Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mycology: Stepping into the unknown...

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing...

I like to think of myself as a lover of all wildlife, even the things that at times can be hard to love- but for me (as the blog's title would imply) it's all about the birds. That's not to say I'm an expert by any means- a Mealy Redpoll and a  Lesser Redpoll are basically one and the same, the only difference being I am more likely to see one and less likely to see the other, but I know enough to get by.

I'm also not too bad on mammals and trees, and simply because of  the limited number of species and the infrequency at which I encounter them I can also just about cope with reptiles and amphibians. Clever old me.

But the more I thought about it the more I became aware of all the other things I'm not very good at identifying. Being able to recognise and therefore appreciate the big stuff, the rare stuff or the stuff that flies overhead is well and good, but why is it I draw the line there. It seems I'm missing out on the majority of the species I encounter because either I hardly notice them or because identifying them is a bit tricky.

I took this thought to bed with me, and this morning I awoke determined to learn a little more about the things I had previously overlooked. As I scanned the farm on this mild, damp, foggy November morning I was feeling rather uninspired- and then it came to me.  Fungi.

Equipped with my phone I snapped some of the species I encountered as I went about my daily routines. I know this has been a bumper year for fungi (I've eaten more field mushrooms than you would believe) but the diversity and beauty of what I encountered surprised me.

Below are the photographs I took today. I have labelled the ones I could name (i.e. the easiest ones). Identifying the rest is my aim for the week, I have numbered them and any suggestions would be much appreciated...

Field Mushroom
(Agaricus bitorquis)

Dryad's Saddle 
(Polyporus squamosus)

Yellow Brain Fungus
(Tremella mesenterica)

Many-Zoned Polypore 
(Coriolus versicolor)

Honey Fungus
(Armillaria mellea)

  Ear Fungus
(Hirneola auricula-judae)

Candle Snuff Fungus
(Xylaria hypoxylon)

Glistening Ink Cap
(Coprinus micaceus)

The Miller
(Clitopilus prunulus)

Unknown 1

Unknown 2

Unknown 3

Unknown 4

Wood Blewit
(Lepista nuda)

Unknown 5

Panaeolus sphinctrinus


Mycena galopus

Unknown 6

Unknown 7

Fairies' Bonnets
(Coprinus disseminatus)

Unknown 8

 Meadow Wax Cap
(Hygrocybe pratensis)

Brown Roll-rim (Paxillus involutus)

Unknown 9

Unknown 10

Unknown 11

Unknown 12

Unknown 13

Unknown 14

Unknown 15

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