Risk Assessment for Fungus Forays


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MykoGolfer

The intrepid MykoGolfer, winner of the Golf Cup, is now providing regular updates to our website. Watch this space....

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FUNGAL SNIPPETS from MYKOGOLFER

Monday 6th November 2017

Peniophorella pubera © MykoGolfer

I have been working on that yellowish white fungus from the soil in my garden. The nearest I can get is Hypochnicium punctulatum, the only one I can find with the same type and size of spores. I have that half log edging round the border so it may be associated with that and then spread over the surrounding bits. Not happy with having probably identified that, I had to find another nondescript fruit body on the edge of a piece of wood. Fortunately the cystidia were very obvious and it is Peniophorella pubera. Some of these this crust fungi can be difficult to identify. You need to get a spore print which can take a couple of days to extract, you need to soften it up to take a sample and then look for cystidia and other microscopic bits and then you hope you can find a book or website that has sufficient detail to be able to match it. It takes time and can be frustrating. At least they will keep for a little while in a damp box.

Saturday 4th November 2017

Hypochnicium punctulatum © MykoGolfer

A day at home to catch up on paperwork AND the ones awaiting spore prints. I feed my birds and use a plant pot saucer as a bath for the smaller birds. I lifted it up to clear out the leaves and refill it. Underneath, I saw that a fungus had grown on the litter and soil. I thought that it would be easy to identify. Not so. The spores are too big or too small. It is a fluffy yellow/white thing. I have a four spored basidia, lots of spores. But I can not find it in any of my books. I struggled for hours to identify it. My final decision is Hypochnicium punctulatum. I can not find anything else that fits or is even close.

Friday 3rd November 2017

Echinoderma aspera © MykoGolfer

I decided to have another go, this time at Calderstones Park, one of the main parks in Liverpool. There is a particular shrubbery that often produces something different. Lots of Geastrum triplex (Collared Earthstar) as usual. And a few Psathyrellas - microrhiza (Rootlet Brittlestem) and pseudogracilis. One that fooled me was a large smooth brown cap with white gills. I had to do some hard research to to reach the conclusion that it was Echinoderma aspera (Freckled Dapperling). I have found this in the Park before but it usually has a very cracked cap. The microscopics clinched the identification. It is essential to check the spiky bits on the cap.

Thursday 2nd November 2017

Clitocybe geotropa © MykoGolfer

A nice afternoon so I went for a walk to one of my favourite local parks and nature reserve. Fungi were thin on the ground again. Two hours of searching and nothing of much interest to show. The redeeming feature was that Rhodotus palmatus (Wrinkled Peach) was still hanging on to one of the cut tree trunks. I have noted that Clitocybe geotropa (Trooping Funnel) seems to be everywhere this year. It has been a few years since I recorded it.

Saturday 28th October 2017

My annual foray for Natural England at Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve. Twenty odd members of the public eager to learn about fungi. First question - Can you eat it? Even at Ainsdale, it was a struggle to put together a decent collection. Two weeks ago, the area was a covered with species. Not today. Fortunately, with the extra eyes, we managed to find a decent diversity of common species but nothing out of the ordinary. Strangely, not one Amanita was found. One thing that annoys me is the recent insistence to photograph everything that is found. I am expected to hold the specimen while a variety of cameras and phones is aimed at my hand. Some of them take for ages. Then they get upset when I suggest that they hold the specimen while I tend to the rest of the group. So selfish.

Friday 20th October 2017

Didymosphaeria conoidea spores © MykoGolfer Volvariella speciosa © MykoGolfer

Went for a walk to my local golf club before 'Weather Bomb Brian' arrives. Not much around. I did find Volvariella gloiocephala (syn. Volvariella speciosa - Stubble Rosegill) which is new to the site. On very recent woodchip. More interesting was Leptosphaeria doliolum on a dead nettle stem. Under the microscope was another Ascomycete with spores that had only one septa. My research came up with Didymosphaeria conoidea, which is a parasite of Leptosphaeria doliolum. 'Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite them'.

Thursday 19th October 2017

I paid a visit to Halewood Triangle Country Park. Like yesterday at golf, lots of fruit bodies but no diversity. These woods grow healthy numbers of Lepista irina (Flowery Blewit). I have identified it before over the last two years. In the woods were large patches of white fungi. I assumed that they would all be the same. But, as nothing else was growing, I picked a dozen to have a closer look at home. I was surprised when the pores of my first specimen were clearly from Clitocybe geotropa (trooping Funnel). My second specimen did key out as Lepista irina. So I was right about my previous identification but wrong in not checking any others. Then to my further surprise, one turned out to be Tricholoma album (White Knight). They all looked very similar and smelled similar. I left some for spore prints overnight and my room was very perfumed by morning.

Wednesday 18th October 2017

Where have all the fungi gone? I played golf today expecting to collect a few decent specimens. There were lots of fruitbodies but only from three species. Leccinum scabrum (Brown Birch Bolete), Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) and Amanita rubescens (Blusher). Very uninteresting.

Tuesday 17th October 2017

Volvariella surrecta © MykoGolfer

Last Thursday, I wrote that I had identified Volvariella caesiotincta growing with a group of Clitocybe nebularis (Clouded Agaric). But my research indicated that this species usually grows on tree trunks. So today I went back to check. I was lucky to find them. All the leaves were blown off in yesterday's storm. So I checked for a tree trunk that might have been buried. Nothing. But I did end up with a very slimy hand. When I picked a couple of specimens the stems were attached to with dead fungal bits. Then it dawned on me, the connection with Clouded Agarics. What I had picked was Volvariella surrecta (Piggyback Rosegill). All the slime and bits were from dead Clitocybes. No wonder it was growing along the same line. This fungus was once Red Data List and is rarely reported. But a collector might not spot the dead fungi on which it lives, just like what I didn't.

Sunday 15th October 2017

I went to Croxteth Hall on a sunny Sunday. I would like to lead a foray there but need to know what the parking is like and how many people go there. There was a fair on so the car parks were busy. I managed to find a slot easily. People everywhere but only as far as the fair, play areas and Hall and Gardens. The rest of this large woodland area was devoid of people. The problem was that it was also devoid of fungi. After an hour, I had found only six species. I know it is a good site. It covers a very large and diverse woodland. But when is the best time to foray?

Saturday 14th October 2014

The suspected Cotylidia from Ainsdale has arrived at Kew Herbarium. All we can do now is wait for a result.

Thursday 12th October 2017

Granulobasidium vellereum © MykoGolfer Volvariella caesiotincta © MykoGolfer

After a hard morning digging my allotment, I needed a walk to straighten out my back muscles. I visited two of my favourite woods at Hale. I made some interesting finds, some I had not seen before. There were hundreds of Clitocybe nebularis in many rings. But in one ring were some fungi, also trooping, that looked wrong. They had pink gills and a volva. Only after I had done the microscopics did I identify Volvariella caesiotincta. On a stack of cut, fallen tree trunks I spotted a crust fungus with shades of pink. This took me some time to identify as some spores were globose and some elliptical. I thought cross contamination. But no. It is Granulobasidium vellereum. some spores are asexual. The pink is caused by an insect. The other good find was the tiny Pluteus nanus (Dwarf Shield). Looks like a Mycena but with pinkish gills. Mycena galericulata also has pink gills but the spores and cystidia are different.

Wednesday 11th October 2017

Psilocybe cyanescens © MykoGolfer

I cut the lawn before it rained. On the wooden edging round the border I found three Psilocybe cyanecens (Blue Leg Brownie). This part of my garden is low and frequently floods when it rains heavily as it seems to do more frequently these days.

Tuesday 10th October 2017

Flu jab today. I parked my car outside the surgery and on the grass verge were a dozen Geoglossum cookeanum (Earthtongue) and the same number of Hygrocybe insipida (spangle Waxcap). No need to travel far for a bit of mycology.

Sunday 8th October 2017

Ramaria stricta © MykoGolfer Psathyrella multipedata © MykoGolfer

After a hard morning digging on my allotment, I took advantage of the weather to go for a walk I chose Otterspool Promenade, a large expanse of grassland beside the river Mersey. My first find was of Psathyrella multipedata (Clustered Brittlestem) in the car park. Some grassland Mycenas oilivaceomarginata (Brownedge Bonnet) and flavoalba (Ivory Bonnet). There are two very small islands of shrubbery in this expanse of grass. One supported dozens of patches of Ramaria stricta (upright Coral), some as big as footballs.

Friday 6th October 2017

Lepiota ochraceofulva at Springwood © MykoGolfer

After a morning of digging on my allotment, I needed a walk. So I went to one of my favourite parks. After some excellent forays, I expected lots of fungi. I was disappointed. I started well with Lepiota ochraceofulva. This species first appeared under Cupressus last year and now numbers over one hundred fruit bodies. Lepista flaccida (Tawny Funnel) was everywhere. I came across a large fruiting of Entoloma clypeatum (Shield Pinkgill). Also Clitocybe nebularis (Clouded Agaric), an indication that winter is near. I had a nice finish with a find of Tricholoma stiparophyllum (Chemical Knight?), pure white with a very strong chemical smell.

