The great destroyers

A couple of weekends ago I went on a fungi foray in St Ives Estate at Bingley.  It’s good to have an expert, in this case Bob Taylor, to guide and explain. I took a walk around my workshop in Strid Wood and found quite a range of fungi.

For identification it’s good to split between fungi with gills (like mushrooms from the store), fungi without gills (mostly with tubes or pores but also where the spores are in slime).  Those that grow on trees, and those that grow on the ground (but the actual plant may be living in association with trees roots, or buried rotting wood).  It is also helpful to note what trees are nearby.

Above there’s the purple gill fungus I’ve seen before in Strid and I reckon it must be the amethyst deceiver.  The darker bracket is the many zoned polypore.  I think the red capped one may be a russula, but there are many!

What I like is the wide variety of colours and forms, look at this beauty:

The blusher, I believe.

The next one is smelt. more frequently than seen as it smells of rotting flesh!

This is the stink horn.  On the foray a stink horn ‘egg’ was found which does look like an egg but contains the above wrinkled up and ready to pop and distribute its spores via flies in a dark smelly jelly.

There are masses of these (I think they’re armillaria cepistipes, a member of the honey fungus family) bursting out of the felled beech tree that forms one leg of my lathe, I hope they are not too efficient  in disposing of it, or I’ll need a new leg.

These are the full-grown ones:

This beech, felled three years ago is gradually blending into the woodland litter, a bramble climbs over it:

Beetles eat away unseen under the bark, apart from the mounds of sawdust they produce.

Well it’s that time of year, and soon it will be time for getting the long johns out of their Summer recess!

3 thoughts on “The great destroyers

  1. Richard,

    These are beautiful pictures. This summer in the Northeastern US the crop of fungi and mushrooms has been spectacular as well.

    Please explain what you mean by ” on the foray”.

    A friend who is very wise in the ways of forest ecology told me that it takes a given log that has fallen on the forest floor as long to return to soil as it took to grow. The fungi have their work cut out for them!



    • Hi Tico!

      “Foray” is a rather old-fashioned word. It was equivalent to the military ‘sortie’. But is often used in the UK for fungi hunts.

      Looks like my pole lathe leg may be OK for about 200 years then!


  2. Great post Richard, and, as Tico says, a lovely set of observant photographs.

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