Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Fungi Season

Are we seeing signs of the drought really breaking at last? In six years, I've only seen one early winter showing of lots of fungi on the property, and most of this was "small stuff" - bunches of small and tiny toadstools in damp places. But in the past three weeks, the amount of new fungi everywhere has been astounding. Species I've never seen before, and huge toadstools literally forcing their way up through the ground all over the place.
Yesterday I found several varieties that were new to me, and unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me. These photos are from last week.
As I said, these large ones are coming up under leaf litter, pushing branches aside, popping out of the middle of the track, and growing in rows (some look like a line up of alien space craft just landed!). At first they're rounded, then they open out and look like this.
In one very damp area on the south side, these ones had mould on their tops. They looked a bit like pizzas (not very botanic of me, but then I am a writer, not a scientist!).
And after they've been out for a while, they turn even further up, like this. At that point, I think when it rains, the water in the hollowed tops then rots them and they sink away out of sight again.
The other thing I've noticed is large patches of sundew - these have flat leaves so I'm guessing they're scented sundew, not pygmaea (which in the photos I've looked at seem to have red edges). Hopefully I'll get a photo of this one next week.
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