Colin Booker and I had a look on Heath common yesterday to see if there were any interesting fungi.
As we had hoped, we started finding colourful waxcaps almost immediately.
Some waxcaps are indistinguishable without the use of a microscope but a few are quite recognisable, such as the parrot waxcap, which comes in a range of colours but has characteristic green colouring in its stem or cap at some stages in its development.
Slimy waxcaps live up to their name and the caps of heath waxcaps can be quite sticky.
Amongst the grass, we found lots of bright yellow stems of a Clavulinopsis species.
There are a number of these small yellow fungi and a microscope is needed to be able to name them with confidence.
This tiny Cystoderma species is one to keep an eye on because it could be the host for an unusual and rare parasitic species of fungus called Squamanita paradoxa.
The dung left by the ponies which graze the common has provided a habitat for the egghead mottlegill mushrooms. These were one of the few little brown mushrooms that we could identify positively.
I couldn’t resist a second visit to the common today and I found a ring of field bewit – quite a distinctive fungus, with a brown cap and a pale violet stem.