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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

West Coast Aspens - Hanging On

A small copse of aspens clinging to the least accessible parts of a west-coast sea-cliff in March. These rocky gullies tend to be botanically rich. The trees in the first photo are rowans, not aspens.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Eyeball Manager Talk

I presented a short talk on writing an eyeball manager in Unity3d to the Brighton Unity Usergroup -

I thought I’d try putting the slides up here. The text probably isn’t coherent enough, but the main point of the talk was to look at how much character you can add to a game object just by making their eyes move as if they are conscious of their surroundings.

Lemon Disco

Monday Mushroom #82

Here are some swatches of Bisporella citrina the Lemon Disco. Each cup is less than 3mm across, but they can swarm in large enough numbers to be collectively eye-catching despite their tiny size. They grow on well rotted logs of deciduous trees.

Bisporella citrina - Lemon Disco

Bisporella citrina - Lemon Disco

Bisporella citrina - Lemon Disco

Bisporella citrina - Lemon Disco

Friday, 25 September 2015

Sunset Peaks

Fencepost of the Week #84

This is just Grain of Truth from a different angle. Lovely post, though ^^.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015


Vapourer - Orgyia antiqua

Found some of these outrageously tufty vapourer caterpillars hanging out in the apple tree on the balcony of the Duke of York's Cinema. They are quite common in gardens on a wide variety of plants.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Galerina marginata

Monday Mushroom #81

Galerina marginata - Funeral Bell

I don't often come across truly deadly mushrooms on my forays, but yesterday I did find a tuft of Galerina marginata - wikipedia suggests that it has been recorded as the cause of death in ten cases over the last century (though it doesn't give a citation or say if that is nationally in the US, or worldwide, or somewhere else.)

Galerina marginata - Deadly Skullcap. Tiny fruiting bodies just emerging.

This mushroom is pretty small - too small to be considered for the table normally - but it does strongly resemble a couple of small fungi that are good edibles. These are Kuehneromyces mutabilis - Two-toned Wood Tuft - and Flammulina velutipes - Velvet Shank - which make up for their small stature by growing in large troops.

Galerina marginata - Autmn Pixycap

The three species are similar in size, shape, cap-colour and all grow in tufts on dead wood, but they have very different stems. Here's a photo of Kuehneromyces mutabilis for comparison:

Keuhneromyces mutabilis - Two-Toned Wood Tuft. A good eible that looks rather too similar to Galerina marginata for comfort.

You may notice that each of the Galerina marginata photos has a different common name beneath it - this mushroom has collected numerous common names - none of which seem to predominate. It also used to be classified as several different species, which genetic analysis has shown to be indistinct.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Yellow Crust

Fencepost of the Week #83

Well, I promised something more colourful this week - I propose this lovely, orange lichen encrustation.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Yellow Stagshorn Fungus

Monday Mushroom #80

Calocera viscosa - Yellow Stagshorn Fungus

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Dark Bush-Cricket

Dark Bush-cricket - Pholidoptera griseoaptera

Dark Bush-cricket - Pholidoptera griseoaptera
Hit a particularly rich vein of wildlife at sundown last Sunday - walking a fenceline festooned with animals making the most of the last sun-bathing oportunity of the day. As well as two dark bush-crickets and the viviparous lizard, there were dragon flies, scorpion flies, and a hornet ( though it was busy, not basking.)

Viviparous lizard - Zootoca vivipara

Friday, 11 September 2015

Monday, 7 September 2015

Aniseed Toadstool

Monday Mushroom #79

Clitocybe odora - Aniseed Toadstool

Given my interest in fungi, my interest in blue food, and that I love aniseed, this mushroom has been something I've been super keen to find. In fact, my first intensive mushroom identifying season was kickstarted by finding something which I thought might be this on a holiday in Skye.

Clitocybe odora - Aniseed Toadstool

All the blue-green caps I've come across in between times have turned out to be Stropharia species. But I'm pretty sure I have the right one here - it's the right, colour, texture and size; the caps were wavy; the stem is un-ringed; it has the fuzzy white mycelium at the base. I say pretty sure because, although these look right, the distinguishing feature - the aniseed scent - is missing! How disappointing!

Clitocybe odora - Aniseed Toadstool

I did find one reference to faded specimens being hard to identify if the scent was not strong, and I don't know of any other blue fungi that these might be. So I'm sticking with the identification, for now...

Friday, 4 September 2015

Blue Arrow

Fencepost of the Week #81

Lovely public access confidence marker on a gate post in Angmering Park.