Looking Forward to Fungi
As summer draws inevitably to an end, and autumn creeps ever closer, my thoughts turn from flowers to fungi. It's an exciting time, you never know what might pop up, and this year I have already found new ones, including the lovely golden Pholiota flammans, with its scaly cap and stipe. This was hiding beside a fallen branch, under the conifers beside Burnhope Reservoir, Upper Weardale. Only tiny, about 2" high.
Also around at the moment are the Waxcaps, Hygrocybe species, my favourite of which is the Blackening Waxcap, H. conica, which I am finding all over at the moment, including my local patch, Stanley Moss. They start off as a beautiful orange cone, then slowly blacken as they age.
A trip to Hamsterley Forest always produces some nice finds. This one is on a conifer stump, and is called Antrodia xantha, I'm afraid I don't know whether it has a common name. I first found it a year or two back, and visit several times a year to see how it's progressing. The answer seems to be, slowly! It's on a steep, slippery slope, and is not one I would attempt to photograph on my own. A very solid fungus, which seems to be developing a yellowish tinge.
Two years ago I found a tiny fungus at the western end of the forest, which seems to be quite rare, either that or under-recorded in our area. It is Apricot jelly, aka Salmon Salad. It was known as Guepinia helvelloides, but that has now been changed to Tremiscus helvelloides. A beautiful little thing, and you can see how the common names were derived. In 2018 and 2019 I found about a dozen specimens, so you can imagine my delight the other day when I returned to look for it, and found hundreds! They were spread over a much wider area too.
And finally, my trip to find the Apricot jellies ended in my sharing a log with this young lizard, which kept me company while I ate my sandwiches. Its beady little eye never left mine, although it made no attempt to move away, not even when my other half sneezed rather loudly. The highlight of the day!