I usually carry around various wildlife identification guides pretty much every where with me (as well as my binoculars!) as I’ve found that even in the most urban environment, you never know what you may come across! At the moment the two books that I don’t go anywhere without are my micro moth field guide (this is the perfect time of year for looking for leaf mines!) and a little collins mushroom guide I was gifted years ago. This year is the the first autumn I’ve actually got around to using the latter and finally delved in to the amazing world of fungi. I would just like to share a few recent discoveries….
Originally I thought this to be the Purple Jelly Fungus, but on second examination I’m going with Jew’s Ear or Jelly Ear as some people know it, Auricularia auricula-judae. It’s typically found on Elder – this was discovered (thanks to Maaike from Camley Street!) on a log, part of a habitat pile at Camley Street Natural Park. Honestly I’m not sure on the tree ID but I will take a closer look when I am there this week.
Jew’s ear, Auricularia auricula-judae
This next specimen was found in Epping Forest, Glistening Inkcap Coprinellus micaceus. It really does glisten!
Glistening Inkcap, Coprinellus micaceus
This next one was also found it Epping Forest, Hump-backed Polypore Pseudotrametes gibbosa. This is one of the many bracket fungi, the brackets on this species are humped at the point of attachment (hence the common name!) and the upperside has an interesting velvety lumpy surface.
Hump-backed Polypore, Pseudotrametes gibbosa
The next few specimens were found on Wanstead Flats – a new urban discovery for me, really looking forward to exploring this area further!
This Fly Agaric Amanita muscari is the typical ‘toadstool’ depicted in fairytales. The white spots are actually remnants of the white veil enclosing the young fruitbody. No problem identifying this one!
Fly Agaric, Amanita muscari
This is probably my favourite so far, Parasol mushroom Macrolepiota procera. I love the markings on the stem and cap, really nice! It’s the ‘snake-like’ pattern on the stem that pointed away from the similar Shaggy Parasol which has a white stem that bruises red-brown.
Parasol mushroom Macrolepiota procera
And last but not least, also found on Wanstead Flats, is this impressively large puffball – I think the Membranous Puffball Vascellum pratense.
Membranous puffball, Vascellum pratense
Complete with one hungry slug 😉