BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘ball’

#365daysofbiking Oh, balls!

September 3rd – Good to see the fungus starting to kick off for the autumn, I adore the mycology.

These earth balls have appeared on Clayhanger Common, and although not prime specimens, they’re the start of a season of wonders of the fungi world that’ll fascinate me for weeks if not months.

These will grow, then ripen until ready, whence they’ll burst upon contact with some passing animal, spreading their spores for another season – and the cycle will continue.

One great thing about the autumn for sure.

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#365daysofbiking Humongous:

September 19th – A real find on the enclosed football pitch next to the old Smith’s Flour Mill in Walsall, next to the central Ring Road – quite the largest giant puffball I’ve ever seen.

This prize specimen looks a little old to eat and was beyond reach anyway through the fence, but I did giggle at the idea of it being kicked accidentally, mistaken for a football.

What a whopper!

July 4th – A first for the year, an oak gall. I don’t know if I’m too early or if it’s just been a bad year for the tiny wasp that creates these galls on oak trees by depositing an egg coated in a chemical which causes leaf or acorn buds to mutate and grow into a gall, inside which a tiny hatched larvae feeds, before drilling it’s way out and flying away.

I normally see a variety from mid summer on – the smooth green type shown here, marble gables which are also globular, but veined with white and pink, and knoppers which mutate gnarly growths from acorns themselves.

It’ll be fun to see if I’m early or if the yield this year is indeed quite poor.

October 4th – I have no idea what his name was, but this young golden retriever was happily jumping in to Chasewater to retrieve the ball continually tossed back by his mistress. 

He has such a lovely, good natured retriever grin, and his joy is tangible. Clearly a lovely dog to own.

August 2nd – Victoria Park, Darlaston, and a sign of the advancing seasons awakens me to the idea that summer is ebbing away: earthball fungus, looking pristine and fresh growing well in the grass.

Relatives of the better known puffball (indeed, some call the pigskin poison puffball), earthballs have no aperture to let the spores escape, they merely collapse when ripe and allow the wind to do the rest.

They are mildly toxic and can cause bad reactions, including a very bad stomach and allergy-like symptoms, such as rhinitis.

Fascinating fungus though.

July 13th – The dog’s name is Veronica. This is the otherwise glass-calm Trent and Mersey river section at Alrewas. A fine dog on a fine day.