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Monday, 31 August 2015

Magpie Fungus

Monday Mushroom #78

I've been hoping to find one of these striking, easy to identify ink caps for years. Finally spotted one in a beech wood in Sussex. Or at least most of one.
Magpie Inkcap - Coprinopsis picacea
There were three white stumps nibbled off at ground level right next to it.

Magpie Inkcap - Coprinopsis picacea
 Still, there was just about enough left to make a decent photo. :-)

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Yellow Cobweb

Yellow Cobweb Fungus - Phlebiella sulphurea
Often you only notice the fruiting body of a fungus, but the yellow cobweb grows as a thick, fleecy mat of mycelium - often found on the underside of logs. The fruiting body, when it forms, is a sulphurous crust fungus.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Bark Beetles' Legacy

Fencepost of the Week #80

Bark beetle work on today’s FencepostOfTheWeek. They mostly eat living wood (which is why the galleries are in a layer just under the bark), so these marks were probably made before this tree even became a fencepost.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Tiered Tooth Fungus

Monday Mushroom #77

I came across this wonderful, outlandish fungus on a foray on Saturday. I suspect it is quite rare - I've never seen or heard of it before, it is only listed in one of my mushroom guides, and it is a large, impressive UK fungus which doesn't even have its own Wikipedia entry.

Hericium cirrhatum - Tiered Tooth Fungus

Hericium cirrhatum - Tiered Tooth Fungus

Hericium cirrhatum - Tiered Tooth Fungus

Hericium cirrhatum - Tiered Tooth Fungus

Friday, 21 August 2015

Island of Winter Green

Fencepost of the Week #79

An island of green in winter's brown surrounds.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Juniper Jelly Rust

Monday Mushroom #76

Like other rust fungi, Gymnosporangium claviforme infects two hosts at different stages of its life cycle. It starts as an infection in juniper bushes, forming these bright orange, tentacular spore releasing growths in spring.

Gymnosporangium claviforme
These spores travel on the wind and infect hawthorn trees, causing the berries to come out in white, hairy lumps which again release spores, and those spores will then infect another juniper tree.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Backyard Reptiles

Lots of sun yesterday morning after a few rainy days - it brought all the reptiles out.

Viviparous Lizard - Zootoca vivipara

Slow Worm - Anguis fragilis 

Slow Worm - Anguis fragilis - with tiny, decorative red spider mite.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Green Lacewing

There are many species of green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea seems to be the most common one in southern England, but I don't know enough about them to make and ID on this one that came visiting one of my flower pots yesterday.

Love these eyes!

Friday, 7 August 2015

Rusty Gatepost

Fencepost of the Week #77

This is a charming gate-post from the Kilpatrick Hills just outside of Glasgow. However, it is not really doing its job anymore...

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Rose Bedeguar Gall

This is one of those things that usually raises a 'what on earth is that???' when encountered in the countryside.

It is a gall - a part of a plant that has been grown into an unusual shape by an insect in order to make its nest chamber. Wikipedia has an excellent, readable article on this particular gall -> to wikpedia!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

6-Spot Burnet

One of my favourite UK moths - I love the colours, and they are pleasingly common and easy to see, being active during the day.

6-Spot Burnet Moth - Zygaena filipendulae

6-Spot Burnet Moth - Zygaena filipendulae

Monday, 3 August 2015

Shaggy Bracket

Monday Mushroom #75

 This is Inonotus hispidus - the shaggy bracket - a large bracket fungus often high up in ash trees, with red or yellow tinges, blackening with age.

Inonotus hispidus - shaggy bracket.

Inonotus hispidus - shaggy bracket. A very large specimen, blackened with age,