I had hoped to be able to do a number of October walks this year, it is often a good month as it is not too hot but there is still plenty to see. This year, an exceptionally dry September was followed by a wet and windy October with not much sun. So my first October walk is a regular fixture, for several years I have made a trip to my local Sulham Woods looking for autumn fungi. As September was so dry I had expected the fungi would be rush to fruit after the wetter weather. This would appear not to be the case as there was less to see than in a normal year, however there was a fair amount and definitely worth venturing out to look at.
There were a number of fungi that I could not hazard a guess at identifying. I would need to take an identification book with me and also pick them to look at the gills/spores - and I don't like to do that except when there are very numerous. So just enjoy these pictures.
I think this bracket fungus could be something like Turkeytail 'Trametes versicolor'
It was amazing to see blackberries still in flower here and there, with buds still ready to open, do they know it is late October?
The star find was one of the smallest. I have taken some rather poor pictures of it before so was hopeful of doing better this time. It is Stagshorn fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon ) and you can clearly see how it gets its name, often you only see one or two spikes.
The largest fungus that we saw was some sort of Polypore, possibly Chicken of the Woods.
This one was very slimy, and very white so could be Porcelain Fungus.
A bush that was full of fruit last year and was again this year was a spindle-berry (Euonymus europaeus).
There seemed to be a lot of Sweet chestnuts lying around this year, perhaps I should go out and collect some to eat. I am more confident about identifying them than the fungi!
One interesting fungus growing on a pine cone was very small and would need an expert to identify.
We hoped to see some Parasol mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera) and only saw a few at an early stage before they have fully opened out.
The most common fungi we saw was Magpie inkcap (Coprinopsis picacea). It is considered by some to be 'infrequent' but it is common in these woods. Here is one about to open out.
And one fully open, they do not open for very long, soon it will collapse to an inky mess.
A weed I saw on the edge of an arable field was Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum). You can clearly see it is in the 'tomato' family, but the fruits can be deadly when green.