Saturday 30th September 2017

Lacatarius hepaticus © MykoGolfer Thelephora terrestris © MykoGolfer

I joined Merseyside Naturalists who were holding a foray at Freshfield Dune Heath. They seemed pleased that I could add my fungal knowledge to the event. The site, both woodland and heath was spectacular. Hundreds of Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric), and Suillus luteus (Slippery Jack). An extensive area of Thelephora terrestris (Earth Fan) under Ulex (Gorse). I have never seen so much. Lots of Lactarius rufus (Rufous Milkcap) and hepaticus (Liver Milkcap). Leccinum versipelle (Orange Birch Bolete) and Amanita citrina (False Deathcap) in the woods. Even a couple of Boletus edulis. I let one of my party have one. I have never shown such generosity before.

Friday 29th September 2017

Mystery fungus © MykoGolfer Mystery fungus © MykoGolfer

Received an Email from the Manager of Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve attaching a photograph of a fungus. He asked if I could identify it. The nearest I could get was Cotylidia undulata, a Red Data List species. I arranged to collect the specimen only to be told that a slug had eaten most of it. Another call. He had found another one. So I went to Ainsdale where I collected both specimens and found another in situ, growing in sand with moss and pine needles. At home, I managed to find a basidia (so a proper fungus) and some spores. But the spores were a little too large for the Cotylidias in my reference books. So I sent the photo to Kew who requested I send it to them. Whatever it is, it is rare.

Thursday 28th September 2017

Slowly building up my injured shoulder. Playing golf on my own gives me a chance to look for fungi. A new area of Boletus edulis (Penny Bun), this time under oak. Seems to be a good year for this species. Another edible species, Clitopilus prunulus (The Miller), was spotted. Because they look similar to Clitocybe rivulosa (Fool's Funnel), I always check the spores. But by the end of the process it is not worth eating. I also collected a couple of very nice Agaricus arvensis (Horse Mushroom) for breakfast. I checked them before putting them into my golf bag. When I got home a couple of hours later and took them out, they had both turned yellow. Agaricus xanthodermus (Yellow Stainers). Perhaps all the rain affected their colour change. It shows how careful you have to be when collecting for the pot.

Tuesday 26th September 2017

Busy time on the allotment. Picking crops but also preparing for next year. Difficult to achieve in constant rain. On the path to my plot, I came across a single unremarkable Conocybe specimen. Under a microscope it proved to be Conocybe pilosella. Said to be uncommon but this is a genus that is usually left to the end. Fortunately this one had very small spores which made my task easier.

Sunday 24th September 2017

Thelephora terrestris © MykoGolfer Cortinarius bivelus © MykoGolfer Taphrina tosquintii © MykoGolfer

Foray with North West Fungus group at Clock Face Country Park, St. Helens. The site of an old colliery which has been reclaimed and planted with trees. despite the fact that is new woodland, the site always produces numerous fruit bodies of many varieties. Today was no different. The site supports a number of Cortinarius (Webcaps). Cortinarius bivelus and the uncommon Cortinarius alboviolasceus (Pearly Webcap). Other finds were Thelephora terrestris (Earthfan), Taphrina tosquintii (grows on Corylus leaves). A very good day. 91 identified before we left. Lots of unknown in boxes.

Friday 22nd September 2017

Lycoperdon umbrinum? © MykoGolfer

I had to visit my golf club to buy some equipment. The car park was full so I had to park on an overspill area. Joy. In front of me were a dozen Boletus edulis. My larder is replenished. I then went shopping at Lidl. On the woodchip in the car park were masses of puffballs. I am still working on them but I think they are Lycoperdon umbrinum. But there may be a woodchip puffball that I do not know about. My specimens are too young for spores so I will have to go shopping again later.

Thursday 21st September 2017

Geastrum striatum © MykoGolfer Melanophyllum haematospermum © MykoGolfer

It rained all morning. When it stopped I took a walk round my local golf course. An old lane runs along one side of the course. To stop trespassers, particularly scrambler bikes, they club has erected a five foot high soil bank along the boundary. I saw these nondescript brown fungi growing from the bare soil in large numbers. When I picked one, I immediately saw the red gills. Melanophyllum haematospermum (Redspored Dapperling). Not one I record very often but to see over a hundred in one spot is very unusual. It has a pink spore print. I continued to the adjoining park to check on my Geastrum striatum (Striate Earthstar) that have been in the same spot since 2009. Still there and doing well. They grow in an area that is well trampled by children attending an Adventure Centre. But there are four trees very close together and they grow , protected, in the middle. It seems that the children run round rather than through these trees.

Wednesday 20th September 2017

Lovely morning so I decided to play golf. Not a lot of fungi about but this is due to the efficiency of the maintenance staff cutting the grass. I have recorded a lot of Agaricus augustus (The Prince) this year, this time under Cupressus leylandii. Also Augustus arvensis (Horse Mushroom) in the same place for the past four years. Breakfast was tasty.

Sunday 17th September 2017

Helvella elastica © MykoGolfer Pulvinula convexella © MykoGolfer Peniophora laeta © MykoGolfer

I attended the North West Fungus Group foray at Dibbinsdale Country Park. This is one of my favourite sites as it frequently turns up rare species and today was no exception. Pluteus aurantiorugosus is a striking orange species found on elm, so not very common these days. Another unusual species was Peniophora laeta, that grows only on hornbeam and has little pegs that push the bark up from the wood. An interesting Ascomycete was found on a muddy path and identified as Pulvinula convexella. Helvella elastica and Marasmiellus delectabilis were also recorded. the latter is very tiny and found on dead bramble. The important identification features were the size of the spores and that it had just a few gills. While carefully removing the stem from the bramble, I spotted another fungus, a small black ball, that turned out to be Anthostomella appendiculosa. Said to be uncommon. It was identified by the very large spores, up to 35um. We made a large collection and the list will take some time to complete and post on the NWFG website.

Saturday 16th September 2017

Hypocrea aureoviridis © MykoGolfer Hypocrea aureoviridis © MykoGolfer

I brought home a small yellow Ascomycete from the foray at Moore on the 4th September. I though it would be a Hypocrea but it did not produce any spores. I therefore kept it in a damp box to see if it developed. At last. On Saturday the surface covered in small ostioles like the top of a pepper pot. It is Hypocrea aureoviridis. I only had to wait two weeks.

Friday 15th September 2017

Entoloma minutum © MykoGolfer

For years my front lawn has grown Entoloma papillatum, a small brown jobbie with a distinctive pointed cap. This year I came across three brown jobbies on my back lawn. But no pointed caps. The cap is flat, even sunken. The fungus is small and disappears very quickly. Having done the microscopics, my conclusion is Entoloma minutum, described as rarely recorded but it is very small and easily overlooked. Interestingly, if it had a papillate cap, the microscopics would have been much the same.

Thursday 14th September 2017

Just got back from Amsterdam. They seem to have a lot of mycologists there. I saw one 'mushroom shop' crowded with people with a queue outside. They were buying something called Amsterdam Truffles and were talking about 'paddos'. I have no idea why.

Sunday 3rd September 2017

Ossicaulis lignatilis © MykoGolfer Bulbillomyces farinosus © MykoGolfer Lepiota grangei © MykoGolfer

I joined my North West Fungus Group colleagues on our foray at Moore Nature Reserve near Warrington. It had been very dry for at least a week and fungi were hard to find. Very little on the heath area which is now becoming overgrown. We did better along the old canal bed where it was a bit damper. Species of interest were Lepiota grangei (Green Dapperling), Bulbiilomyces farinosus and the reliable Ossicaulis lignitalis (Mealy Oyster) that has lived in the same hole in the same birch tree for years.

Saturday 2nd September 2017

Rhodotus palmatus © MykoGolfer

My new camera arrived today and what better to test it out but to have another photo of the Rhodotus palmatus (Wrinkled Peach). It had grown. This time you can see the wrinkles much better. While making my way to the spot, I came across Hortiboletus bubalinus (Ascot Hat) at the side of the road.

Thursday 31st August 2017

This morning I visited Sudley Hall on my way home from shopping. A large site but only a small area produces fungi. A few specimens including more Caloboletus radicans (Rooting Bolete). This time next to the car park. A large group of Lyophyllum decastes (Clustered Domecap). But everything else was past its best. In the afternoon, I had to call in to Merseyside Biobank at Court Hey Park. The National Wildflower Centre has lost finance and now closed. I had a quick look round the area but there was not much to see. I never find much there on a good day and there has been a lot of footfall over the Bank Holiday weekend. The only interesting find was the recent arrival, Agrocybe rivuosa on a pile of woodchip.

Wednesday 30th August 2017

Naucoria salicis © MykoGolfer Oumansiella mucida © MykoGolfer

Having recently found Rhodotus palmatus (Wrinkled Peach) in Liverpool, I went to Hale, the site of my previous find in 2008. I found my fallen tree that I always believed was an Ash because it hosted Daldinia concentrica (Cramp Balls). Today it was growing Oudemansiella mucida (Porcelain Fungus). This is an exclusively Beech fungus. So I have been wrong for almost ten years. This is the first Porcelain Fungus I have recorded for Merseyside, which is strange considering the numerous beech trees in the County. No sign of Rhodotus but the tree did produce Pluteus plautus (Satin Shield) and Peziza micropus. Best find of the day that was a first for me was Naucoria salicis. I picked it thinking it was an Inocybe but the spores were very distinctive being yellow, lemon shaped and large at 14-16um.

