Archive for the 'Fungi' Category

19th March 2012, Monday

Not a Bad Day

I had a wander round the reserve yesterday with Graeme Lyons, the Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve ecologist. The intention was to collect some spiders and particularly beetles from Castle Water and the Beach Reserve, but of course we couldn’t avoid being distracted by other wildlife as well. Graeme showed me several species of snail including pointed snail, wrinkled snail and banded snail (these snail names seem very to the point), while I returned the compliment with the spring tachinid Gonia picea and the hoverfly Cheilosia grossa. One of the most interesting things he showed me was not an invertebrate however but a fungus, one of a group called stalkballs, which Graeme described rather accurately as ‘a puffball on a stick’. He thinks it may be winter stalkball (Tulostuma brumale) which apperently is very uncommon in Sussex, but will get it checked by an expert and get back to me. Whaetever it is there are no records of stalkballs for the reserve, so it is another addition to the list.
The mystery stalkball – ‘a puffball on a stick’
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12th November 2010, Friday

A spring day in November

Orange Peel fungus
A walk in the woods this morning in the Beckley area revealed some surprises. A slow-worm crawling across the path, dog violet, primrose and bugle in flower. There were a number of fungi around including two areas where I found Orange Peel fungus (Aleuria aurantia). I don’t think it needs much explanation for its common name.

29th January 2010, Friday

Winter fungus

This website rarely features fungi, so here is a particularly beautiful cluster of what I believe is Velvet Shank (Flammulina velutipes). These have been growing on the upturned stump of one of the long-dead elms between Rye’s Cricket Salts and the river, felled by last autumn’s gales. I sawed up this stump on 12th December and brought it back to my garage to store for firewood, and was surprised to discover these fungi growing on it in dark “lab conditions” last week, the blushing apricot of the smooth caps contrasting vividly with the rich brown of the velvety stems. Unfortunately, their beauty is very transient and the fungi are already dying with the remains of the elm from which they grew. (Click on photo to see it better)

21st October 2009, Wednesday

Brede High Woods

The Woodland Trust has this autumn undertaken an ambitious programme of habitat creation, aimed at opening up areas for the development of nationally-rare lowland heath. This has been achieved by the clearance of secondary woodland, felling post-war conifer plantations and removing birch scrub both situated on land which had been agricultural until the construction of Powdermill Reservoir in 1930.
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14th October 2008, Tuesday

Beach Reserve Fungi

A surprising selection of  fungi can be foung along the shingle ridges of the Beach Reserve, two species which are easy to find at the moment are Blackening waxcap (Hygrocybe nigrescens) and Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare). The picture below show a fresh Blackening Waxcap, as the fungi grows the cap and stem will start to turn black.

Blackening Waxcap

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12th September 2008, Friday


Fungi rarely feature on this site, so here are two photos taken today of Parasol Mushrooms which I believe to be the edible Smooth Parasol, Macrolepiota procera, growing on a grassy bank on the north side of Leasam Hill. This is a common species locally, and these mature specimens are about 30 cm tall and 16 cm across. (Left-click on each photo to enlarge)

21st February 2008, Thursday

Scarlet Elfcups

scarlet elfcups
These charmingly named fungi found in a woodland near Brede. If you look closely you can see a hobbit footprint.

3rd November 2007, Saturday

Beach Reserve

A fine display of Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasiculare) can now be found along the beach road near the footpath to Parkes Hide. The fungi would not be there if it were not for the rotting railway sleepers buried beneath the shingle which formed the track to the quarry in the early 1980’s.
rxsulphur tuftDsc08145.jpg

29th October 2007, Monday


At the viewpoint this morning I was surprised to find a female Migrant Hawker ovipositing and another pair in tandem this late in the season, several Common Darter were also powered up by the autumn sunshine. Also of interest was a group of 40 Blackening Waxcap (Hygrocybe conica) found in the nearby grassland. Bird highlights included, 8 Bearded Tit (3 male) from the viewing platform, 3 Tree Sparrow, Green Sandpiper, Kingfisher and 15 Snipe from the main pit.

rxblackening wax cap d.JPG

15th March 2007, Thursday

Green Wood-cup

While in Brede High Wood yesterday, I found some pieces of green stained wood caused by the fungus Green Wood-cup (Chlorosplenium aeruginascens). The stained wood is often seen but the fruit bodies are less frequent. The infected wood was formerly used in marquetry.

rxgreen wood-cupDsc06117.jpg