The well-named Felt Saddle, Helvella macropus, found at Whippendell Wood at the end of September (photo by Alison)
Chanterelles seem to be having a good year in Herts. As well as the slightly more common Horn of Plenty (Cratellerus cornucopioides), at Northaw Great Wood we found the Sinuous chanterelle Pseudocraterellus sinuosus, which is similar but more frilly (photo by Claudi).
We had an enjoyable meeting at Sherrards Park Wood on 17 September, where the highlight for me was seeing the 2 parasitic fungi on Russula nigricans (Blackening brittlegill) - Asterophora parasitica (Silky piggyback) and Asterophora lycoperdoides (Powdery piggyback). Alison took a great photo of the latter.
At our meeting at Gobions Wood on 10 September, we found the small but strong-smelling fungus Phleogena faginea (Fenugreek puffball). I have a dried specimen several years old, and it still retains its strong smell.
We had an interesting and productive first meeting of our autumn programme at Bricket Wood at the end of August. Finds included 3 Cortinarius (webcaps) including Marsh webcap, Cortinarius uliginosus (pictured) a site speciality, with only one other known site in Herts.
The new meeting point is as follows:
St Stephen Parish Centre, Station Road, Bricket Wood, St Albans AL2 3PJ, grid ref. TL136021.
The calendar entry has been updated accordingly
Our autumn programme is now in the calendar (bottom right of home page if viewing on a pc, scroll to the bottom if using a phone or tablet). To view information on a meeting, click on the relevant date in the calendar. Click Read more to see all details including an aerial photo of the meeting point.
We had a display table at the Rickmansworth Festival last week. In spite of the time of year and the recent dryness, we did have a few “real” fungi (brackets and a selection from Sainsburys) but fortunately Steve was able to supplement these with his beautiful and amazingly lifelike models. We had quite a lot of interest from members of the public, with adults particularly asking about edibles, and children drawn to the brightly coloured and the strangely shaped.
We had an interesting and informative workshop on rusts and smuts on 7 May, with a brief description of their complicated lifecycles and an opportunity to look at a variety of specimens, including the smut on Cuckoo Pint / Lords & Ladies - Melanustilospora ari. This has been considered rare but with several recent finds, it may just have been overlooked. It causes black blotches on the leaves - but there are often black blotches on the leaves of this plant - but more tellingly it creates pustules on the undersurface of the leaf, see photo. So worth looking out for.
Six people including the leader, Kerry Robinson, were at this meeting, and they were accompanied by the assistant warden, John Rowley. It had been very dry beforehand, so the group concentrated on the damper areas near the ponds, where they found the rare asco-on-a-stalk Myriosclerotinia sulcatula (photo attached).