sketchbook   sketchbook

Fewer Fungi

Monday, 27th October 2003
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

previous page Previous Page | This Month | Home Page | Next Page next page

fly agaricsIt's been such a dry summer that there are noticably fewer fungi around this autumn. Fly agaric (left) is, as usual, the most conspicuous, here growing beneath silver birches in Stonecliffe Wood, four miles south west of Wakefield.

The mycelium of fly agaric forms a symbiotic partnership with the birch, forming a microrhizal sheath around the roots of the tree.

birch bracketBirch Bracket

While the fly agaric may be helping the birches grow by freeing up nitrogen from the soil, this birch bracket is recycling the tree itself. This is one of a group growing on the trunk of a dead silver birch.

Bracket Fungus

bracket fungiTaking the decay process a stage further these bracket fungi are growing on a birch log that has already fallen to the ground. Like the birch bracket these fungi are stiff, corky, in texture and have pores rather than gills on their undersides to release the spores.


toadstoolThis small toadstool growing by a bracken frond at the edge of the wood has gills rather than pores. The projecting boss or small central mound is known as an umbo. The cap had a greasy look, the stem was hollow and the fungus had a mushroomy smell.

I photographed these with my matchbox-sized digital camera. next page

Richard Bell

sketchbook   sketchbook