Sunday 27th August 2017

Rhodotus palmatus © MykoGolfer

I went out to collect some elderberries to make wine. I have a patch in the Eric Hardy Reserve which is well away from the traffic. The path has been blocked by fallen trees since the storms last year. I have been pushing Liverpool Council to have them cleared for months as they had the finance from a property development agreement. At last the path is open. As I walked along, I spotted the unmistakable Rhodotus palmatus (Wrinkled Peach) growing on a piece of one of the now cut up trees. Last year I found this fungus on the same tree after it had just fallen and when it was still in one piece. I think the tree is Ash but difficult to be sure as it has been dead for a long time and there is no bark.

Saturday 26th August 2017

I ate the Agaricus arvensis (Horse Mushroom) for breakfast. Very nice too. I was playing with two fellow golfers when I picked them. I was asked the usual questions about how I know they are not poisonous. A task made easy by me finding some Agaricus xanthodermus (Yellow Stainer) a couple of holes later. I was able to demonstrate the chrome yellow colour when cut or rubbed.

Friday 25th August 2017

On Tuesday there were very few fungi on my golf course because the course had been efficiently mown and strimmed in preparation for some major golf competitions last week. After a couple of days recovery, it was back to normal this morning. An interesting fruiting of Paxillus involutus (Brown Rollrim) in a sand bunker in the middle of a fariway. No trees around so it probably arrived with the sand. A large patch of Agaricus arvensis (Horse Mushroom) had also fruited. Some of them managed to find their way into my golf bag for breakfast tomorrow.

Tuesday 22nd August 2017

Leccinum fuscoalbum cap cells © MykoGolfer Leccinum fuscoalbum © MykoGolfer

This one turned up on my golf course. Clearly not Leccinum duriusculum or scabrum. I took it home thinking it would be L.variicolor. it is blue in the stem base, when cut it is reddish in the cap, a bit of blue in the stem and then it turns grey. Perfect for L.variicolor. But the cap cells are short brick-like, which, using the key from Geoffrey Kibby's book should be Leccinum fuscoalbum. However, this is not recognised in the British Checklist nor accepted by the old National Database. My three previous finds, including one agreed by Geoffrey Kibby are recorded as L. variicolor, with a note saying they are a misidentification. But it is recognised in the current Index Fungorum and accepted by the new National Database when I entered my record. In his book, British Boletes, Geoffrey Kibby regards it as a good species but does state that it needs further research.

Sunday 20th August 2017

As it was such a dreary morning, I decided to go to Speke Hall, believing that the weather would keep people away. But shortly after I arrived, car number three, the sun came out. And so did the all the people. I had not realised that it was The Summer of Sport, minimum age 5 years. There were children everywhere. Fortunately not in the woodland to where I retreated. Plenty of fungi about but nothing unusual, the most interesting being Laccaria tortilis (Twisted Deceiver). I also noted Rickenella fibula (Orange Mosscap) and Russula fragilis (Fragile Brittlegill) both growing under Aurucaria (Monkey Puzzle).

Thursday 17th August 2017

Heeding the advice of Mrs. Mykogolfer, I have given up on roadside verges (for the time being). So I took a look at a local churchyard instead. A few of the usual Amanita rubescens (Blusher), Boletus luridiformis (Scarletina Bolete) and a very large group of Entoloma rhodopolium (Wood Pinkgill).

Wednesday 16th August 2017

I was a bit puzzled by the Amanitas that I saw with the Caloboletus radicans (difficult to keep up with these name changes). The first time I recorded this Bolete it was with Amanita franchetii. So I went back to the dual carriageway to check. I noted that both Amanita rubescens and franchetii were present. I went back to the library but got there at the same time as the council grass mower, so that was the end of that. I remembered that my first ever find of Amanita franchetii was on another dual carriageway so I had a look there. The Amanita franchetii was still growing there. Guess what? Also with a large patch of Caloboletus radicans. The puzzle is that the Amanita is said to grow with oak. But no oak was present on the sites I examined, only beech. Is it too much of a coincidence that The Amanita and Bolete grow together, even if there are no oak trees? Mrs. Myko has suggested that I should cease this dual carriageway research before I get run over by a bus.

Tuesday 15th August 2017

Boletus radicans © MykoGolfer Boletus radicans © MykoGolfer

A large patch of fungi on the central reservation of a dual carriageway proved to be Boletus radicans (Rooting Bolete - now Caloboletus radicans). I stopped and took a photo which attracted the attention of passing motorists. I am no longer embarrassed. I continued on my journey to a shop about a mile away. On the central reservation I saw another large group of Boletus radicans. Another photo, this time to the amusement of the driver of a bin lorry. I continued to the library, another couple of miles. On the roadside verge, I saw yet another large group of this species. Definitely Boletus radicans day. No photo this time. Although the books describe this as a southern species, I find it regularly and always by a road. Is there a connection with motor vehicles? Interestingly, two of the groups were accompanied by Amanita rubescens (Blusher). Another connection perhaps?

Monday 14th August 2017

A quick spin round a local park. A bit disappointing in view of my finds on the golf course. A large patch of Xerocomellus porosporus (Sepia Bolete) under beech, Hygrophoropsis aurantiacus (False Chanterelle) under pine together with a nice Chlorophyllum rhacodes (Shaggy Parasol). Then it dried up. The council had recently cut all the grass so I expect any fungi probably disappeared at the same time.

Friday 23rd June 2017

Puccinia urticata © MykoGolfer

Back to my roadwork. Or parkwork to be accurate. Still very dry. Our Met Yellow Warning for thunderstorms and heavy rain produced two thunderclaps and a teaspoonful. I found Puccinia urticata (Nettle Rust). Said to be common, it is the first time I have recorded it in Liverpool and it was on only one stem of one plant. My other find was Agaricus augustus, (The Pince). A pine lover, this was under Araucaria aruacana (Monkey Puzzle). An unmistakable Agaricus with a beautiful almond smell and a very good edible.

Saturday 17th June 2017

spores © MykoGolfer

I joined the Liverpool Botanical Society at Court Hey Park. Once the property of William Gladstone's brother, it was recently the home of the National Wildflower Centre. Sadly they went bust. We were looking at mosses and liverworts but it was so hot and dry that they were hard to find in good condition. A large group of Agaricus xanthodermus (Yellow stainer) in the shrubbery and Agrocybe rivulosa (Wrinkled Fieldcap) together with Peziza vesiculosa (Blistered Cup) on a sheltered pile of woodchips made me hopeful of finding more species. A small group of Lacrymaria lacrymabunda (Weeping Widow) were found hiding in the long grass. But after we reached more open ground there was nothing. It was too hot for me so I retired home. I did find Lachnella alboviolascens on Willowherb stems. Made a change from my usual identification of Lachnella villosa.

Friday 16th June 2017

Albotricha acutipila © MykoGolfer

Having missed out on a visit to Ainsdale on Tuesday due to cancellation of my train, I decided to pay a visit anyway. The site is Kenilworth Road Dunes, an SSSI that I did not know existed. It is a small area of dune heath and scrub, cut off from the coastal dunes of which it was once part by roads and houses. The Biodiversity people identified some rare plants and grasses during their visit. Unfortunately, it was so dry and with thick vegetation, fungi were hard to find. Some fallen branches from Populus alba supported some dried up Pleaurotus ostreatus (Oyster Mushroom) and Crepidotus mollis (Peeling Oysterling). I did find some Discomycetes on Deschampsia (Tufted Hair Grass). One was Albotricha acutipila that was growing inside a dead stem that had curled up. I was lucky to spot it.

Monday 12th June 2017

Melanoleuca verrucipes © MykoGolfer

A disappointing start to the day. I set off to join some colleagues at a site near Southport. No trains due to a signal failure. So back to my allotment to plant some celery. I went for a stroll to the adjoining local golf course and found a group of Melanoleuca verrucipes (Warty Cavalier). This species only arrived in the north west in 2011. I have now found it on four sites locally. It seems to like fresh wood chips. I have not yet found it growing in the same place the following year.

Sunday 11th June 2017

Coprinellus disseminatus © MykoGolfer

Walking home through a local park, I found another 'cascade' of Coprinellus disseminatus (Fairy Inkcap). Must be fungus of the month? Agrocybe praecox (Spring Fieldcap) was growing in a mulched flowerbed. I also noticed a stand of Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan Balsam) with lots of dead stems on the ground. An examination revealed a large number of various Ascomycetes. I have identified Belonidium mollisimum. There is only one previous record for this on the National Database on Impatiens. Interestingly, I identified this species on a blackberry stem in the same area. Also Pyrenopeziza revincta, which is very common on herbaceous stems.

Saturday 10th June 2017

Taking advantage of a break in the rain, I went back to Speke Hall. Still lots of families experiencing the new children's play areas. So I concentrated on the woodland. A nice group pf Coprinellus disseminatus (Fairy Inkcap) cascading down a stump but no other gilled fungi to be found. Back to searching the piles of sticks. One I took home was a greyish fluffy film that I would not have bothered with but the piece of bark was loose so I took it. It produced an excellent print of small spiny spores which cut down the number of identification possibilities. My conclusion is Phlebiella tulasnelloidea although I did not get anything microscopically as I could not get a clean scrape from the very rotten bark. My cover slips kept breaking.

