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Archive for July, 2011

Once a few weeks of dry weather has been broken by a really good downpour, enough to make the dead poplar wood really soggy, this cap emerges. It then has to race to mature before the slugs get it.

Link to species notes.

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds in Abney Park Cemetery for 2011.

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OK, this is one of my least favourite mushrooms. It took all day to peg it down and that was on the fifth time of trying over several years. This time I managed to get all the characteristics because I chanced to find a cap in exactly the right state of developement to have all the features that I needed.

1. It had no visible veil remnants on the caps, even the young caps. The caps were striated, not ridged, on the outside half of the radius when the caps were damp. When they were dry they turned opaquely white with an occasional red tinge, but not much of one. There were no green droplets produced when a dilution of ammonia was applied to the gills. The stem ended in a short tapering pseudorrhiza.

2. It had a red edge to the gills which was fairly continuous and topped by a white, narrow frings of gill edge cystidia, and those cystidia didn’t have yellow contents under the microscope. The cystidia on gill edge and surface were about the right shape, if a bit small. The spores were the right size and shape.

3. They were growing in the right sort of place. There was a group of them in soil under woodchips at a path edge in sheltered, damp conditions.

Link to species notes.

 

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2011.

 

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This (left) is the way I usually see Coprinellus micaceus. Rounded tops to the caps, sometimes this pale colour, sometimes a much redder colour, but as long as it hasn’t been raining they have micaceus particles over them that are a bit like salt grains which do come off very easily, insects walking over them can drag them out of place; a leaf brushing against them leaves a clear patch of cap. But today is the first time I have seen really young caps in a group which had almost intact veil particles over very young caps (below)….

 

 

 

 

LinkĀ  to species notes.

Link to photos of Fungi and Slime molds 2011.

 

 

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This young bird was far too tame for its own good.

Link to photos of Birds in Abney

Link to photos of Abney July 2011.

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I have been going into Abney for a very long time now and this is the first time I have seen this butterfly. Talking to Tony (local expert) there is a thriving community of White-letter Hairstreaks in Abney and they are just emerging. The books say they are on the wing in July and August, although they have been emerging a bit on the early side of this on other relatively local areas this year.

The caterpillars live on elms, whych elms and common elms, and there are some elms in Abney. There used to be more, but Dutch Elm disease has caused the downfall of most mature elms. Most of the remaining trees are mainly suckers that have regenerated from the roots and they don’t really get to a large enough size to interest the butterfly. The few larger trees that are remaining are therefore very important.

Today a lone individual came down from the top of an elm to feed on privet and bramble flowers, and to spend time in the debris at the path edge looking for salts. They also feed on honeydew produced by aphids, which is a solution containing sugars etc. This is vital as a source of water in Abney, as there is no open water to drink from.

Link to photos of Abney for July 2011

 

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