BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Fungi’

#365daysofbiking New forms

October 20th – Cannock Chase was full of really a interesting – it was the first time I’ve seen coral fungus since I was a kid, and there were a whole range of brackets, toadstools, slimes and balls to keep me interested.

Sadly the light was terrible, so few decent photos.

I’ve never known such a good season for fungus. I’m seeing things I’ve never seen before…

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#365daysofbiking A fascinating kingdom

October 14th – A damp morning showed a remarkable range of fungi on the way to work. From what I thought was going to be a very disappointing season, there have been some remarkable displays of this remarkable kingdom.

These specimens were all in one short stretch of cycleway in Goscote and were absolutely fascinating.

One of the few redeeming features of autumn for me is definitely the fungi…

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#365daysofbiking The united colours of autumn

October 13th – A low, tired recovery day, still wrecked from the last week’s intense work schedule and a cold that just wouldn’t lift.

A late, slow bimble to Chasewater rewarded me with more amethyst deceivers – the little purple toadstools I found on the common last week – mingled with fly agaric in their usual spot on the sandy bank near Wharf Lane Bridge.

I note the feels near Meerash oil Hammerwich are still yellow with some blooming crop. Must go take a closer look.

Plenty of other fungi abounded: After an unpromising start, we really are getting some stunning specimens.

Chasewater was wind-blasted and stark, but host to an absolutely huge gull roost. The noise was astounding and impressive.

Returning on the Back Path I was reminded abruptly of an autumn hazard: Slippery leaves. Watch out folks, they can steel your wheels from under you. Thankfully I stayed upright.

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#365daysofbiking Waxcap waning

October 12th – A pretty little ‘shroom spotted in the leaf litter under those trees on The Parade: The blackening wax cap or witches hat. Starting light in colour they can be anything from yellow to deep red. As they age they get darker and darker until the point of decay.

Not particularly toxic but not really edible, the wax cap is a diverse family that are absolutely beautiful and well worth looking out for.

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#365daysofbiking Fleeting visitors

October 9th – The fungus is really coming on now, I’m pleased to see a whole variety of mushrooms, balls, slime, mildew and brackets, some plain and some strikingly colourful.

Every day is a new discovery, and is one of the nicer aspects of autumn. These tiny parasols were growing on a grass verge in Chasetown, and although plain now, will be very striking when fully grown.

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#365daysofbiking The spore of the moment

October 6th – Another day with the cold and no energy, but an unexpectedly fine afternoon with sunny spells. It was, however, rather blustery and Chasewater had white-topped waves beating it’s shores.

I roved for a couple of hours around the common, canals and Chasewater looking for fungi, and was rewarded with the usual suspects – good fly agaric, ammonite, puffballs, honey fungus, polypores and earth balls.

But there was one find I was most pleased with – and a species I’ve not seen since I was a child: Amethyst deceiver.

These tiny, delicate, beautifully purple shrooms are actually edible and absolutely gorgeous. Hard to spot at first, they look brown at first, until you see them in the light – then the magic happens.

A great afternoon against my expectations.

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#365daysofbiking Stars on earth

October 1st – I had to go to have a medical procedure, so I was out in a rainy dawn on a quick spin to get the ride in for the day.

On Clayhanger Common, a first for the year: Earthstar fungus.

This remarkable, almost unreal looking fungi grows quite widely now but was once a rarity, and there are lots on Clayhanger Common from now until Christmas.

They work like puffballs, and the central sphere pops releasing it’s spores to the wind.

They always look like plasticine to me. Beautiful, curious things.

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#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 Stars on earth:

October 27th – A grey, very very low day where things again went horribly wrong. I’m not having much luck with weekends at the moment.

Riding back from a fools errand in Walsall Wood, on the canal between Catshill Junction and the Silver Street Bridge, I noticed that the colony of earthstar fungus that I thought last winter’s cold weather had killed off completely has actually survived with some decent examples.

Hopefully some decent weather might help the group recover and re-spore successfully to give them some better years in future.

A rare bright spot in a very grim, down day.