BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘mycology’

#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 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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from Tumblr

September 24th – I can’t make up my mind at the moment if fly agaric – the red and white spotted toadstools of folklore – are having a bad year or if I’m just a bit early.

I’ve found a few examples – notably a good specimen on August bank holiday on the Chase – but all the favourite spots like the bank before Anglesey Wharf on the canal at Brownhills are empty save for a few dog-eared or faded specimens.

This one at the top of the above bank seems quite elderly, as the spots drop off and the colour fades as they mature – but where are it’s usual companions?

They had an extraordinarily good year last year so perhaps it’s natural balance.

August 25th – One good thing about the coming autumn is it’s the fungi season. I love all manner of the mycology – toadstools, puffballs, mildews, moulds, brackets and more. I love the fact that what you’re seeing isn’t the organism itself, just the flower and that the parent life form can be huge and underground, with maybe dainty little caps showing. I also love the lifecycle, speed of change and development.

These examples were at Penkridge Bank, on Cannock Chase. Bring it on.

October 14th – The fungi seems to be doing well, too. This is possibly the most perfect specimen of fly agaric I’ve ever seen. This is the classic, spotty toadstool of fairy tales, and is considered toxic, and possibly hallucinogenic. This proud fellow was growing beneath silver birches, as they often do, in a front garden in Hilton, near Wall. The second one is a mystery to me: I know not what it is, but it’s massive. A foot in diameter, the stalk is thicker than my forearm. It’s clearly quite aged, and seems to be host to several sorts of insect. It was growing on a verge in Summerhill. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a large toadstool.

November 26th – The unseasonably warm weather is providing some unexpected surprises, one of the most visible of which is the profusion of fungi still appearing on a daily basis. The fly agaric by the canal at Newtown, in Brownhills, are still in fine fettle and throwing up new caps daily, while the blumells near Shenstone Park look fresh and tasty. Alonside these are a whole host of others – polypores, brackets, puffballs, ceps and caps. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a good year for the mycology.