Friday, 17 September 2010

Ards fungal foray

I rather suspected that this was going to be a good year for fungi and Ards rarely disappoints.

We spent a couple of hours wandering through ancient deciduous forest with occasional lumps of Spruce and found fungi of all kinds with almost every footstep. I din't manage to get too many photographs, as I was being pulled in four directions at once to see what people had discovered.

Asterophora parasitica was virtually everywhere, which is odd because I'd never seen it here before:

These are parasitic on dead Russulas and Lactarius, and you can just make out the shiny dead cap of the host underneath them.

This little cluster of Sulphur Tuft was growing on a dead stump in one of the coniferous patches:

Some of the fungi we found are tiny. I have left my (dirty) thumbnail uncropped to give an indication of the size of this Hemimycena:

I usually find the extraordinarily rare Phellodon melaleucus in precisely the same place every year, and always make sure that anyone with me gets to see it. Most mycologists will never see this in a lifetime:

I spotted this frog whilst I was down looking at some mushrooms. It is so perfectly camouflaged that most people couldn't see it even when I pointed it out:

This exotic-looking mushroom is one of the Phlegmaceum subgroup of Cortinarius:

Other new species seen, but not photographed:

Amanita virosa (Destroying Angel)
Leccinum roseofractum


The Weaver of Grass said...

Wonderfully clear photographs Stuart - that frog camouflage is perfection. I have always fancied going on a fungus foray - it is an area that most of us know so little about.
Your photographs are certainly first class and good enough to grace a magazine on the subject.

Gill said...

I've never seen mushrooms parasitic on others - only sort of fungal crusts. Nice. That purple one is interesting at first glance the colour looks like a wood blewit - but the jizz is wrong of course and also it's too early in the year for them I think.. we#re having lots of tasty field mushrooms for tea :-)

Weaver - yes, do go on a foray if you get the chance, they are fascinating.

Stuart said...

Weaver: Thanks again for your kind comments. I was giving a talk to a photography club last week and I was very keen to point out that I am primarily a naturalist: photographs are a by-product of my interest in wildlife.

I'd certainly second Gill's recommendation to go on a fungal foray.

Gill: Maybe Rhona's doing something soon?

Gill: I know of a few fungi that are parasitic on others. Also a few that are parasitic on lichens, which is much the same thing.

Gill said...

<> Yep - 16 Oct as youc can see from the Ryenats' meetings page. [Weaver: I don't know where you're based, but if you fancy coming along to Duncombe Park we'd love to see you there.]