Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Hygrophorus hypothejus/Herald of the Winter

Below are photos of  Hygrophorus hypothejus/ 'The Herald of the Winter'. It comes out after the first frosts of the year. It's a lovely mushroom, and richly coloured too.

I've never seen it before but it falls into the 'sticks out like a the sore thumb' category in my head. It's too distinct to be mistaken. I knew what is roughly was but not by name, just because I look through the books.
I confirmed it, but not like the descriptions or photos; the stipe had red flushes too.
The dark, slimy cap  is interesting. It's made me wonder about its purpose.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

GFG Foray: The Cliffs by Pilton Green

Today was the last GFG foray. This year has been a bumper year for mushrooms across Britain apparently. The good weather conditions, (good for fungi that is), that we've had over the last three years has probably had big hand in this result. I look forward to seeing what the records will show.

Talking of the weather, as a group we have been lucky with the weather, having great conditions on every foray date this year. I was concerned that the long warm spell we had would damage many mushrooms and this was borne out by what we found at Kenfig. Everything was parched.
But it will go down in my memory as the year it never rained on us and I'm grateful for that.


It's good to have company when looking for mushrooms and I thank you all;  for turning up, giving your time to clamber though bushes, get stung by nettles, look at the ground, stare at the grass and occasionally lose our way. It's all good, and still been fun.
It's not often we find a toilet seat on the road walking back to the cars after getting a little bit lost..
To all you guys and gals. I thank you all.

We parked at Pilton Green then walked through some fields, crossing many stiles  to get to the cliffs. It was certainly the epitome of a bracing cliff top walk. From here it's not terribly far to find the cave that contained 'The red lady of Paviland'

Of all the mushrooms we found, Stropharia semiglobata was the most common. It likes cattle and horse dung and there was plenty of that around. There was lots of Lepista nuda/Blewits too (in perfect condition if you wanted to cook them).
There's lots of gorse here and lots of Tremella mesenterica/Yellow Brain living on it. More than I've ever seen before.

Below is Stropharia semiglobata. It likes dung.We also found Stropharia aeruginosa in reasonable amounts too.

 Stropharia aeruginosa
 Lepista nuda

 Below is a slime mould. We found quite a lot of this. It's Mucilago crustacea in what's called the plasmodium stage. It's strange to think it moves.

Below are a couple of lichens. I'll have to find what they are because I'm struck by the colours and patterns, both colour and organism design. They intrigue me as much as fungi.

Below is the google map link to Pilton Green,+Rhossili,+Swansea&gl=uk&ei=3frrTP6WE6iAhAe4ptjMDA&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ8gEwAA

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Other Fungi from Ogmore

 Some of the fungi we picked at Ogmore. Above is Clitocybe gibba/Common Funnel. It has a rich orangey-red colour and when it matures the cap will become strongly decurrent meaning the gills will turn upright.
Below is Macrocystidia cucumbis/Cucumber Cap. The cap is a dark blackish brown to purplish brown with a light margin which can be seen in the photo. It has a very distinctive smell; that of cucumber or even fishy odour. The cap colour is darker when moist and dries paler when dried out.

Below is Lepista panaeolus. It's also known as Lepista luscina. It's uncommon to rare but relatively easy to identify. The cap is a dull grey/brown and often looks like its dusty. It's frequently ornamented with concentric rings of spots and that is useful when identifying it in the field.It can be solitary and sometimes in rings.

 From left to right: Clavaria fragilis/White Spindles, Panaeolus fimicola (=P. ater)/Turf Mottlegill, Clavulinopsis helvola/Yellow Club and Xylaria hypoxylon/Stag's Horn Fungi.
Below Xylaria hypoxylon/Stag's Horn Fungi or Candlesnuff Fungi. A very common fungi that lives on dead wood. The tip is always white and the stipe is black and minutely hairy. Click on the photos to see more clearly.

Below is Galerina pumila/Dwarf Bell. When this mushroom is moist it's very striate and can be seen in the picture.

From left to right:  Tulostoma brumale/Winter Stalkball, Xylaria polymorpha/Dead Mans Fingers and Stropharia squarrosa
Tulostoma brumale/Winter Stalkball. It belongs to what are commonly called 'stomach fungi' which include the Earthball species. A very small and overlooked mushroom that can be found in sand dunes, sandy soils and moss. The cap is 1-2 cms wide atop a basic stipe and has a tiny opening on the top to shoot its spores. It's uncommon and can be found over winter to early spring.

 This is Clavulinopsis corniculata/Meadow Coral. A common fungi to be found in lawns and pastures. Yellow fruitbody sometimes with a forked top/dichotomously branched with incurved tips.

Clavulina rugosa/Wrinkled Club. A wrinkled, irovy coloured fungi. It can reach 10 cms high and sometimes has antler like branches, sometimes its more simpler but always with an irregular, wrinkled and uneven surface. It's common and often found in groups. At Afan Argoed a few years ago this fungi was growing in great numbers over a very large area.

Although the photo does not do the fungi justice this is Clavulinopsis luteoalba/Apricot club. It has a richer colour than the other yellow species but it has a white tip and that helps identifying it. That can just be made in the picture below.

 At Ogmore we found Cystoderma amianthinum/Earthy Powdercap in reasonable numbers. A common fungi on heaths or woodlands. The cap has wrinkled quality, along the margin of the cap there are remnants giving it a ragged edge and the stipe is distinctualy granular.

Waxcaps at Ogmore

At Ogmore we found nine species of Waxcaps/Hygrocybe. They often have bright colours; yellows, oranges and shades of red or a combination. The surface of these species can help identify the species. They can be dry, waxy, slippery and viscid. Below is Hygrocybe splendidissima/Splendid Waxcap

 Below is Hygrocybe psittacina/Parrot Waxcap. The only Waxcap that is coloured green, often with shades of yellow. Both the cap and stipe are very slimy to the touch.

 The waxcap below is called Hygrocybe russocoriacea/Cederwood Waxcap. It's an ivory colour that isn't well seen below but identifying this mushroom is relativley easy in the field. It's very close in appearance to Hygrocybe virginea/Snowy Waxcap but unlike that mushroom Hygrocybe russocoriacea has a very distinctive, pleasant smell of cedar wood or pencil sharpenings.

Below is Hygrocybe pratensis/Meadow Waxcap. Another distinctive waxcap with a dull apricot coloured cap. The stipe is flushed with cap colour too and is quite firm. It can be quite large and is very common.

Jelly Fungi

At Ogmore we found two jelly fungi.
The members of this family are gelatinous and irregular in shape, often in dull colours. When wet they are easier to see and when dry shrivel to a hard, thin membrane so when they rehydrate they swell to resume spore production. They can be found throughout the year.

Below is the very common Jelly Ear/Auricularia auricula-judae. It's found on the branches of deciduous trees. It's ear shaped and often wrinkled on the underside and minutely hairy on the outer surface.

 The fungi seen from above. Click on the photo to see the hairy outer surface.

Below is a fungi that belongs to the Exidia family. Possibly Exidia nucleata/Crystal Brain.