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Archive for November, 2011

Hi there,

This year the trust hasn’t booked an expert to lead a fungal walk, so a do it yourself wander round is planned. It has been a really bad season so far, but in the last week more variety of fungus has been growing. I am hoping that this continues to be the case for the next week. There will not be a leader, it is more going round with others who may know a bit more then you. I’ll try to plot a route to take in the more interesting fungi. Bring Field Guides, hand lens, anything you have that helps to identify what might be there. We will begin at 10.30am at the front gate.

If you would like to see what there could be growing, recent growths are on the end of Fungi and slime molds 2011. Abney is deeply into Autumn. Recent photos of Abney are on Photos of Abney Park Cemetery November 2011.

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Psathyrella prona

There are several versions of P. prona. Psathyrrella prona f. cana and prona f. orbitarum are out there somewhere, but not very often. P. prona is widespread but rarely reported. What I found was a dried cap, which had dried when the cap was young and still in a hemispherical shape. The gills then matured. I picked a white cap and turned it over to find apparently black gills with a striking white edge underlined with red. All the keys I have lead to prona, and there is nothing to disagree with that conclusion. It has been suggested before as being in Abney, but a field ID just didn’t seem quite enough.

Link to species notes.

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2011.

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This has been suggested as being in Abney before, but I haven’t been convinced up until now. It needs microscopic examination to really pin it down. It is probably not new to Abney, but it is newly pinned down as being this species so added to the lists. It has taken me a while to work out what it is. The very young cap I looked at didn’t have the red edge to the gills that the slightly older caps have. The pleurocystidia (large cells on the gill surface) occasionally divide into two points. I found 2 spored basidia in the young cap and 4 spored later on, and a mix of 2 and 4 spored basidia is in the books. The photos are not great at defining what it is. The young caps were very bright and colourful, it was only the more mature caps that began to look as the species is supposed to look.

Link to species notes.

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2011.

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A single brown cap, in not the best of conditions, is not a conclusive or ideal way to come across what I think to be a new species for Abney. It is, though, previously undescribed for the cemetery, and I think enough information is there to claim this as the species.

It is brown, a rich deep colour that is described as red/brown, chestnut/brown or purple/brown in Funga Nordica. The gills are the right colour and are roughly of the right spacing; the spores are the right size and their shape seems so variable in the book that the found spores fit into the description; the shape and size of the cap is about right, the habitiat is OK; the stem the right size and colour; the gill cystidia are about right, I could only see the tops of the cystidia, but there was nothing there to say it wasn’t P. bipellis; there were hairs over the cap, and this equates to hair like veil cells; it grew on the edge of woodchips, which is about right, as bipellis grows on buried wood.

The smell of the collected cap was distinctly of cat’s urine. I know this smell, I have a cat. In the Fungi of Switzerland, where it is still called P. odorata, it is described as smelling of cats urine somtimes. This is not refered to in Funga Nordica.

My problem with pinning it to this species is that it is only known in a handful of places in Britain. It is rare, and claiming a rare species from one cap that is not in the best of condition is always going to be a bit dodgy. I shall still go ahead, and await the email from someone who knows better telling me otherwise. So here it is.

Link to species notes.

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2011.

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It is still dry in Abney. The damper season seems to have some moisture available for fungi to grow, but not enough for many species. Perhaps they are still recovering from the unusally dry weather recently.A smattering of growth sprinkles some areas. Those I have found I have added them to the years tally on this link.

Photos of Abney Park Cemetery November 2011.

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As I was looking at some fungi today a grey squirrel turned up. It had white tufts of hair behind each ear, quite punky. A bold fellow, he looked in my bag, which was right next to me, for anything edible.

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Parakeets

All summer I have been hearing these birds in the mornings, and each time I got close to them they went on to another part of Abney. That is until yesterday. They flew to me! There were 6 birds and 5 managed to get into one photo.

Link to Birds file.

And on Thursday 17.11.2011 at least 24 parakeets flew round the chapel. It sounds like a large flock in the making.

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