Thursday, 30 October 2014

Views (Williams) Wood - Autumn Fungi

In my previous post about Views (Williams) wood, I talked about pulling up Balsam to make more room for native wild flowers.  Now we are at the end of October and the last of the flowers including some remnants of balsam are fading. The dense green canopy of summer leaves is gently turning amber and thinning out. As my eyes follow falling leaves to the woodland floor I see new colours and shapes in the rusty carpet.  After recent rain and warmth, large numbers of fungi are appearing. I'm not very sure about identifying fungi so all of the names in the following are my best shot.

The Woodland Trust have cleared some of the rides, to allow light to trigger wild flowers, and left some of the logs to provide natural habitats. Corel spot, a fungus I sometimes see in our garden, dots some of the rotting wood.

Corel spot on rotting logs.
Not far from where I was working in June, a huge mossy stump looks like a fairy's garden. It is smothered with feather moss and dotted tiny tree-like ferns. Glistening Incap fungi complete this magical picture. 

Glossy inkcap in feather moss
Crossing the river takes us into Buxted Park. Here we find a scattering of Chanterelles and a pretty pink-coloured Bonnet fungus.

Bonnet fungus
In the drier areas there are big parasol mushroons, 6 to 8 inches across. Making our way back between the lakes, we pass an ancient stump. It provides a home to brightly-coloured small staghorn fungi and turkey tail bracket fungi, which jut out from the old wood.

Small Staghorn
As we wind back through the woods, a sudden burst of sunshine turns brown leaves gold. As they fall, the leaves drift around clumps of moss almost smothered by sulphur tufts.

Sulphur Tuft

The wood saved the best until last. Hidden just a few yards from the gate, an old stump is an open jewel box lit up by sparkly fairy inkcaps and clumps of golden fungi.

An unknown yellow fungus and fairy bonnets.
Then home with a cup of tea, a pile of books and the First Nature web site to identify our woodland treasures.

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