Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Sun, light

The weather has actually been quite reasonable since the start of November, with a few bright days. Early sun after a chilly night leads to only one thing: dewdrops on plants. So I grabbed the camera and went out to see what I could find.

I like the way that dewdrops act like tiny lenses, magnifying whatever lies behind them:

Dewdrops on grass leaf
 The drop on the end of the leaf on the right caught my eye:
Dewdrops on grass
Here's a close-up:

Dewdrop as a lens

Spider's webs and mosses also catch the water:

Polytrichum moss with water droplets
(Notice the new capsule forming to the right of the picture).

The forestry was a bit damp, but I found this fascinating mushroom growing on moss on a piece of Spruce bark left over from the harvesting a few years ago:

The size (15 mm across the cap), shiny cap and domed appearance immediately made me think of Panaeolus, and the gills were suitably grey, but the yellowish stipe (stem) didn't fit with anything in the books. I took a spore print, fully expecting to find a black spore deposit, and was astonished to find that the print was white. Back to square one. Repeated keyings led me to Mycena, but I had never seen a Mycena specimen like that. Suddenly I remembered Mycena epipterygia, which I have often found nearby, and which has a stipe with a pronounced yellow base and yellow top. It seems that this specimen, which was a good deal larger than usual, had dried and had perhaps also been slightly frosted. Every day has a surprise.

I also found a single specimen of Crepidotus variabilis on a fallen twig:

The big surprise about Crepidotus is that they have brown spores, and there is a hint of this under different lighting conditions:

Crepidotus showing a slight pink in reflected light
Crepidotus in slight light
Crepidotus in setting sunlight
I think fungi can be extremely beautiful if you look at them closely.


Jennifer Tetlow said...

Just beautiful images - I've just been enjoying the sunshine on moss too, which glows vivid green, did a blog about it recently.

Stuart said...

Jennifer, I agree that mosses are extremely beautiful and bear close examination in all of their parts. This usually means a wet right knee.

Toffeeapple said...

What lovely images. I particularly like the second shot, with the 'sparkles' taking on colour in the background.

Stuart said...

Toffeeapple: yes. I chose (and cropped) the second image to show those sparkles at the rear.

Water droplets are a side-benefit of our wet weather.

K said...

Stunningly beautiful!