Tuesday 6th June 2017

Gales and heavy rain. I had to go to my allotment to make sure everything was tied down and the greenhouse closed. On the grass path leading to my allotment I found some gilled fungi. At last. I identified them as Conocybe semiglobata. Not an easy species to get right as it can be confused with others in this Genus. It came down to size of spores and lecythiform caulocystidia (capitate cystidia on the stem).

Monday 5th June 2017

Pyrenopeziza carduorum © MykoGolfer

Sunday I went to Speke Hall. Monday I went to pick elderflowers for wine making. Still very dry. No gilled fungi anywhere. On Monday I had to cross a field of knee high plants, grasses, nettles, dock, hogweed and thistle. Lots of dead stems to pull out. They were very productive and I recorded two species new to me. Clyposphaeria mamillana on bramble and Pyrenopeziza carduorum on thistle. Must go again after it has rained.

Friday 2nd June 2017

 © MykoGolfer  © MykoGolfer

Just got back from a tour of Ireland. Very pretty. The fungi in Ireland is as sparse as it is here. A few common grassland species at Blarney Castle and that was it. Blarney did have some interesting fungi so I took some pics. As we have has a bit of rain, things should improve. I did manage a quick walk round my local golf course after tending to my dried up tomatoes. I found one fungus under a beech tree that I have identified as Russula sororia (Sepia Brittlegill), based on the very weak reaction to guaiac and iron salts. This apparently separates it from Russula amoenolens which smells of Camembert. Mine did not.

Wednesday 10th May 2017

I played my first game of golf since I damaged my shoulder a year ago. It is still grumbling a bit. When I opened my golf bag, I found some dead nettle stems that I had collected last June. I put them in a damp box and they have grown some Ascomycetes. Calloria neglecta (Nettle Pox). I did not think they lasted so long.

Tuesday 9th May 2017

Neodasyscypha cerina © MykoGolfer Lachnella villosa © MykoGolfer

I finally finished the dead stems from last week. I had to wait for some tiny fluffy hairy specimens to develop on stems from hogweed. Both turned out to be Basidiomycetes. One is Lachnella villosa again. But the first time I have seen it fully open. The second is Calyptella capula. What threw me was that it was not smooth but appeared slightly hairy, although no hairs under a microscope. A third, found under a beech log appears to be Neodasyscypha cerina. My spores are bigger than quoted in my books but a couple of the specialist websites agree with my measurements. A new species for me.

Thursday 4th May 2017

The dry weather continues. On the allotment, there is no point in sowing seeds at present unless one can spend a lot of time watering. So I use the time to put up nets and bean supports. I will be ready when the rain finally arrives. While doing this work, to my surprise, I found Agrocybe praecox growing on one of my paths. A bit dry but recognisable. At least something is growing.

Tuesday 2nd May 2017

Stictis stellata spores © MykoGolfer Stictis stellata © MykoGolfer

It was such a nice day, I had to go for a walk. It has been very dry so I chose Halewood Triangle Country Park because it has lots of ponds and boggy areas. However, the good weather has encouraged growth so everywhere was overgrown. Even some of the regular paths were starting to disappear. So it was back to dead stems. I did get a bit of luck on a dead Hogweed that I brought home. Overnight in a damp box, it produced Stictis stellata. It was not very obvious until I put it under the microscope. I missed it with the naked eye. I can only find four previous records for this on Hogweed.

Wednesday 26th April 2017

Lasiosphaeris hirsuta spores © MykoGolfer Lasiosphaeris hirsuta © MykoGolfer

I have been struggling with some of the specimens collected over the weekend. I have a resupinate, fluffy, white corticioid (Crust fungus). I eventually persuaded it to provide a spore print. They are round and fairly small. I can only find Thelephora or Cristinia that fits the spore size. Sadly I can not persuade the specimen to provide basidia or cystidia. So I am unable to take my research further. Very frustrating. Another resupinate crust fungus also produced spores but obviously not from the crust. Further research identified the spores as those from Lasiosphaeris hirsuta. Looking at the specimen and the photos I took, I can just see some hairs peeping out of the corticioid. Not very exciting to look at but a new one for me. I have no idea what the crust fungus is.

Friday 21st April 2017

Lachnella villosa - spore 12x8um (Icehouse) © MykoGolfer Lachnella villosa - hairs © MykoGolfer Lachnella villosa © MykoGolfer

I have been very busy on the allotment so only mangaed some quick walks in the local woods. Not much to see so I have been collecting dead nettle stems to see what will grow on them. Quite a lot of Ascomycetes, some new to me. Laetinaevia carneoflavida and Mycosphaerella superflua had not been recorded by me before. The most interesting species that I have found on all local stems is Lachnella villosa. This very tiny Basidiomycete has appeared on both nettle and hogweed stems. It is so small it could easily be mistaken for a grain of sand. It is when you look at it under a microscope that you notice that there are no asci. Finding a basidia and spore can be difficult.

Sunday 9th April 2017

Zootoca vivipara © MykoGolfer Mucronella calva © MykoGolfer

A busy weekend. Today I led the spring foray to Ainsdale San Dunes Nature Reserve. It was a lovely warm day so I took the group out to the slacks to see if the Morchella elata (Black Morel) were still there. Only two left and in poor condition. Last year they did not appear for another two weeks. None of the other rarities from our recent visit had survived the dry weather. We tried a couple of new paths which led to an old Alder carr. There it was quite damp and we collected a number of ascomycetes and resupinate crusts under the dead wood. A lot still to identify including a troublesome Tomentella. Also identified were Verpa conica (Thimble Morel), Psathyrella fatua, Mucronella calva (Swarming Spine), Mensularia radiata (Alder Bracket) and some old Taphrina alni (Alder Tongue). We have reached fifty recorded species so far which is not bad for a dry spring day. The other highlight was seeing two Zootoca vivipara (Common Lizards) sunning themselves in the grass. Unusual colour.

Saturday 8th April 2017

Episphaeria fraxinicola © MykoGolfer

I joined Liverpool Botanical Society at Sankey Valley Country Park in St. Helens. I had been there once before when it was a mass of mud. At the moment it is very dry. There were a few gilled fungi about, Kuehenomyces mutabilis (Sheathed Woodtuft) and Coprinopsis atramentaria (Common Inkcap). The nettles produced a couple of Ascomyetes and a fallen log yielded the tiny Episphaeria fraxinicola. Highlight of the day was watching a pair of nuthatches performing a courtship dance.

Tuesday 4th April 2017

A disappointing visit to Woolton Wood and Camp Hill. Not an area I visit often as it is very popular. I do not have many records even though it covers a large area and is just across the road from my favourite local park. A few trees down after the storms but looked like the area had been picked clean. Woodburning stoves again? I found only nine species, none with gills. If you tried to name the nine most common fungal species then that is all I found today.

Sunday 2nd April 2017

Spores of Phlebiella tullasnelloidea © MykoGolfer Phlebiella tullasnelloidea © MykoGolfer

One I collected on my visit to Speke Hall, after three attempts, produced a decent spore print. It is a grey resupinate from under an oak log. When I collected it, I thought it would be one of the grey Peniophoras. But the spores are small, spiny and have a depression beside the apiculus (the pointy end). It is Phlebiella tullasnelloidea. It is not often recorded. But as it looks very much like the common grey Peniophoras you see on many bits of fallen wood, I probably would have ignored if I had collected a lot of specimens.

Thursday 30th March 2017

I needed some exercise so I paid a visit to Speke. Starting at Stockton's Wood, I walked down to the foreshore now part of the Speke-Garston Reserve. Then back into Speke Hall. There were a few fungi about. An early Coprinus comatus (Lawyer's Wig) and some Lepista flaccida (Tawny Funnel) in needle litter. A large group of Peziza arvenensis was growing in the cracks of an old beech stump. Surprisingly, the fishing lake had overflown it's banks since I last visited just over a week ago. Did it rain that much? National Trust are making a lot of changes to the site. New gardens are popping. They have blocked public access to The Bund, a high embankment that surrounds the site. A new walk has been developed into the Speke-Garston Coastal Reserve. They seem to be taking over the area.

Tuesday 28th March 2017

From very wet, the weather has turned warm and dry to cold and dry. I paid a visit to the Eric Hardy Reserve. Liverpool Council has recently received funding to improve the area but I can not find much evidence of this. Lots of fallen wood after the storms and heavy rain. The lower level is now impassable due to at least six large fallen trees blocking the path. A few more look very dodgy. I am surprised it has not been fenced off. A few Psathyrella spadiceogrisea (Spring Brittlestem) was all I noted. I met a couple with dog who were collecting 'logs' for the woodburning stove. It seems half of of south Liverpool has one. No wonder I am struggling to find dead wood. My best find was in the Crematorium garden. Conocybe rugosa in woodchip. Some say it is just a stocky Conocybe filaris (Fools Conecap). It matched the description in the books. Apparently it has the same toxins as Amanita phalloides (Deathcap). Not to be trifled with.

