Ards Forest is the first landfall from the Atlantic, so it has a great deal going for it. Ancient deciduous, mixed with some mature Spruce (ugh!) and the cleanest air you can get. I decided that it was time to make my first journey of the year to see what was about. The forest is split into many different eco-habitats. Some parts are deciduous in deep shade; other parts have a lot of light, some are drier and there is an old quarry surrounded by tall trees. This quarry is always dark and cold, no matter what the weather is doing. These are in no particular order.
A wonderful wine-coloured Russula under old Cypress:
And in the same location, Pseudocantharellus infundibuliformis, a close relative of the Chanterelle. I think this is what the French call Giroles.
The moss is Mnium hornum.
Out in the sunlight, at the edge of the road, I looked at the usual place and found the extraordinarily rare Phellodon melaleucus. Most mycologists will never see this in a lifetime. This is the only current location known in Ireland. Dried specimens smell strongly of fenugreek.
The rather common (in old woodland) Inocybe geophyllum var. lilacina. There is always a lilac tinge (see the younger specimen to the right). Poisonous.
Horn of Plenty - Pseudocraterellus cornucopioides - is absolutely delicious. I smelled these before I saw them. This is actually a new location for these: I know of one other location several hundred metres away.
One of the Myxomycetes, or Slime Moulds, this is Fuligo septica. These are actually mobile (see the slug-like trail), and some serious research and discussions are tending to move these more towards the animal kingdom than fungi.
This is an Entoloma sp. These have wonderful multi-angular spores, but can be the devil to identify to species (I have over 1600pp of monograph on these). Still, I'll give it a go.
This is a close-up of the gill edges:
Clavulina cinerea also grows along the edge of the verge in large clumps:
Another Hygrocybe nigricans which is just beginning to show signs of black.