Tag Archives: Hairy Curtain Crust

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

So where did we leave that tree?

FogSo here is our first fungi in the coppice. This is Hairy Curtain Crust,ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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, ย 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,ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚


The Nagshead

This is just a brief introduction to one of my favourite places The Nagshead,

It is not a pub although it sounds like it might be. It is an RSPB nature reserve that is within easy walking distance of my home. It is also a very good reason to visit The Forest of Dean for your holidays.

P1180137It is part of my playground and one of the loveliest places that I know.

P1180120These are Fallow Deer seen on my last visit about two weeks ago. That black and white rump is unmistakeable. These pictures were taken quite early in the morning when the light was very poor, so please excuse the quality.


P1180135Now I have a confession to make, although I have visited this reserve several times since I arrived in the forest I still haven’t photographed any birds here.

There is no absence of birds though, I am often mobbed by the small mixed flocks of tits and the sound of woodpeckers drumming and Tawny Owls hooting mixes in with the bird song to create an atmosphere that my pictures cannot relate. It is great.

5It is a good place to look for fungi.

7ย This is Hairy Curtain Crust a small bracket fungus.

8This next one is Blushing Bracket, so called because if you bruise the underside it flushes red.


10Wild Boar roam the forest freely but they are becoming very shy because the Forestry Commission shoot them.

11I will have to crop that picture to show you what I have just seen.

12There has been an issue here with people feeding the Boar. It is a problem because the animals loose their fear of humans, the FC are doing all that they can to set that issue right.

I should come clean here and tell you that I am strongly opposed to the Wild Boar cull. I do believe that they need to be managed but shooting guns at them isn’t the way to do it. They are just dispersing them, they are driving them out of the forest. The FC are the only people with the resources and organisation to be able to manage these animals and once out of the forest they are beyond control. The end result is many more Boar in places where they shouldn’t be. They are a forest animal.

The FC like their guns. They don’t shoot them in the reserve and obviously they don’t shoot them once they are out of the forest. They don’t really shoot very many of them because they can’t find them, the Boar are very evasive and they just run away.

I like to see wild animals in the forest.

So that is my brief introduction to the Nagshead. It is a smashing place and I will be spending a lot of time here this summer, I hope that you will come with me.