When the weather is on a bad run it's time to gather some samples and do some microscopy and deeper research.
There's a little mushroom that appears on my lawn several times a year. I know it's a Galerina, but today I decided to get it to species:
|Galerina spore print on the microscope|
We need to examine spores at a magnification of at least x400:
|Galerina spores at x400|
These spores are described as 'almond-shaped'.
I noted that the base of the stipe on the specimen was woolly white, so that makes it Galerina clavata, a common mushroom in association with mosses in lawns.
Liverworts are amongst our most overlooked plants. They are mostly tiny, and many could easily be assumed to be mosses. An in-situ shot would show nothing recognisable, so I took this shot (sample size about 3 cm. across) on paper in the study.
|Liverwort sample about 3 cm. across|
|Liverwort sample on slide ready for microscopy|
|Cells in leaf tooth|
I'm currently working on lichen microscopy. This is a specimen of Xanthoria parietina, an extremely common lichen that can be found on wood or stone and even on glass:
|Fruit bodies of Xanthoria parietina|