Bracketeering

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 17 November 2013 21:46

You've guessed it, I've been fungaling around (I hate the phrase 'fungal foray', it's so twee!) up at Oxshott Common. This area of Surrey is known to be the most heavily recorded site for fungi in the world, with over 3000 species being recorded there. So it was quite surprising to find this species new to the site only a few metres from the car park. It's the scarce bracket Plicatura crispa.

Everyone knows Turkeytail but this was a particularly smart specimen worthy of a photo. I see this fungus more than any other.

This was a new one for me, Leafy Brain. It's actually growing out of other bracket fungi!

And here is a fungus that looks like a bracket but isn't. It's the Oyster Rollrim growing out of pine, another new species for me. I added fifteen species in all (12 fungi, two moths and a gall wasp) with the help of the WWFRG and Tony Davis. I end the day on 4680 species.

Now for a bit of a rant. If there are any dog walkers reading that frequent Oxshott Common, or any other site for that matter, and you always take your dog's muck away, you can read on, smug in the knowledge that none of what I am about to say applies to you. I salute you. If however, you are one of the small minority who let their animals do their business in the woods for people like me to walk in, PICK YOUR DAMN MESS UP AND TAKE IT AWAY WILL YOU!?! Apart from the huge negative effects of years of nutrient input on the ecology, it's utterly disgusting. I could barely hold on to my breakfast at times today, it literally ruined the atmosphere. If I ever catch anyone letting their dog do this, I'll happily place the offending article in your pocket for you so you can take it away. But there in lies the problem. YOU NEVER SEE IT HAPPENING! Is there a secret code? Pick it up if there are people about but leave it where it falls if no one can see you? There were a number of such turds with my name on today, waiting silently in the woods for me to come innocently by. I'll catch someone one day though, no doubt when years of accumulated vitriol will come spewing out in a poorly judged way. In the mean time, I'll just go and breathe into a paper bag for a while. Preferably one with air freshener in it.

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