27 Oct 2014

Fungi and Fairy Rings

Colin Miles

Oct 14th & 21st

As the forecast for the 14th looked as if it would rain – it didn’t – we went to the Tropical House as we had had reports of a Fungus there. And of course, on the way we looked for other Fungi along the way – but again, despite the recent rain, few had bothered to put in an appearance other than under the Birch Trees. But it was nice to be in the warmth of the Tropical House and, even though it took us a while to find this Fungus, Leucocoprinus heinemannii, – the heads are about the size of a 10P at best – we got our eyes in and soon were finding them everywhere – well almost.

For Oct  21st Bruce had asked us to look in Trawscoed Wood and Meadow to see what effect the grass cutting had had.  And by now the rain had finally woken up the Fungi, at least in the Wood and the Meadow, particularly along by the paths.  Though when we ventured away we were soon finding quite a lot, including Waxcaps not previously seen there.  And then were the Fairy Rings where the Fungi grow on the outer circle which, over the years, becomes bigger and bigger.  How old these are depends on the growth rate that is assumed, the yearly climate and many other factors, including how often the grass is ‘cultivated’ whether by humans, cattle or rabbits.  And maybe even Badgers have some influence – we found Badger Poo behind the Oak stump. As for our Beech stump, the Hornet nest was still present though looking decidedly fragile, and the Fungi on the stump is as splendid as ever.

So, buoyed by our Fungi success here a group of us decided to have a quick look at the Waun Las Waxcap Meadow to see whether anything had appeared there yet.  Unfortunately very little really, the most widespread being the sulphur coloured and very pretty Finger Fungi which might be Clavulinopsis Sp – difficult to be certain.

Many thanks as always to John and Peter for their splendid photos. And if any volunteer or member wants to join us please send an email to Jane Down– you DON’T have to be an expert in anything, just interested. If you click on the Wildlife Walks heading on the left-hand side under News you will see a list of the last 10 Wildlife Survey blogs. If you find an injured bird, hedgehog or other wild animal and want help and advice then phone the Gower Bird hospital. on 01792 371630.