Piggybacks, Jellybabies and Magpie Inkcaps

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday, 13 October 2010 18:18

I have had an excellent day today at The Mens. I met up with Martin Allison and some of his friends, Martin is an old colleague of mine from the RSPB days and is an exceptional mycologist. I saw many more species than I could record, I concentrated on the ones I could identify myself without a high-powered microscope (my x 50 zoom might be good for counting the hairs on beetles palps but not for looking at fungal spores, I'd need a x 1000 for that!). Anyway, I'll start off with my all time favourite fungus, Magpie Inkcap. The pictures says it all really. Amazing! What else to include? I saw my first Sulphur Knights in the car park before they arrived. This yellow fungus stinks strongly of gas and petrol.
Before leaving the car park I spotted these White Saddles, another new species for me. The specimens are splashed with mud from passing traffic but you can see the odd shaped cap that the Helvella species have.
Next up we have Green Elfcup but this time it is actually fruiting. Normally you just see deadwood turned green by the mycelium, this is the first time I have seen it in fruit.
Here are the Jellybabies. What an awesome name, I just wish they came in different colours. They look good enough to eat but feel very rubbery to touch and Roger Phillips states they are inedible.
It seems to be another good year for Horn of Plenty. I like this one as it is really easy to identify!
Perhaps the commonest fungi we saw today were Blackening Brittlegills and Buttercaps. On the decaying Blackening Brittlegills we recorded a few Powdery Piggybacks!
Two years ago, Mark Monk-Terry and I bumped into some Terracotta Hedgehogs at The Mens but I didn't have my camera and we saw them again today, they don't have gills as such, more like stalagmites.
I can't believe I have never seen this one before, there were hundreds there today. The simple, solid but elegant Clouded Agaric.
Finally, this oddity is the Pestle Puffball and was quite a specimen. It has been a really good day, I saw far more species than this but I struggled to take in all the Mycenas, Lacatarius, Clitocybes and Russulas. Still, I have seen 16 species that I am confident with and could recognise again. I am SEVEN species away from 3000!

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