Sunday 19th September Martin’s Wood, Newchurch
A group of twelve of us met in the carpark alongside Newchurch primary school for our first foray of the season.
The weather had been very dry and we were not optimistic of finding very much. It was a surprise to be able to record 31 different taxa. This included remarkable quantities of Death Cap fungi, several bracket fungi and a couple of Milkcaps. Despite the dry weather, it turned out to be quite damp during our visit, so I didn’t take any photos.
Here is the list of fungi we recorded: Martins wood 19 Sept 2021
Saturday 30th October Kingston Cemetery, East Cowes
Nine of us attended an impromptu fungus foray at East Cowes. We had experienced heavy rain but, by 10 am, the skies cleared, the sun came out and the fungi were out in force. Kingston Cemetery proved to be surprisingly productive for both grassland and woodland fungi and we recorded 43 taxa and spent a couple of hours on this small site.
At first, the only things were could find were Fibrecaps, Inocybe, species. These are notoriously difficult to identify but we were able to name a few including one distinctive small, scaly fibre, Inocybe hystrix, which proved to be a new Island record.
We found clumps of Clustered Brittlestems, Psathyrella candolleana, and remarkable quantities of a Hebeloma which proved to be Bitter Poisonpie, Hebeloma sinazipans, not uncommon but not usually found in such quantity.
We also found several sorts of Waxcap fungi but they were only just starting to appear and will no doubt be better over the coming weeks.
Selena found a tiny white fungus, just 2mm high which proved to be Hymenoscyphus fraxinea. This is interesting because it is the fruiting body of the fungus which causes as die back which is currently wreaking havoc on our ash trees.
Here is the list of what we found: East Cowes Cemetery 30th October 2021
Sunday 7th November Borthwood Copse
A group of nine met at the entrance to National Trust’s Borthwood Copse for a woodland foray.
Our first find was made by Jillie, an earthball bearing a clutch of the little parasitic boletus around its base. We often find this is Borthwood Copse. There was plenty of Honey Fungus on show today and, indeed, a large proportion of the fungi we found were associated with dying or dead wood. They included a fine crop of Hen of the Woods, Grifolia frondosa, found by Liz Fox on a standing oak tree.
Soon afterwards, Hazel came across the stunningly beautiful Blood-red Webcap, Cortinarius sanguineus, and then we started to see more. I suspect that this fungus is more correctly Cortinarius puniceus which is associated with broad-leaved trees rather than pines but the two are rather difficult to differentiate.
Further on we came across an oak stump covered with what looked like lots of tiny white toadstools but subsequently, on examination at home, Jillie realised that this was Oak Pin, Cudoniella acicularis, mimiking a basidiomycete but actually an ascomycete. Microscopy confirmed this. We found a very fine specimen of Magpie Inkcap, Coprinus picacea, and several other specimens at different stages of development. This was one of a number of fungi we found that are associated by beech. Altogether, we recorded 54 different species.
Sunday 21st November Northwood Cemetery
Our final foray of the season was attended by around thirty people. We were blessed with dry, sunny weather and spectacular shows of fungi. Northwood Cemetery is known to be an excellent place to see colourful waxcap fungi and other grassland species but I have never seen such a splendid display as we were treated to on this occasion. For example, the pink or ballerina waxcap, a species for which the UK seems to be a stronghold, is usually found here in ones or twos. This time (right) we found groups of them in several locations. The biggest and perhaps the showiest of the waxcaps, the Crimson Waxcap, Hygrocybe punicea, was present in large quantities.
In addition to colourful waxcaps, we found a variety of grassland club and coral fungi. One of these, Hairy Earthtongue, Trichoglossum hirsutum, had a white mould growing on it called Hypomyces papullasporae, which was new to the Island. Two of the rare specialities of the site were present in good quantity. These were the Olive Earthtongue, Microglossum olivaceum, with striking turquoise stalks, and the violet coral, Clavaria zollingeri.
In addition to these, we found unusual numbers of Slender Parasols, Macrolepiota mastoidea, and a ring of Beaked Earthstar, Geastrum pectinatum, in their usual location beneath conifers.
In total, we recorded 59 species Northwood Cemetery 21st November 2021