Monday 27th March 2017

On my way back from the City centre, I pass the Festival Gardens, the site of the 1984 Liverpool Garden Festival. After years of neglect, it has been taken over by The Land Trust, who are restoring some of it. It is very new and I have never found much of interest there. Today was no different. A Lacrymaria lacrymabunda (Weeping Widow), a couple of Galerinas and Coprinopsis atramentaria (Common Inkcap). Not much but more than usual.

Tuesday 21st March 2017

Dodging the showers, I paid a quick visit to Speke Hall. It was cold and windy. Nothing much to see. I did collect Psathyrella spadiceogrisea (Spring Brittlestem) and Phlebiella sulpuhrea (Yellow Cobweb) from under a log. Then it started to rain again and that was the end of that.

Sunday 19th March 2017

I had to sow my parsnips this morning before it rained again. I got the job done and then it rained. On my way past the adjoining allotment I spotted Peziza vesiculosa on the bare soil. I know that this plot has been heavily manured over the years. Perfect for this Peziza.

Tuesday 14th March 2017

Caloscypha fulgens © MykoGolfer Gyromitra ancilis © MykoGolfer Morel © MykoGolfer

I led a mission to Ainsdale to collect Morels for Kew Herbarium. They want to carry out DNA tests to see if they are Morchella elata (Black Morel) or something different. A small group of us set out on a beautiful spring morning to the dune slack area where they grow. It is the furthest point on the Reserve and a hard slog over the dune grassland. We were fortunate to count twenty fruitbodies and I photographed and collected three. They will now be dried.They are much browner than in previous years. During our visit we also came upon a couple of Gyromitra ancilis (Pigs' Ears) and a new site for Caloscypha fulgens (Golden Cup), a first for Ainsdale, a site that rarely fails to surprise. That now makes two sites for Caloscypha, Red Data Vulnerable, for 2017.

Thursday 9th March 2017

Some decent weather at last. So I paid a visit to my favourite woods at Hale. It is not a place to visit during a gale and I had not been to see if any damage had been done in the recent storms. Not as bad as I expected but the ponds had overflowed so it was very muddy. I soon had a good collection from the underside of fallen wood. The difficulty was judging which was old wood and which bits had only recently fallen. Nothing extraordinary. A very early Leratiomyces ceres (Redlead Roundhead) in it's usual spot. Also a collection of Kuehenomyces mutabilis (Sheathed Woodtuft) on a pile of woodchips. The identification was fine under the microscope but I had not heard of it on this substrate. I looked through my literature collection and found a report from Wisley in 2000 and 2001 of it growing on woodchip there. I did bring home a few fluffy things from rotten wood. They all had conidia and I only have literature to identify a few.

Monday 6th March 2017

unknown fungus © MykoGolfer

It just keeps raining. It did manage to stop so I went for a walk but was back home very quickly as the rain returned. So I did not have much time. A number of common species. I did find a yellow Ascomycete that I can not identify, yet I am sure I have seen before. I have photographed it and the microscopic bits and put it into my Mysteries Folder in the hope it will turn up in the future on a website. It does pay off every so often. I recently acquired a book on Imperfect Fungi where I recognised a particular spore. By checking my Mysteries Folder I was able to identify the fungus as Tubeufia paludosa.

Thursday 2nd March 2017

Nemania confluens © MykoGolfer

After the storms (my greenhouse was moved by two inches), we now have torrential rain (my garden has flooded). Clutching my umbrella, I paid a visit to Stockton's Wood at Speke in the hope that the wet weather had encouraged something to grow. It was hard work. Hemimycena tortuosa (Dewdrop Bonnet) was under almost every log I turned over. Definitely fungus of the day. I found Subulicystidium longisporum again. This is a fluffy white thing on rotten wood that you would normally ignore but when you put it under a microscope, the unique 'long' spores' make it easy to identify. I did add a new species to my collection. Nemania confluens, black lumps on decorticated oakwood. Tough? I broke three coverslips on it.

Satuday 25th February 2017

Caloscypha fulgens © MykoGolfer

The day of the North West fungus Group AGM at Risley Moss. After business and a talk from our president, Geoffrey Kibby, we went for our traditional walk around the reserve. All the usual winter suspects were present. Until a casual search of the pathside vegetation revealed the presence of Caloscypha fulgens (Golden Cup). This Red List endangered species was found on this site in 2009. The literature says that it appears infrequently so we were very fortunate to see it again. In 2009, this species also grew in numbers at Mere Sands. Interestingly, both are peat sites. Sadly the specimens were not very photogenic.

Wedneday 22nd February 2017

Hypocrea aureoviridis © MykoGolfer Hypocrea aureoviridis © MykoGolfer

I collected a mystery over a week ago at Halewood Triangle. A yellow disc on the underside of a fallen branch. Having found nothing useful under my microscope it was left in a damp box for eight days. It rained today so I decided to clear out the debris. Surprise. The yellow disc now sported small black ostioes. I found asci and spores. It is Hypocrea aureoviridis. Clearly some of these species need patience.

Tuesday 21st February 2017

After some digging on the allotment, I went for a walk round Calderstones Park which is round the corner from my allotment. The park was owned by the McIver family, he being a founding partner of Cunard Shipping Line. The Park is full of specimen trees from all over the World and it is interesting when a common fungus grows on Polyepsis australis. Today, after no rain for ten days, it is very dry. And the Park staff are pruning and clearing up. No fungi. No fallen wood. I found nothing except some young Kretzschmaria deusta (Brittle Cinder). But it was an education. I did not know that the grey bit was conidia and that the proper spores form later. Had me fooled for a bit.

Friday 17th February 2017

Hypoxylon Hypoxylon subticinense © MykoGolfer

Digging my allotment at the moment, while it remains dry. I did find time to visit Halewood Triangle Country Park, which turned out to be wet and muddy. All the usual winter species were around, a good show of Sarcoscypha austriaca (Scarlet Elf Cup). Most of the site is not only wet but impenetrable. Lots of fallen wood. One log sported a rusty brown smear, a crust fungus perhaps?. I microscoped a scrape - nothing. I tried for a spore print - nothing. Looking at it under my Lidl Bresser microscope, I noticed these small 'pinhead's. A scrape produced nothing but I dug one out and after four broken cover slips, found some spores. My conclusion is Hypoxylon subticinense. Only forty records on the National Database. I am sure I have found this before but never managed to extract the necessary information. One to look out for.

Sunday 5th February 2017

A beautiful morning so I decided to take a look at Formby National Trust which I have not visited for over a year. Unfortunately, a thousand other people had the same idea. So I disappeared into the woods. The first thing I noticed is that the dunes have made incursions into the woodland and paths have disappeared under sand. Plenty of fallen wood to poke around at, especially coniferous which I do not have much of in Liverpool. I found a few resupinate crust fungi that I had not seen before such as Peniopherella pubera, Hypochnicium geogenium and Skeletocutis amorpha (Rusty Crust). Highlight of the day was when I reached the dunes at the edge of the wood and came across Agaricus devoniensis (Sandy Mushroom) buried in the sand. I did not venture further into the sand as it has been windy for a couple of days and any fungi were likely to be covered. So I went home early to beat the rush.

Friday 3rd February 2017

I paid a visit to Otterspool Park. Not a favourite. It was once the bed of a tributary of the Mersey. It is a ravine with high sides and a lot of mud. Also the Council had been out clearing away the fallen branches and cutting down trees. Despite this, I had a good day. Schizophyllum amplum (Poplar Bells), a Red Data List species that seems to be common in this area. I have found it at four local sites. Kew says that it should like north west coastal sites with poplar. It does. Another find was an Ascomycete new to me, at last. Calycellina ochracea, a bright yellow disco with hairs.

Thursday 2nd February 2017

I popped to my local golf club. Not for fungi. I saw a Goldcrest there last week so went to look for it again. As I waited (in vain), I turned over a piece of old fence post. It looks like dust. It was another group of Phaeoisria clavulata. Having never seen one before, I have now found it twice in one week. I have clearly got my eye in for this one.

Wednesday 1st February 2017

At last, the sun came out. I went for a walk round Sefton Park for a bit of exercise. Being one of the premier parks of Liverpool, it is more ornamental than most and kept very tidy. A bit sterile for fungi. There are a few fallen beech trees whose dead trunks produce a number of common species. Nothing special to report although I did find yet more Schizophyllum commune (Splitgill). So not really a fungus found in south east England.

Tuesday 31st January 2017

Sistotrema brinkmanii © MykoGolfer Sistotrema brinkmanii © MykoGolfer

Today it was my local golf course. More Schizophyllum commune (Splitgill). I tried another of these white fluffy resupinates found on loose bark. I took a scrape but it was difficult to remove without getting bits of the substrate. Also the wood was covered with a lichen so all I could see were lots of green lichen spores. With little confidence, I stuck it on to a glass slide to see if anything fell out. It did. I got a mass of sausage shaped allantoid spores. Then it got difficult. Using Mycokey, Fungi Europaei and Google, I managed to narrow it down to Sistotrema brinkmanii. Said to be common but rarely reported. Not surprised in view of the work I had to do to identify it. And you need access to the literature.

