Fungal Foray

Friday night saw me back on the train and then walking from Silverdale station. I walked to Moss Lane and then turned left from there onto a path which I rarely use. The field I entered was very well stocked….

With a wide variety of fungi, particularly under the trees at the edge of the field.

There were plenty of these large, brown on top, white tubes underneath types – mostly in various stages of being devoured by slugs.

This may be a recently emerged toadstool of the same type. Or possibly not.

 

There were others though. Some very low growing pale toadstools with a pink blush.

 

And some wide-spreading white-gilled ones.

 

The path took me to the meadows ‘at the back’ of Gait Barrows, where in the past I have found very tasty field mushrooms. On this occasion I only found diminutive toadstools.

There were, of course, other things to see. I’m fairly certain that this is the same flower which I’ve posted in a closed position a couple of times.

It’s almost as attractive as this (not yet mature?) clover flower.

Or this almost seed-free dandelion star.

In the meadow by Haweswater there were lots of these…

…devil’s-bit scabious. And quite a few…

…grass of Parnassus. Unusually for me I knew what these were as soon as I saw them. Perhaps because they appear opposite golden saxifrage in one of my books and at some point when I’ve looked up that plant, I’ve been intrigued by the name and read about these too.

Parnassus apparently because they were described growing on the mountain there in the first century AD. Aichele and Schwegler have this to say:

Stem angular, erect with terminal inflorescence and one cordiform leaf on the bottom third of the stem and clasping it. Basal leaves petiolate, heart-shaped. Entire plant glaburous. Flowers 1-3cm wide, with 5 normal anthers and 5 long glandular fringed formations (staminodes – transmuted stamens; to attract insects.)

It has something of the same other-worldly charm and musicality of the shipping forecast, with some Lewis Carroll Jabberwockyisms thrown in. Glaburous! I’m hesitating to look it because it will probably turn out to have an entirely mundane meaning and the magic will be gone.

 

The wet meadow in the woods was very busy with snails and spiders…

…although the light wasn’t too conducive to taking clear photos.

Thistle-heads.

An earth ball.

More fungi.

I was intrigued by a couple of small trees. One, by the boardwalk, had small round black berries. The second, in the wet meadow, had large wavy-edged cupped leaves. More detective work necessary!

A group of about 8 birds had me baffled as I walked homeward across the fields. They were sitting on the telephone lines, but were very easily spooked and often lifted en masse to swing around in a loop and alight a little further away back on the telephone lines. They were silhouetted against the light, and so it was very difficult to decide on their colours. Eventually, it was the rattling signal  and a telephoto shot showing a speckled breast which lead me to be believe that these were mistle thrushes.

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Fungal Foray

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