Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Seasonal images

We're expecting snow later in the week, and that kind of weather is often preceded by interesting morning skies. This is the view from my bedroom window this morning:

Croaghan Hill, 8am, 24/11/2010

Stormy weather had brought down some small branches, and I found this specimen of the lichen Xanthoria parietina:

The green and yellow cups look like tiny cup mushrooms, and that's exactly what they are: the reproductive components of lichens are controlled by the fungus. In this case the cups are purely fungal and produce only fungal spores. The spores are ejected to land some distance away and must land on the appropriate alga to form a new specimen of the lichen.

The Candle Snuff fungus - Xylaria hypoxylon -  grows on dead wood:

This nice little image of a Mycena growing in moss is tinged with more than a hint of sadness:

Mycenas are a tricky little group, and I'm sad to report that my friend and Mycena guru Gerry Shannon is no longer with us. He was a very jovial and enthusiastic mycologist who specialised in the LBJ's that we found. He will be sadly missed.

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