Monday 30th January 2017

Phaeoisria clavulata © MykoGolfer Phaeoisria clavulata © MykoGolfer

I brought home a piece of branch from yesterday's short outing as it had an Ascomycete growing on it. When I looked more closely at the wood, I saw lots of tiny white spots that looked like dust. Under a microscope they look like treelike candles. With the assistance of my Ellis & Ellis Microfungi on Land Plants, I identified it as Phaeoisria clavulata. Only 70 previous records on the National database but that is not surprising in view of the size. I would have missed it had I not brought the wood home.

Sunday 29th January 2017

Schizophyllum commune © MykoGolfer

The frost melted. The sun came out and so did I to a local park for a quick walk. I came across a nice collection of Schizophyllum commune (Splitgill) on a fallen beech tree. I note that the Checklist of British Basidiomycota describes it as locally common in south east England, occasional to rare elsewhere. I find it regularly in the parks of south Liverpool which are all planted with lots of beech.

Friday 27th January 2017

Subulicystidium longisporum © MykoGolfer

I had been struggling with a resupinate that I found under a log. One of those white cottony things that I would have ignored if my collection had been larger. I decided to give it a go. With a hand lens you can see lots of prominent cystidia. When I scraped a bit off to look under the microscope there were so many different spores, I could not tell which came from my specimen. So I tried for a spore print, usually disappointing from this type of fungus. It came out beautifully. Unusual long, thin spores. I was able to identify it as Subulicystidium longisporum.

Tuesday 24th January 2017

Weather still holding so I paid a visit to Childwall Woods, just up the road. I always find this wood very sterile. No fallen branches. I think that they are collected for these wood-stoves that are now popular. The most exciting species from a very poor haul was Hemimycena tortusosa growing on the underside of a cut log. I know that this wood can produce rarities but finding anything of interest is hard work.

Sunday 22nd January 2017

Schizophyllum amplum © MykoGolfer

Spent the morning trying to find a nest of rats that have moved in. They must go! Managed to go for a quick spin around Speke Hall in the afternoon. Bits and pieces. The best bits being a collection of Schizophyllum amplum (Poplar Bells) on pruned Poplar twigs. They can be hard to spot as when they are dry they look like very small dried up Auricularia (Jelly Ear) or Chondrostereum (Silver leaf). And they can grow on quite thin twigs.

Friday 20th January 2017

Another sunny day. So I visited a new site, Stadt Moers Country Park, ten minutes down the motorway. Named after a German twin town, the site was a Corporation tip until 1990 so young woodland. Not expecting to find much, I was pleasantly surprised to record twenty four species. Most of the usual winter suspects were present, including Sarcoscypha austriaca (Scarlet Elfcup). It was some small conifer copses that were interesting. All produced Baeospora myosura (Conifercone Cap) on the cones and one copse held six groups of Lyophyllum fumosum. It is a very large site so I need to go back to see what else it has to offer.

Wednesday 18th January 2017

The rain has stopped so I have been out and about getting some hard exercise in while my golf is curtailed. I went back to Croxteth Country Park to explore a bit more of the woodland and improve my geography of the site. It was very wet after recent downpours and area I visited last week were almost impassable. I nearly lost one of my wellies in the mud. Not many fruitbodies showing. I spent a bit of time with some birders, identifying all the fungi photos he had on his mobile phone. I did find a resupinate on a stick that keyed out to Athelia epiphylla, a new one for me. Looks like many other white things on wood but it has distinctive spores many of which appear to be stuck together.

Tuesday 10th January 2017

Velvet Shank © MykoGolfer

The day started well when I noticed a large patch of Clitocybe metachroa in the Asda car park shrubbery. The sun then came out, so I took advantage and visited the Eric Hardy Reserve. Even more difficult than my last visit as at least four more trees have fallen down. Impassable without commando training. Plenty of fungi about. I found Peziza arvernensis growing on a mossy branch of a fallen beech, at head height. A nice collection of Stereum pubescens on a dead tree. There were hundreds of Flammulina velutipes (Velvet Shank) on nearly every tree that was not still alive. Eventually I got tired of slogging through the mud so went home.

Sunday 8th January 2017

Speke Hall had opened their gates so I took the opportunity to wander round Stocktonís Wood. Ususally good for Ascos but my finds were disappointing. One I found was a perfect fit for Parorbiliopsis minuta as shown in Peter Thompsonís book. But when I checked the Internet I found a very long discussion on Ascofrance about this species. By the time I had finished reading the various opinions I was so confused that I have recorded it as Hyaloscypha unknown. I also found a late/early Melanoleuca polioleuca (Common Cavalier) hiding under a holly hedge.

Thursday 5th January 2017

A visit to Hale Hall and adjoining woods. Nothing unusual although I was surprised to find Leratiomyces ceres (Redlead Roundhead) still growing.

Wednesday 4th January 2017

Back to Croxteth Country Park for a bit more exploration. This time I chose Cocked Hat Wood. It has a bridlepath, along which, a pile of woodchips was supporting a group of Peziza vesiculosa (Blistered Cup). Nice to see as I have recorded very few Pezizas last year. I walked off the main path for a bit but it was mainly Rhododendron so not very promising. I did not realise the wood was so large. It took me one and a half hours just to walk round the perimeter. I noted that a path led off into another woodland, Ewans Park. This once private path joined Croxteth Hall (Lord Sefton) to Knowsley Hall (Lord Derby) and was used to visit each other. This will be my next expedition.

Monday 2nd January 2017

I went for a walk along the new Coastal Reserve beside the river Mersey. It was cold. The area is mainly a thick tangle of scrub and reeds. Good for birds. I had a poke around with my stick at various points and found nothing until I noticed some small white fruit bodies in a blackberry patch. I managed to get a couple out. After much microscopy and research, I eventually identified them as Hemimycena delectabilis. Not easy as the literature is sparse and they are very small to work with.

Friday 23rd December 2016

I walked to my local shopping street, about a mile. Lots of grass verges that are always worth inspecting. Mycena flavoalba (Ivorty Bonnet) under a cherry tree. Tricholoma scalpturatum (Yellowing Knight) under Tilia. I have found this locally a few times on roadside verges. These were immediately outside the main entrance to Tesco. Fortunately, it was windy so I do not think anyone noticed me skulking around waiting to pick a couple. I also found one penny in the middle of them. Good luck?

Thursday 22nd December 2016

Went to fill the bird feeders. Crossing the lawn I spotted a group of Arrhenia retiruga (Small Moss Oysterling) growing in the moss. I must inform Mrs. Mykogolfer that her lawn needs a bit of attention.

Wednesday 21st December 2016

Must continue to take advantage of the weather before storm Barbara arrives. I again visited my local park where I came across hundreds of Psathyrella piluliformis (common Stump Brittlestem) on a fallen beech tree. Although very common on beech, the most common of trees in this area, I rarely see this species.A poke through the oak leaves and litter produced Mycenas polyadelpha and stylobates(Bulbous Bonnet).

Monday 19th December 2016

A short cut through my local park takes me past a Polyepsis australis tree (Quenoa). Liverpool Botanical Society has a list of the trees in the park that they tell me were planted by the then owner who was a director of Cunard Line. The trees were specially brought from overseas, this one is Argentinian. Anyway it is covered with Coniophora puteana (Wet Rot).

Sunday 18th December 2016

Up to my allotment to pick some sprouts. I found Clitocybe vibecina (Mealy Funnel) along the boundary hedge. New for the site.

Thursday 15th December 2016

Back to Croxteth Park. Nobody there. I explored Mull Wood which is where I was taken when I first started my interest in fungi. I did not remember the wood being so big. Difficult to access as there are a number of ponds and very thick undergrowth. The ecology of this wood is typical for this area so the fungi are very much the same. Best finds were Grifola frondosa (Hen of the Woods) and a huge crowd of Hemimycena tortuosa (Dewdrop Bonnet). I only scratched the surface of wood and there are two other large woods to explore. I may spend a little time there next year now that my local golf course has been privatised and under redevelopment.

Tuesday 13th December 2016

I had to shop at the Co-op today. They have a couple of miserable flower beds that people use as ashtrays and for drinks tins. Despite this, Lepista saeva (Field Blewit) grows in them and has done for the past three years. A supermarket car park off a large roundabout on a main road. No fields there.

Sunday 11th December 2016

I visited Croxteth Country Park, somewhere I rarely go to even though it is only fifteen minutes by car. Once the home of Lord Sefton, the hall and grounds were sold to Liverpool Council. A lot of the estate went for housing and it is very popular with the local population. It gets busy and today was no exception as there was a Xmas Market. I managed to disappear into the woods. Not a lot of interest about, the best find being a small Pluteus podospileus which is new to me. Too many dog walkers so I went home.

Wednesday 7th December 2016

Another sunny day. Just time for a walk round Sudley Hall. To my horror the Council have swept the woodland clean. Not stick or twig in sight. So much for nature conservation. I did manage to find a couple of Lepista saeva (Field Blewit) by a path adjoining the football field. Knocked over of course. My other find was of Mycena olida (Rancid Bonnet) on a mossy stump. Difficult to separate from very similar species. It can only be done with a microscope. It is supposed to smell rancid but they are so small that I could not detect any smell when squashed. I had just washed my hands so the smell of soap won the day.

