Archive for March, 2012

This past week the first of the bluebells has floweres, urged on by this unseasonably warm weather.

Beginning of the bluebells.Link to March photos of Abney Park Cemetery 2012


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I would like to thank Derek Schafer for guiding me through this process.

Coprinellus saccharinus is an incredibly rare mushroom. It comes from a group ‘Micacei’ within the inkcaps, which has 3 members.

C. micaceus is the most comon, it has glittery micaceus veil fragments over the cap when mature, until they get washed off by the rain. It has lageniform caulocystidia (large cells which are round in the base then taper into a long point) on the stem. It has white scales scattered with thick walled brown cells in the very young, pre-primordial caps, which enlarge, the walls thin out and they pale as they develop. There are also cystidia on the gill edge which look frosty in young caps, and on the gill surface (microscope only). It grows on dead wood, buried wood etc. It has mitriform spores (5 sided and flattish).

C. truncorum has oval spores and no caulocystidia, but it does have hairs on the stem which can be quite dense and easily visible or sparse and need a microscope. It also has gill cystidia, even larger then micaceus on the gill surface. It also grows on dead wood.

Then there is saccharinus. It has rounded mitriform shaped spores, conical at the base and more rounded towards the germ pore. It has no hairs and no cystidia on the stem. It has the same gill cystidia as micaceus. It has only white cells in the pre-primordial caps. It grows in masses round the base of dead trees.

What I found seemed not to have cystidia or hairs on the stem, but maybe I didn’t find them. It didn’t have the traditional glittery veil that micaceus traditionally has, but then it is an inkcap so variable, so maybe this doesn’t mean anything. The gill cystidia were there but that doesn’t help with an identification. The young caps were too grown when I came across them to show the pre-primordial characteristics. So it is possible that I found saccharinus, but not definitively. More infromation is needed.

Link to notes.


At the end of May this group regrew, and this time I found a stem cystidia, which is enough to make it C. micaceus. See blog of 1.6.2012.

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When out in Abney this morning I was hailed by Tony Butler, bird expert, who pointed out to me the Tawny Owl chicks were out of the nest.¬† It seems that they have been particularly secretive this year and there were fears they had not managed to breed. But today there were 3 chicks out, blinking in the sun. I am not great at getting photos of birds but I managed a few not very good photos of the owls. The best of them is this…

The other photos are here.

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The parakeets continue to be a presence in Abney. They have been there all winter and, despite efforts at deterring them, have continued to make good use of the bird feeders. They are now pairing up for the breeding season.

Just visible in the center of this photo, the 2 birds in the branches here are small and distant but they are very vocal and seem to fill the space far more then their size indicates they should.

Link to Abney Park Cemetery photos of March 2012.

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It feels like spring when I find the first inkcap of the year. They are soft, quickly growing caps and need the warmer temperatures to thrive. The recent rain makes it perfect. What has grown is Coprinellus micaceus…

It has lost its white micaceus veil in the rain of the day before.

Also growing is the last of the Winter Fungus or Velvet Shank, Flammulina velutipes…

Link to phtoso of Fungi  and Slimemolds 2012.

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