Sunday, 18 October 2009

GFG Foray, Cwm Ivy Woods

The weather was perfect for foraying and made a refreshing change from last weeks rain swept day. Starting at the first gate that leads to Monterey Pines, we took a semi circular route. We found many of types of fungi, ranging from the miniscule to the massive.
There were virtually no waxcaps this time which I personally expected to see but we did find the Dune stinkhorn/Phallus hadriani, albeit not all of it and some lovely large cortinarius. Here are the best pics from the day. I'd quite like to come back, just to search for the elusive Dune Stinkhorn!

Cheilymenia granulata = (Coprobia granulata). This fungi lives on cow dung.

When this fungi matures it turns into a disc with a lighter granular edge.Possibly the 'bootlace' that signifies a honey fungus.
Geastrum triplex/Collared Earthstar
Growing on the base of a tree was Hypholoma fasciculare/Sulpher Tuft.

Russula sardonia/Primrose brittlegill. I'm thinking this is accurate because this variety has a lilac tint in the stimp and more importantly, primrose coloured gills.
The gill colour gets darker as it matures whilst the cap becomes a cup shape, as seen below. It's another indicator of maturity.

Lycoperdon perlatum/Common Puffball. The mushroom has a stalk, with spikes running over the spore sac which crumble away, even when very gently touched. The base of each spike is surrounded by tiny dots. When the spike is brushed away the little crater that remains is pure white when young. If you cut this particular young specimen (above) it will be pure white inside. It browns with age, but doesn't neccesarily lose its spikes. It does tear at the top deliberately making a slit to allow the spores to fly away.
I wondered what the spikes are for and why does developing soft spikes that seemingly break off easily help these fungi? Perhaps, when it is mature the spikes act like a sensor, when they come into contact with an abrasive situation; like raindrops falling, the spikes act like a receptor, amplifying a physical response which in turn triggers off a puff of spores..

Cortinarius armillatus/Red Banded Webcap
(subgenus Sericeocybe)

Below is all that was left of a Phallus hadriani/Dune stinkhorn. This was a great find for me. I've never seen a stinkhorn. Its' stimp is bubble combed and here was dry and spongy, probably the wind dessicating the mushroom. It has a hollow interior, resembling a polystyrene tube.

Tricholomposis decora/Plums and Custard. The last find of the day.

It was a bit of a shock and disappointment finding this plastic and rubbish strewn about.

All in all it was a succesful day. It wasn't possible to photograph all the fungi we found today. I will upload them in another blog.

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