Walking to work on Tuesday, I came across this Shaggy Inkcap Coprinus comatus, growing on the road verge. A single drop of ink hung from the base of the cap.
Over the course of two days, as I walked to work and home again, I observed it mature and deliquesce.
By the time I was heading home on Wednesday, it had transformed itself into a just an inky black button atop its slender, grubby stipe.
What a difference a day makes (or 33 hours, to be precise).
Not far away, at the end of New Hall Lane, I found another patch of inkcaps. These too were growing on a grassy verge, beside the footpath.
They were already on their way over by the time I found them.
On a couple of the fruit bodies the centre of the cap was covered in small, flat scales.
Nestled amongst the grass, I found a younger clump. Underneath the mousy-brown and faintly striate cap, the gills were still a grey-ish white – not yet turned to ink.
These mushrooms look like a good match for Common Inkcap Coprinopsis atramentaria.
At Woods Mill, there was also a flush of Glistening Inkcap Coprinellus micaceus. And, amongst this fine display of Sulphur Tuft Hypholoma fasciculare by Nightingale Bridge, I thought I spotted a few Fairy Inkcaps Coprinellus disseminatus, hiding at the back. Although I didn't fancy fighting my way into the bramble thicket to confirm.
For the record
Date: Tuesday 22 August 2017 - Wednesday 23 August 2017
Location: Various spots around Small Dole
Grid reference: C. comatus TQ214134; C. atramentaria TQ208132