Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A few fungus

Every autumn I visit my local fragment of ancient woodland to hunt for mushrooms. I'm equally happy whether I find a meal or just some beautiful jewels on the forest floor.

Clavaria rugosa

Clavaria rugosa

Clavulinopsis sp.? This is not very similar to any fungus in any of my books!

Hygrocybe conica (of debatable edibility)

The names attatched to all of these specimens should be regarded as purely speculative, I have done my best as an amateur, but don't trust me on it... always consult a reliable guide book (or three)! After all, you'd only get one chance to mistakenly eat this:

The  beautiful, but deadly Amanita phalloides or Death Cap (this is the paler form), the most poisonous mushroom in Europe. Treated cases of poisoning have a more than 90% fatality rate, this rises to 100% if untreated.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Linden of Queen Square, Bath

This stately Tilia sp. graces the small park outside the Institution for whom I work.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Tiny mushrooms on Linden bark

These tiny mushrooms are growing on the bark of a large, and totally healthy, Linden or Lime tree, Tilia sp. I think they are Mycena clavularis, though I would have needed a pair of tweezers and a hand lens to be certain... whatever the case they are quite wonderful!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Urban Arboretum

Queen Square in Bath, just outside the museum for whom I work, has a magnificent collection of trees, which look at their best at this time of the year. So many 18th and 19th century parks contain wonderful mature trees, what a debt of gratitude we owe our fore fathers!

Post-Industrial Alder

One of my favourite spots in the centre of Bristol, Alders have colonised these rotting wooden piles around an old swing bridge. No doubt their roots provide a nice habitat for fish and invertebrates too. It's lovely to see how trees take root wherever they are allowed to. Will all of this be first again one day? Who can say for sure?

I'm not sure whether they are the native Alnus glutinosa or Alnus cordata which I'm told is used as a street tree locally due to it's tolerance of pollution.

I haven't managed much blogging in the past two and a half years (my growing family has seemed rather more important than either bonsai or natural history), but it would be nice to start again.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Bark Like Fire

Betula ermanii looking beautiful in winter

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Trees and Corvids in the Snow

I love the snow, and it's rare enough in the UK to make a fuss (though, yes it is somewhat embarrassing that a light fall causes the whole country to grind to a halt). These photos were actually taken three years ago, but I wanted to share them out here as I don't have the liberty to just go for long walks whenever it takes my fancy these days, and I'm sure it looks just like this around the Avon Gorge right now!

A clattering of Jackdaws (Corvus monedula in Betula pendula)

 Two for Joy (a pair of Pica pica in a mixed coniferous-deciduous copse)

Crataegus monogyna

Corvus corone

 The Downs

Corvus corone in flight
Quercus robur as if draped in ermine, fitting for a Royal tree

Corvus monedula