Corruption and Decay in Darkest England

Now with new improved Fizz.

By the time Fizz and I got out yesterday it was getting dark and there was no chance of getting any decent pictures. This morning it seemed a bit brighter and we decided to have another try.

FogThis fog was to the South and on the hills. First we are heading North to Badger Alley, it is not so bad there.

Yesterday I found some more Oysterlings and I want a chance to photograph them.

Badger AlleyI have heard Oysterlings described as the most photogenic of fungi and I didn’t think that when I found them growing on slimy green vegetation.




OysterlingsThese look quite a bit nicer. These mushrooms have got legs, there are lots of little ones still to come so I shall be back to visit these again soon.

So that is the Oysterlings. Next….

Don’t eat yellow snow!

Remember our Pear-shaped Puffballs?

Pear-shaped PuffballI told you that all Puffballs were edible but that you must cut them and make sure that they are pure white inside. I need to show you what I mean.

I am reluctant to take another one of these as I want to watch them mature and decay but this is an important stage in their development. So selecting the biggest one….

Pear-shaped PuffballThis one has started to yellow. You shouldn’t eat them like this.

Pear-shaped Puffball

Pear-shaped PuffballNow this isn’t where we are going today. Fizz and I are going back up to the Sweet Chestnut Coppice to look at the Honey mushrooms that we saw about two weeks ago. The coppice is up there in the fog.

FogI have to keep Fizz off the road as much as possible so we are going through the fields. Here are your Fizz shots for today.

FizzI am afraid that I have already got her messed up a bit and she is no longer “fresh back from the cleaners.”

Fizz in Fog.



FizzEventually we have to take to the road but we have by-passed the narrowest parts.



FogOnce we get up here we are safe and can walk on the grass.

FogHere is the wood we have come to visit. You can just tell that the light in there is going to be perfect for photography.

FogThis is what I have to put up with every day in England!

I quite like fog it is better than constant rain πŸ™‚

So where did we leave that tree?

FogSo here is our first fungi in the coppice. This is Hairy Curtain Crust,Β Stereum hirsutum. This grows all over the world and you will find it in Australia and North America. It is very common and we will see a lot more in the next couple of months.

Hairy Curtain Crust

Hairy Curtain Crust

Hairy Curtain CrustWho is rocking the log!

A IdiotWhat sort of an idiot are you? Just asking.

A IdiotGet off the log.

A IdiotHairy Curtain Crust.

Hairy Curtain CrustNotice that she was on a lead in those last pictures. I have just heard an animal moving about in the woods. We don’t get to see it. It was probably Deer, there are a lot of them around here but there are also Wild Boar and Boar would be dangerous for Fizz. (they might knock her off her log) She is safe so long as she stays close.

My next find is a stinker.

Stinkhorn FungusPhallus impudicus, this is a Stinkhorn Fungus and it is living up to it’s name. I don’t often find them with the gleba intact like this (Gleba is the disgusting bit), flies are usually quick to eat that bit but I guess in Winter there are not so many flies around. This specimen has been hanging about for a bit and is truly repulsive.

Stinkhorn FungusI want to have a closer look. I am a boy and I like disgusting things πŸ™‚

I need to dig it up and see it’s egg.

Stinkhorn FungusSadly it broke when I lifted it. The stem is very hard and brittle.

Stinkhorn FungusInside the stem is sitting in the egg but does not seem to be attached to it in any way.

Stinkhorn FungusIt just slides out.

Stinkhorn FungusThe jelly like egg remains.

Stinkhorn FungusUp at the other end the stem didn’t seem to have any attachment to the cap either. The cap just slid off and slimed everywhere and it stank.

Stinkhorn FungusInteresting but that’s enough of that.

Let’s move on to the Pigskin Poison Puffball.

These are the decaying remains of the Common Earthball, Β Scleroderma citrinum.

Common EarthballQuite a few of them had opened like cups and now contain a soup of poisonous spores and rainwater. (I need to photograph all aspects of a fungi’s development.)

Common Earthball

Common Earthball

Common Earthball

Common EarthballThen finally we found our Honey Fungus. That too was decaying.

Honey FungusI was very interested to find that my Honey Fungus,Β Armillaria ostoyae was itself being attacked by another fungus. This is some kind of parasitic fungi. I don’t expect to be able to get an ID on it but I am trying to find out more as we speak.

One expert has already advised me to collect some in a tupperware container and see what develops. Hmm….. Not sure that I am ready for the responsibility of keeping another pet.

If I find out anything then I shall let you know.

Honey Fungus

Honey Fungus

Honey Fungus

Honey Fungus

Honey FungusDid I tell you that Winter cut really suits you? You look lovely.

(Ha ha! I remembered to read the back of my hand)

FizzCome on. Let’s go home before the Boar get us πŸ™‚


50 thoughts on “Corruption and Decay in Darkest England”

    1. Thank you Susanne πŸ™‚ It was while I was cutting up that Stinkhorn that I noticed that my knife blade was covered in green slime and Fizz and I hadn’t had our lunch yet! Good job we are not fussy eaters πŸ™‚


  1. Packed full of interesting and wonderful things as usual. You are right about the fog and light being perfect for photos- makes your forest magical. I am fascinated by the fungus eating another fungus, and I am also fascinated by the egg. I did not know anything grew like that. Thank you for pulling it from the earth and showing photos!


    1. Thanks Don πŸ™‚ I have just been reading about Polkweed. Puffballs are one of the safest fungi to eat just because there are no poisonous ones, you just have to check that they are white inside and they are good.


  2. Those oysterlings are truly quite pretty in their pattern and shape.
    I’m continually amazed at the wide variety of fungi you have in your local woods. Well done for getting them all correctly identified – I’m sure you could write a book on the subject soon.


  3. No stinky fungus here, and that was…..interesting. The pictures in the fog are beautiful. And Fizz, looking quite striking with her new hairdo! You sure do know your fungus and have so many different varieties there, and you make it always interesting for your readers.


    1. Thank you Andrew πŸ™‚ I see that Lulu is having a hard time of it at the moment and hope everything works out well for you and soon. A dog deserves a little mud now and then.


  4. So much to see, so little daylight! Love the oak in the fog and of course, the dog on the log πŸ˜‰ She is such a cute dog and those, “What me?” expressions just melt my heart.


  5. You have done it again, Colin. (And the canine). I have been keeping an eye out for some good old Aussie fungi but it is too dry at the moment. I might have to go for a drive.


    1. Thank you John πŸ™‚ Fungi are a bit seasonal though. We didn’t see much at all during our Spring and Summer. They like cold and wet and I don’t suppose that you will be getting much of that in the next few months.


  6. Thank you for all of the glorious photos of fog and rain! As much as I love the desert of New Mexico, USA, 340 days of sun each year can actually be pretty hard to take! : ) And thank you for all of the rich photography and information on the fauna of your country (and Fizz). I learn a lot from your postings!


  7. Thank you so muc; I almost felt like I too had gone on the walk with you and fizz. (Except I was dry and cozy.) I loved the photographs of the fog. . . do beautiful! Especially the old trees! I am sure the fog gets old, even though it makes for beautiful photos. The fungi are interesting and cool and sometimes beautiful and sometimes kind of ick but very important I know! Nature is always fascinating!


  8. Eeeeeewwww, your title lives up to its name! Excellent photos, though, especially of the gloomy woods, and I love your descriptions (with the added Fizz commentary). The whole thing just seems to sum up the essence of November!


  9. Another great woodland hike, and Fizz is looking good like usual. You know, I thought we had lots of fungus here in Vancouver, but you have us beat hands down. Impressive. See you again.


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