiver
Gills an Amethyst Deceiver
Smokey Bracket (left) and Turkeytail (right)
No Idea
Underside of a Blushing Bracket
Shaggy Scalycap
Tony's basket full of fungi
Birch Polypore
Slime Mould
Tufted Tuftshank
Eventually, we returned to the car park, finding a stinkhorn along the way (which really smells bad and from a distance). But before we left, I decided to go to the new pond very quickly as last year we discovered that orange peel fungus grows around the pond. There were specks of them here today, but they weren't as impressive as last year. Most of them were small cup like things, but a few specimens were at a resonable size, looking like discarded bits of orange peel. Once you notice them, it is hard to miss them as they are bright orange.
Orange Peel Fungus

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