I found myself at the Seven Sisters Country Park yesterday, with a few hours to kill – waiting for Michael to get off work. So I decided to take myself off for a walk around Friston Forest. In the rain.
I headed from West Dean towards the old waterworks at Friston, and was pretty underwhelmed when the first hour and half produced some Jelly Ear Auricularia auricula-judae and some tiny stubby-looking Candlesnuff Fungus Xylaria hypoxylon.
|L: Jelly Ear Auricularia auricula-judae, far away. R: Candlesnuff Fungus Xylaria hypoxylon, up close. It was raining too hard to get good photos.|
But then, as I turned into an area of mature Beech woodland – walking back in the direction of West Dean – I spotted something more interesting.
A pale fruit body standing proud from the leaflitter. Evidently pretty old, as algal growth had begun to give it a hint of green.
Underneath: an ochre / cinnamon-coloured pore surface. And a long back stipe connected the fruit body to the old twig it had been growing on.
I think what I have here is an old Blackfoot Polypore Polyporus leptocephalus. A species I've possibly come across before, but never been 100 % sure.
After trudging on for another hour through the rain, I was very excited to spot some mushrooms clustered on a rotting stump.
Getting closer, I realised they'd seen better days. But I was hopeful they were still in good enough condition to confirm an identification.
The ring around the stem would surely be a clue to their identity...
The gills were the colour of dirty dishwater – a grey-brown colour. And, later, produced a brown spore-print.
These mushrooms seem a good match for Poplar Fieldcap Cyclocybe cylindracea (previously Agrocybe cylindracea). Kind of a new one for me, although we did find an atypical-looking specimen which we identified as C. cylindracea on the Sussex Fungus Group foray at Seaford Head last year.
You've got to work hard for your mycological thrills at this time of year.
For the record
Location: Friston Forest
Grid reference: TV5399