Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More fungi and a vetch

A finger of candle-snuff fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon) has emerged from the top of the sallow log looking, as I suppose it is meant to, like a snuffed out wick.

20111126 Wbx Xylaria hypoxylon  003

More poison pies (Hebeloma crustuliniforme) are appearing and the one in the picture below has grown quite large and it easy to see how it could be mistaken for a field mushroom.  I have picked it before rapid decay sets in and have it in a container to see if I can breed any fungus gnats (Mycetophilidae) from it, but it does not look very promising.  Perhaps the poison protects it.

20111126 Wbx Hebeloma crustuliniforme

The wintergreen annual hairy tare (Vicia hirsuta), now an occupant of the window box for several years, has managed to grow from one of the cracks on the top of the sallow log, but I  rather doubt if it will get through to flowering after frosts and drought.

20111126 Wbx 007

The rectangular orangey-yellow object bottom right is a chip of hawthorn wood throw out by a chain saw that was being used nearby.  I thought dear reader you needed to know that.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More toadstools and the holly

Over 40 small inkcap fungi have appeared in different parts of the window box. At first I thought they were Coprinellus micaceus (= Coprinus micaceus), the glistening inkcap. Then, on closer inspection, I thought they might be the rather rarer Coprinellus truncorum. Under the lens and the microscope the down, composed of cystidia, was very clear to see. However, further discussion with Martin Allison has confirmed them as C. micaceus20111107  (8) Coprinellus truncorum

Over in the bottom right hand corner of the window box is baby Hebeloma crustuliniforme. These have quite bulbous bases to the stipe, but this develops into a perfect,y straight stalk later on.

20111107  (9) unifentified fungs

I also took a photograph of the holly seedling discovered the other day.

20111107  (10) Wbx holly seedling

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Start of the 7th year

It was on 4th November 2005 that grandson Jamie and I set up the window box with a bag of sterile compost from the local garden centre and a few bits and pieces.

In the last six years I have recorded over 90 species of flora and fauna (including a rabbit) and, as well as several articles and radio broadcasts, it has been on TV several times and travelled to Scotland, Bristol and Boll Oddy's garden in Hampstead.


Today I tied up a bit, taking away some of the dead stalks of the all-embracing hairy tare.  Underneath there were, as usual, some unexpected things.  Earlier in the year I found some poison pie toadstools (Hebeloma crustuliniforme) - see below - identified by the mycologist Martin Allison. 

20111004 Wbx Hebeloma crustuliniforme 2

As the name suggest, they can give you very bad indigestion.

Yesterday there were a couple of very small Marasmius on the mossy bark of the sallow log.  They look like the collared parachute, M. rotula, but are maybe too small and therefore possibly M. bulliardii.  (The moss is common feather-moss, Eurhynchium praelongum.)

20111105 Wbx Marasmius rotula or bulliardii

I also discovered several ivy (Hedera helix) seedlings and one of holly, possibly the garden Highclere holly, Ilex x altaclerensis, rather than our native      I. aquifolium.  I will leave these species to grow though maybe this will produce some management problems in the future.  There was also much creeping bent, Agrostis stolonifera, another new record, and some other developing toadstools, lots of them, that may be honey fungus.  So half a dozen new records: not a bad start to the 7th year.

More on all this tomorrow.