BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘fungus’

#365daysofbiking Shroom for improvement

Monday November 23rd 2020 – It’s not been a good autumn for fungi, if I’m honest. The weather was pretty dry and many of the usual damp-loving species popped up at the wrong time or not at all. I saw very few decent fly agaric, no Japanese or shaggy parasols, and very few ink caps.

But as I noted today when the frost of the night before had passed, there are some examples about. This cap I couldn’t identify had clearly been broken and lay downside up on the grass verge outside work.

The gills and the detail in them are absolutely beautiful.

It’s nice to be reminded of the beauty of toadstools now and again. Hope they have a better season next year.

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#365daysofbiking Shroom to manoeuvre

Monday, September 28th 2020 – This journal is now so venerable that I feel it has seasonal traditions, and one of the most important to me is it’s devotion to documenting the fungus season with the many photogenic and interesting varieties of toadstool, ball, mould and slime that abound in autumn.

The mycology is tragically overlooked – it’s a huge kingdom completely different to any other, and without it life on earth could not function at all. And when it blooms and fruits, it’s stunning in its otherworldly beauty.

So far this dry autumn, there hasn’t been much fungal action but with showers in recent days hopefully the shrooms will have the trigger they need to emerge.

I’ll kick it all off this year with these humble but beautiful honey fungus, spotted by the canal in Darlaston on my way to work. Hopefully the first of many this year.

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#365daysofbiking Stumped

October 19th – Nipping over to Walsall Wood on an errand, I crossed the sadly fading old Oak Park – not the leisure centre of the same name, but the formerly ornamental park that gave the centres their name.

Near a bench by the old waterlogged bowling green, an amazingly vivid colony of what I think is honey fungus.

There was a fair collection of disparate fungus here, to be fair. About the only thing that seems to be doing well in this sad, lost park.

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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 Striking shrooms

September 24th – Passing by the memorial gardens in Bloxwich on my way home, a bright flash on a damp tree stop caught my eye.

Stopping and rolling back, some remarkable toadstools growing there. They look almost like tiger bread, and were brighter than even honey fungus. I have no idea what they are and haven’t had chance yet to look them up.

Remarkably beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking Sick more?

September 5th – Whilst I obsess over galls on oaks and wild roses, other shrubs and trees have their own problems. Here on Clayhanger Common, this sycamore tree is affected by sycamore mites and tar spot fungus.

The curious leaf growths form on the leaf like a gall from the point at which mites feed on the leaf by the same mechanism that other gall insects imply – in the case of these tiny mites, their saliva corrupts the lead cell DNA to grow into a gall.

On the underside of the leaf, a tiny, fur lined aperture into the gall is used by the mite after it has grown to lay its eggs, and the gall is eaten by the hatchling.

This leaf also has tar spot fungus.

Neither harm the host tree to any extent.

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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 Slippery customer

March 30th – Spotted on a recently cropped tree stump near the canal by Birchills locks, some impressively horrid-looking slime mould fungus that looks for all the world that it might spring to life and try to take the country by force at any minute.I’ve not seen any of this stuff for years. It was clearly living off the tree sap and the general moisture on the stump.

Stomach-churning and fascinating at the same time.

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#365daysofbiking Stirring

January 4th – In Kings Hill Park again at lunchtime heading for B&Q, I stopped to note that ostensibly, it was very much winter, and the park looked as darkly green and growthless as it always does at this time every year.

But wait up.

Stop and look, and honey fungus is growing in the grass – and bedgraggled daisies are still very much in bloom. But better than these side effects of a so far warm winter, the spring flowers are coming now: They have stirred in the death and are sending green shoots upwards.

Soon, there will be flowers.

My heart sang.

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#365daysofbiking A fun guy

Christmas Day – A Christmas Day ride was a tradition long before I started 365daysofbiking – there’s nothing better to prepare for a big meal than a good blast on the bike.

Today, my options were confined as my time was limited, so I opted for a fast run up the canal to Chasewater. On the way, I noticed this fungus – tramates of some sort I think – on a felled tree by the M6 Toll.

Unusual to find it in midwinter looking so good. Possibly a sign of the unusually warm season so far.

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