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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Metatrichia floriformis

Monday Mushroom #67 - well, more of a Sunday Slime Mold, really...

This is - I think - Metatrichia floriformis. A slime mold which forms black, shiny stalk-ball fruiting bodies (under 1mm in diamiter) which crack open to release orange, fluffy spore bearing material.

Metatrichia floriformis sharing the undersurface of a rotten log with a pill millipede.

Metatrichia floriformis - fruiting bodies opening to release orange spore bearing material.

Metatrichia floriformis - fruiging bodies.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Monday, 16 March 2015

Birds Nest Fungus

Monday Mushroom #65

Crucibulum laeve - Birds Nest Fungus. Lots of stages of development from tiny pins to old, cracked cups.

This is Crucibulum laeve - one of the birds nest fungi. Their spores are grouped into white, rounded packets and are dispersed by raindrops splashing into the cup shaped body.

Crucibulum laeve - Birds Nest Fungus. Lid on right is disintegrating.

The fruiting bodies develop with a protective cover which shrivels and falls away on maturation.

Crucibulum laeve - Birds Nest Fungus
 Each cup is only 5-10mm in diamiter, and though distinctive, they are easily overlooked.

Crucibulum laeve - Birds Nest Fungus. A dense cluster of emptied cups.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Grizzled Cup Lichens

Fencepost of the Week #67


Monday, 9 March 2015

Horn Stalkball

Monday Mushroom #64

Onygena equina - Horn Stalkball

This is Onygena equina - the horn stalkball. It subsists on rotting keratin - hoofs and horns of dead animals mostly.

Onygena equina - Horn Stalkball

Dormant spores shed by these fungi are activated by passing through the digestive system of a ruminant. Leading them to be deposited in an activated state somewhere close to the keratin.

Onygena equina - Horn Stalkball

Onygena equina - Horn Stalkball

Onygena equina - Horn Stalkball

Onygena equina - Horn Stalkball

Onygena equina - Horn Stalkball

Friday, 6 March 2015

Frogspawn and Fenceposts

Fencepost of the Week #66

While out admiring fenceposts at this time of year one often finds the objects of their appreciation mysteriously adorned with globs of frogspawn. Questions arise: 'Who put them there?', 'Why?' and - if you have ever tried to pick up frogspawn - 'How!?'

If you like frogs, the answer may sadden you - the spawn is all that remains of a gravid female frog that was caught by a bird and - being too large for the bird to swallow whole - was taken to a fencepost where it was pecked to bits.

In a few weeks time, lumps of a mysterious, pale, translucent slime will start to appear on the banks of ponds and swamps. Sometimes it is called star slime - but it is the poisonous, distasteful remans of a toad that has been similarly caught and selectively eaten by some beaked creature. More at Wikipedia.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Phlebia tremellosa

Monday Mushroom #63

This is Phlebia tremellosa - the jelly rot fungus. It is one of the more distinctive crust fungi with its translucent flesh, wrinkly underside and fluffy upper surface.

Jelly rot fungus - Phlebia tremellosa - spore-bearing underside. 

Jelly rot fungus - Phlebia tremellosa.