Monday, 2 March 2015


Velvet Shank

Walking around the wood with Philip last week we came across what, on the face of it, appeared to be Flammulina velutipes.
A little more research on the subject revealed that there are in fact three Flammulina spp.
The fb's were definitely growing on Willow, which suggests that it might well be the much rarer Flammulina elastica which is only found on Willow.
I'm afraid it's beyond my abilities to separate the two. Any offers?

Sunday, 1 March 2015

More Slime Moulds

Back in January I posted a Cribraria sp which I found on a fallen log. Since then I have come across two more species.

Other than excluding those species which occur on conifers, I am still no closer to identifying them.
Bruce Ing's book "the Myxomycetes of Great Britain & Ireland" appears to be out of print, and they seem to be too obscure even for the Internet to be of much help.
Such a pity as these beautiful little organisms are certainly worthy of a closer inspection. I can't help wondering whether the name - Slime Mould puts people off!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

A woodland walk in Llanllwch

On Friday, Philip Jones and I accompanied Tony Ivans and his daughter Emily on a walk around their woodland in the centre of the village of Llanllwch. Despite the cold weather quite a few fungi were found, the most dramatic being clusters of fruitbodies of the Southern Bracket (Ganoderma australe) which was colonising a large, recently fallen beech tree. The brackets are rusty brown on the upper surface and have thousands of pores on the lower surface through which the fungal spores are dispersed.

Another fungus we found in profusion was Witches' Butter (Exidia glandulosa) which has a gelatinous fruit body and was growing on dead hazel. It is one of the Jelly Fungi - the same group as
Jelly-ear (Auricularia auricula-judae) on Elder and Yellow Brain (Tremella mesenterica) on Gorse, both of which were seen in the wood.
After the walk we were treated to a splendid lunch by Tony and his wife (thank you) and afterwards attempted to set up Tony's two microscopes. All in all - a very enjoyable day.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Look no strings!

Glue Crust Fungus (Hymenochaete currugata), may not win any beauty competitions within the fungus world, but could certainly win a prize for resourcefulness.  The small piece of broken Hazel branch is being held off the woodland floor by the fungus attached to the other branch alongside, whilst it feeds on it.

 If it had eaten its own branch then it would have eventually fallen to the ground with it, and would then have had to compete with the rest of the fungus world for the remaining food.

Glue Crust Fungus is a fairly common species, usually found growing on hazel. The photo on the right however would seem to show Glue Crust Fungus growing on a piece of willow, whilst also capturing an acorn cup.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Frog 'jelly'

This is a poor frog I saw in Oct 2012 ---- looks a bit as if something has attacked it unless the poor thing exploded.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Jelly mystery!

Various folk send me photos as they are not sure which fungus it might be  --- or is it a fungus at all.
This was sent recently wondering if it might be some sort of  'jelly-fungus' or a 'slime-mould'.  I think it might have a common name but I forget ---- star-snot is one suggestion.

 This is the regurgitated ovaries of a frog or toad which has been predated by a bird.  Birds find this part is unpleasant or are unable to digest so regurgitate.

Perhaps Colin knows more detail.  Does this have a 'common' name?  What bird(s) do this?

I once found some with remains of frog close-by.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Some Fungi at Cynheidre.

Winter Fungus, Polyporus brumalis
Found two new fungi to add to my "life list"yesterday whilst walking the dogs at the old Cynheidre site. The first is "Winter Fungus", (Polyporus brumalis), growing on a dead birch branch. This came as quite a shock as when I turned it over to photograph the gills I found there weren't any - there were pores instead. Spent a short while looking through the Bolete section before finding a new section called "stemmed polypores". Learning all the time!

Tremella mesenterica var. alba

Also very pleased to come across the white version of Yellow Brain Fungus, Tremella mesenterica var. alba, growing on a gorse branch. Only a small piece but still large enough to tick a box and add to my photo collection.

How does one go about taking spores from a species like Tremella?

Also came across this the other day, which I thought was quite interesting and attractive. Some unknown fungus has attacked the centre of this piece of sawn oak. You can see the mycellium spreading out, devouring all the cellulose from the wood and leaving behind the brown lignin which has become soft and watery. In case your interested the formula for lignin is: