Monday, October 29, 2012

Foray to Stoodley Glen

This took place last Saturday, 27th October.

We had done it the previous year one month earlier and there was a different set of fungi to be recorded.

Most notably absent at this later date were the Russulas, or Brittlegills,  of which we had a range of species in late September last year.

Five of us were on the foray and it took place in finger-nipping temperatures but with beautiful bright sunshine.

The woods were at their colourful best, especially the beeches, whose bright orange leaves literally covered the surface of the canal in places.

Near the canal we found a single perfect example of a Blusher Amanita rubescens.

A little further on were about 30 White Saddles Helvella crispa.
I was fascinated to see these for the first time in the flesh.

Through the woods we had many small brown difficult to identify species, but a large tuft of Shaggy Scalycap Pholiotta squarrosa 
was unmistakable. There were also two yellow Pholiotta specimens of a different species which grew singly out of tree trunks at about a metre above the ground.

Some large fresh Birch Polypore or Razorstrop Fungi, Piptoporus betulinus near the ground delighted the youngest member of the group, Oliver, with their rubbery hardness.

In the fields, which are unimproved pasture on steep, infertile soil, we found three species of Waxcaps, Hygrocybe pratensis (Meadow Waxcap), one of the small red Waxcaps, and a tiny specimen of a Parrot Waxcap Hygrocybe psittacina, with a flush of bright green on its cap. 

There was also a tuft of  Yellow Club Clavulinopsis helvola or possibly Apricot Club C. luteoalba.

The beech plantation confirmed the feeling  from other sites that this is a good Amethyst Deceiver Laccaria amethystena year, with many shining purple in the sunshine, up to about 5cm across.

The view back down the glen with the sun on the landscape and all the woods changing colour was gorgeous, and we retraced our steps after our picnic lunch, as we had a good haul of fungi already to identify; leaving the crossing of Erringden Moor to Broadhead Clough Nature Reserve for another day.

Incidentally, just one branch of the three crabapple trees was found to be well laden with fruit, confirming my suspicion that it was the cold nights in April and May that saw off our fruit crop this year, by killing the fruitlets, not poor pollination. (The fruiting branch we saw was well sheltered from the wind, low down in the middle of the thicket.) We imagined the wild boars of old snuffling up the fallen crabapples, and the bears standing up to gorge straight from the branches. (These were the original animals this tree depended on to disperse its seeds.)

Native Crabapple Malus sylvestris.


No comments:

Post a Comment