Monday 6th December 2016

Taking advantage of some sunshine, I went or a wander and ended up at the local crematorium. Behind the business end is an area of formal gardens and open land that I did not know was there. It has a boundary of mature Cupressus. As these provide shelter during cold weather, they invited closer inspection. I was not surprised to find a large colony of about fifty Geastrum striatum (Straite Earthstar), the third site for this species in my area. It is more common than Geastrum triplex. There was also a few very common species. My other interesting find was made when I raked through the drifts of fallen leaves in an adjoining park. Mycena polyadelpha is a tiny species growing on oak leaves. I must go back.

Monday 28th November 2016

I paid a visit to Hale Hall woods to check on my Lycoperdon utriformis. Just old blown fruitbodies now but at least I can check the spores. I did manage to resolve an identification of an amorphous growth on a fallen ash tee that has had me fooled since the beginning of the year. It is a Nodulisporium species. I can not tell which one but that is good enough for me.

Sunday 27th November 2016

The forecasted frost failed to materialise so I went to take a look at the lawns surrounding Speke Hall. They have been disappointing so far this year. Today there were lots of waxcaps but all the same species, Gliophorus laetus (Heath Waxcap). Very few other species to be seen and not many fruit bodies. Walking back through the woods I came upon a group of Infundibulicybe geotropa (Trooping Funnel), a species I have not seen for years.

Thursday 24th November 2016

At the request of Kew Herbarium, I went back to Ainsdale to find some Bovista pusilla. I have identified this before (as Bovista limosa) and sent a specimen to Kew. However that was based on literature that now seems confused and has been superseded. It needs looking at again. Unfortunately, a bright sunny morning in Liverpool translated to a very frosty Ainsdale. Lots of fungi about but all frozen solid. Trying to find a tiny frozen puffball was impossible. Pleasant walk. I never saw another soul all morning.

Wednesday 23rd November 2016

My local Aldi is very near Childwall Woods so I often pop in on the way home. Nothing very interesting but it does have its moments. Just not today. The old churchyard opposite produced Geoglossum fallax and Hygrocybe reidii (Honey Waxcap). Again a disappointing return.

Sunday 13th November 2016

I led the North West Fungus Group foray at Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR. Heavy rain on Wednesday followed by warm weather and a lovely sunny day. I took everyone straight out to the dune areas and we were well rewarded. I have already recorded 116 species and more still being looked at at home. Highlights so far are Bovista pusilla ex limosa (Least Puffball) which is a speciality of these dunes but very hard to spot among the more numerous Lycoperdon lividum (Grassland Puffball). Arrhenia griseopallida, Omphalina galericolor var. lilacina (Dune Navel) and Melanophyllum haematospermum (Redspored Dapperling) were also collected. The area has such a variety of habitats ranging from mobile dunes to coniferous, beech, oak, alder and birch woodland that it can be a problem deciding which parts to look at. Weather plays a part as it can be a tad harsh out on the dunes in the wind and rain. But today was perfect.

Thursday 10th November 2016

My morning started with a visit to a friend's house. They look like Christmas trees? He had a fabulous collection of Honey Fungus. Fortunately he lives opposite the entrance to Calderstones Park so I went for a quick walk round. And very productive it was. Last week there was nothing there. This week it had exploded into life. Huge rings of Clitocybe nebularias and Lepista flaccida. Stars of the walk were Lepiota aspera (Freckled Dapperling) and a Cortinarius. I thought I had collected a Hebeloma. It was only when I got it home that I realised it was a Cortinarius. It had very small spores for a Cortinarius that happily limited my choice to only a few species. My conclusion is Cortinarius vibratilis.

Wednesday 9th November 2016

Driving back from the city centre, I dropped by the old Garden festival site. I never find much there and today was no exception. Pholiota gummosa (Sticky Scalycap) was all I found.

Wednesday 2nd November 2016

The weather was too good to miss so I paid a visit to the Sefton Coast, this time Formby Hills and the adjoining Recreation Area. The lack of rain is not helping. There was nothing at all in the pinewoods. There were lots of fruitbodies on the extensive dune heath but no variety. They were either Lepiota erminea, Melanoleuca cinereifolia (Dune Cavalier) or Clitocybe rivulosa (Fools Funnel). A few Tricholoma cingulatum (Girdled Knight) and that was it. Not much better in some Birch scrub so I decided to see if there was anything growing on the dunes. Formby Hills are high and steep. I had found nothing but sand so decided to give it up when I spotted two Phallus hadriani (Sand Stinkhorn). A liitle past their best but I have been trying to find this species for many years so I did not care. Mission accomplished. We could do with some rain.

Tuesday 1st November 2016

Another nice day so I went for a walk along the riverside promenade. There are a couple of miles of maintained amenity grassland so I was interested if anything grew on it. A couple of waxcaps, Hygrocybe pratensis (Meadow) and quieta (Oily) plus a few Mycena galopus var. nigra (Black Milking Bonnet) but not much else. It has been very dry. It was a pleasant walk.

Monday 31st October 2016

Outside my local Tesco Express is the stump of a cherry tree which is growing a healthy display of Gymnopilus junonius (Spectacular Rustgill). It is suspected of being hallucigenic. In the USA it is known as Happy Jack although there are suggestions there may be more than one similar species. I hope nobody feels tempted as there are a couple of highly dangerous Cortinarius that look very similar and I might be mistaken in my identification. Happy Halloween (All Hallows Eve).

Saturday 29th October 2016

Following my observations of grassland fungi at Wetherby, I decided to take a look at the North Lawn at Speke Hall, always good for waxcaps. Nothing. As it was also childrens' Haloween Day, I escaped to the nearby woodland surrounding a fishing pond. Some common Russulas (Brittlegills) a Genus that has been hard to find in any quantity this year. A nice group of Tricholoma sulphureum (Sulphur Knight) and Pleurotus dryinus (Veiled Oyster) in a cavity in a birch tree. A small Conocybe (Conecap) caused me some identification problems and eventually keyed out as Conocybe vexans. This group is not easy.

Friday 28th October 2016

I went racing at Wetherby today. Beside the stand is a largish patch of amenity grassland. It was covered in grassland species. I counted four species of Hygrocybe (waxcap), two Mycenas (Bonnets), lots of Galerinas (Bells), Panaeolus (Mottlegill), Psathyrellas, (Brittlestem), Coprinus comatus (Shaggy Inkcap), some Parasolas, what looked like Entoloma sericium (Pinkgill) two types of Conocybe (Conecap) , Clavulinopsis fusiformis (Golden Spindles) and a good quantity of Psilocybe semilanaceata (Magic Mushroom). Sixteen species in ten minutes from such a small space makes one wonder what else might be found on the rest of the racecourse. And I beat the bookies. A rare event.

Thursday 27th October 2016

A quick visit to a local wood. A couple of species new for the site but nothing of importance. The only interesting observation was of the very numerous number of Lanzia luteovirens that grows on the petioles of fallen Sycamore leaves. They were everywhere.

Wednesday 26th October 2016

I received a request from Kew for permission to use my photograph of Bovista limosa for an article about the Lost and Found project. This puffball is found at Ainsdale. I was lucky to find a young specimen together with one that was sporulating. Essentiial for identification. The species is probably common at Ainsdale as there are always lots of tiny puffballs around. Just cannot collect them all.

Tuesday 25th October 2016

A quick walk round my local golf course. Mostly a collection of Mycenas, including Mycena flavoalba. Most books describe it as a species of grassland. Mine was growing on a dead blackberry. The microscopics are good so can not be anything else. A new species for the site is Conocybe aporos. Under the same blackberry bush.

Sunday 23rd October 2016

North West Fungus Group foray at Moore Nature Reserve. We were joined by an enthusiastic naturalist group from Wilmslow. The Reserve is a mix of wet woodland, heathland and the bed of an old canal. I can only speak of my own contribution at this stage. My first find was one I had not seen before, Lepiota grangei. Then Hebeloma sinapizans (Bitter Poisonpie). Someone handed me a tiny species on an oak leaf that I have researched to Gymnopus quercophilus. New to me. We had some fun showing the naturalist group Ossicaulis lignitalis (Mealy Oyster) that has grown in a hole in the same birch tree for many years. Just too high for comfort. More identifications of interest are bound to come from such a large group. Watch this space.

Saturday 22nd October 2016

A couple of hours to spare before tea so I went to the Speke-Garston Coastal Reserve an area of rough grassland and scrub that once was Liverpool Airport. I did not expect much so was surprised to see lots of Hygrocybe conica (Blackeneing Waxcap). Also Lyophyllum decastes (Clustered Domecap) and a lone Volvariella gloiocephala (Stubble Rosegill). I must go back when the plantlife has died down a bit.

Wednesday 19th October 2016

I joined colleagues from Merseyside Naturalists at Freshfield Dune Heath. Part birch woodland and part heathland, pine and gorse, produced a good mix of forty species but nothing unusual. Dozens of Suillus luteus (Slippery Jack), Entoloma papillatum (Papillate Pinkgill) and lots of Lycoperdon nigrescens (Dusky Puffball). After lunch we moved acroos the railway for a quick walk in Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve. Coprinellus picaceae (Magpie Inkcap) was a first for the Reserve. We only found the stem but it is unmistakeable. As was Skeletocutis amorpha. turning apricot coloured as soon as it was picked. The area was very colourful as there were dozens of Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric), some of the largest I have ever seen. Another 25 species recorded. Also of interest were groups of Pholiota gummosa (Sticky Scalycap) growing in the middle of the fairway of Formby Golf Club. Fore.

