Fungal Forays during a pandemic
Autumn 2020 has been a challenging time to hold group fungus forays. At time, a select few of us have been able to meet under the ‘Rule of Six’, at other times, it has been possible to meet up with one other person outdoors.
Generally speaking, it has it been an excellent season for foray. The first part of the autumn was dry following an extremely dry summer. We held a couple of meetings at the Haseley Manor reserve at Arreton by kind permission of Anthony & Vivienne Roberts but we found rather few fungi. October, and into November, proved to be extremely wet and macro-fungi started to appear in some numbers, but we did not find large numbers of fungi generally. Nevertheless, a lack of quantity was made up for by quality and we found some very interesting species that we do not see often. Selena and Natalie, in particular, made some very good finds. We visited Parkhurst Forest, Beech Copse at Godshill, Northwood Cemetery and Bonchurch Landslip.
Haseley Manor Fungi 29th Sep 2020 Haseley Manor Fungi 17th October 2020 Sainham Wood, Godshill Fungi 24th October 2020 Northwood Cemetery 31.10.20 Martin’s Wood, Newchurch Fungi 10th Nov 2020 v1 Bonchurch Landslip 17th Nov 2020
Here are some of our more interesting finds:
At Northwood Cemetery, we found Cordyceps militaris. This little fungus parasitises insect larvae, killing them and sending up orange fruiting bodies. We don’t find it very often.
There had been a lot of trees and shrubs cut down in the cemetery and the wood had been chipped and laid on some of the paths. wood chip is an interesting substrate for fungi and we found the first Island record of Hygrophoropsis rufa, a relative of False Chanterelle growing prolifically.
In Parkhurst Forest, we found an interesting and rarely recorded Amanita, Amanita strobiliformis.
In Beech Copse, we found a beautiful little red Mycena, Mycena adonis coccinea which is rarely recorded, and nice material of another Mycena, Mycena rorida, the Dripping Bonnet, which has a slimy stem.
A (very) few of us held a repeat foray at Northwood Cemetery on Tuesday 24th November when waxcap fungi were finally showing very well. The white waxcaps (Hygrocybe virgineus) were looking particularly beefy.
We also made some interesting finds of uncommon fungi which have very few previous Island records. These include the Giant Funnel (Leucopaxillus giganteus), unfortunately in poor condition, and the strangely named Toad’s Ear (Otidea bufonia)
Finally, here we are foraying at Beech Copse, Northwood Cemetery and Haseley Manor.