Wednesday 12th October 2016

I visited Halewood Triangle Country Park, so named because it once was where they manoeuvred the trains round at the end of the old Cheshire Lines. It is now part of the Trans Pennine Trail. Although only ten minutes drive, I rarely go there as a lot of it is fairly new and there is a lot of footfall. It surprised me this time. Two large groups of Lepista irina (Flowery Blewit), Gymnopilus junonius (Spectacular Rustgill) and Lacrymaria lacrymabunda (Weeping Widow) and a decent collection of more common species. Unfortunately my visit was cut short by heavy rain. I must go back soon.

Tuesday 11th October 2016

Have finished my last specimen from Dibbinsdale. They included two Tomentellas. I found one at Formby on a foray last year but could not identify it. The available literature is not helpful. One is a nondescript rusty brown but the other, grey back number was found on a muddy footpath. Some do grow on soil. The rusty one is Tomentella bryophila. The grey one is Tomentella fuscocinerea. Both have spores that look naval mines.

Saturday 8th October 2016

I joined Liverpool Botanical Society who were having a fungi foray at Dibbinsdale. A good start with Pluteus leoninus being one of the first finds. This is a very wet site with ponds and streams throughout. As the only mycologist present, I collected too may specimens. I have too many that I could not identify in the field. Quite a few are new to me. I have spent most of Sunday photographing the main features in the hope that I will identify them later. So far I have identified Ciboria batschiana that grows on acorns, Psathyrella multipedata (Clustered Brittlestem) Flagelloscypha minutissima and Tomentella bryophila. This last one has very spiny round spores. I have managed 55 so far. The one that has me fooled is a grey resupinate growing on soil. I am awaiting a spore print.

Friday 6th October 2016

I paid a visit to Speke Hall. It was so dry. The leaves were crackling under my feet. I found a number of Clitocybe rivulosa (Fools Funnel), one small Boletus edulis (Cep) and a few Psathyrellas (Brittlestems). I also found a tiny white Ascomycete that looked like the very common Lachnum virgineum but the spores were too small. Also another similar hairy white cup with long thin spores but they had no asci. Nor could I find any basidia. Both have me completely stumped. The joys of fungi foraying.

Wednesday 5th October 2016

I have been taking advantage of the dry weather to get my allotment into shape before winter sets in. I allowed myself an hour for a quick walk to a local park. Very dry. Not much to see. Except I found another Conocybe rugosa (Fools Conecap) on woodchip. The only other thing of interest was a Daedaleopsis confragosa (Blushing Bracket) that appeared to have Datronia mollis growing from it. I could not get any spores to confirm and on reflection, I think it is just an extension of the original fungus that has gone misshapen after falling from the tree.

Tuesday 4th October 2016

Having sorted out the finds from Ainsdale I went back to try and identify a fungus found last week on woodchip mulch in a local park. It did not register at all on Mycokey so I decided to follow my intuition. It looked like a Conocybe but without the cystidia with round heads. It also had a very wrinkled cap. I eventually tracked it down to Conocybe (Pholiotina) rugosa. It has bottle shaped cystidia. It is usually reddish. What threw me was that mine is golden brown and had no ring. It must have dropped off. To confuse matters, some authorities suggest it may be a form of Conocybe filaris (Fools Funnel). Anyway, job done.

Saturday 1st October 2016

I led a foray at Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve for English Nature. Thirty people turned up, all very enthusiastic. We did very well. All the usual suspects were to be found. Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric), Paxillus involutus (Brown Rollrim), some Russulas (brittlegills), Lactarius (Milkcaps), and Leccinum scabrum (Brown Birch Boete). Heaven sent for a pubic foray. Then my audience became too enthusiastic and found three Inocybes and two Cortinarius. I have not yet identified any of them. I was very pleased to show them Henningsomyces candidus (White Tubelet). I seem to have my eye in for this one. They rewarded me with a huge Boletus edulis (Penny Bun) which has now been sliced for drying.

Friday 30th September 2016

A walk round a local park for exercise rather than fungi. A lot of grassland with the odd tree, mostly beech. My first waxcap of the year, Hygrocybe persistens, which is one of the earliest. I have never recorded it previously. Entoloma papillatum was another new species for the site. I had to cover a lot of grass before I found them. I usually stick to the wooded areas. So it was nice to find something new. Must do it again soon.

Sunday 25th September 2016

North West fungus Group foray at Maes y Pant, near Gresford in north Wales. An old quarry site. We had to work hard but the final list looks good and there was plenty of variety. A few I had never seen before but that is the point of visiting a different site. We have only just started to put a final list together but new to me were Lactarius chrysorrheus (Yellowdrop Milkcap) and Cortinarius alboviolaceus (Pearly Webcap). Lots of Helvella lacunosa (Elfin Saddle) and Suillus granulatus (Weeping granulatus). If anything else turns up, I shall keep you posted. Sadly, I think my camera is on its last legs as I had to take most of my pics on my scanner. Dear Santa....

Thursday 22nd September 2016

A quick walk to my local golf course. Lots of heavy machinery about. Some of my better areas have been decimated which is a shame. My first Russula nigricans (Blackening Russula) of the year under pine. Geatrum triplex (Collared Earthstar) in a new spot. Best find was of Henningomyces candidus (White Tubelet) under a very rotten log. I nearly did not spot it as the area is quite dark. It looked like dust but I suspected it might be a fungus. Since I got my eye in, I have found this quite often.

Tuesday 20th September 2016

I visited my favourite wood at Hale Hall. Still very dry and overgrown but the vegetation is starting to thin. My woodchip pile had been added to. Six large Ramaria stricta (Upright Coral) had set up home. Although said to be common, this is the only place I find it. Apart from four ageing Grifola frondosa (Hen of the Woods) under their usual Beech, there was not much else around.

Saturday 17th September 2016

Just got back from Barcelona. Too hot for foraying but some nice mushroom tapas. The allotment has grown well. I had to pick my pears before they fell off. The tree is not looking so good. It is infected with Gymnosporangium sabinae (Pear Leaf Gall). Like many rusts it needs a primary host plant, in this case Juniper, on which it overwinters. No Juniper on the allotment so I wonder where it is. According to the experts the way to prevent this damaging rust is to exterminate all Junipers near the pear tree. Not sure the neighbours would appreciate that.

Tuesday 6th September 2016

Todays short walk to the local golf course produces Xerula radicata (Rooting Toughshank), Lactarius subdulcis (Mild Milkcap) and Conocybe apala (Milky Conecap). Also a couple of Inocybes (Fibrecaps) but they were not in good condition. Sadly the new management is more concerned with building a new clubhouse so not a lot of maintenance on areas that are not part of the golf course. The grass is getting very long and the undergrowth very wild. Not looking good for the autumn.

Sunday 4th September 2016

Scleroderma areolatum © MykoGolfer Scleroderma areolatum © MykoGolfer

Another morning of harvesting and clearing on the allotment. A quick walk to a local park in the sunshine. Not much to see. Incocybe sindonia under a beech hedge just where I parked my car. Scleroderma areolatum (Leopard Earthball), the first I have found in Liverpool for ten years. I wonder why?

Saturday 3rd September 2016

After a morning digging my allotment, I went for a quick walk around Stockton's Wood. Clitopilus prunulus (The Miller) in the grass on the edge. Lots of Russula ochroleuca (Ochre Brittlegill) and Lactarius tabidus (Birch Milkcap). A nice Amanita citrina (False Deathcap) under the brambles. A first find of Fistulina hepatica (Beefsteak Fungus) for this site despite there being a lot of dead and fallen oak in this wood. I also spotted a very healthy Laetiporus sulphureus (Chicken of the Woods) growing out of a cherry tree on the central reservation of the dual carriageway on my way home.

Thursday 1st September 2016

Rhodotus palmatus © MykoGolfer

Today I went out to collect elderberries to make wine. My favourite spot is the Eric Hardy Reserve in Liverpool as it is away from the roads. However it is very muddy and tough going. My way was blocked by a couple of old fallen trees so I had to struggle round them. As I did so, I noticed what I thought was a small bracket, so I picked it. To my surprise it turned out to be Rhodotus palmatus (Wrinkled Peach). It was common on Elm but is now rare. I have no idea what the fallen tree was. It is my second find of this species in the Merseyside area, the last being on Ash. I assumed that because of the Daldinia also growing on the wood although that can not be regarded as a definite. Kew Herbarium took that one.

Tuesday 30th August 2016

Leucopaxillus giganteus © MykoGolfer Suillus bovinus © MykoGolfer Taphrina alni © MykoGolfer

I inherited a document about the findings of mycolgists on the Formby dunes in 1951. It is an area that the North West Fungus Group does not visit because it is difficult to access. So I had a look today. Nothing there but the area will have changed since 1951 due to erosion of the coastline. I decided to look for Taphrina alni (Alder Tonge) in the large Alder Carr at Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve. NWFG always foray at the wrong time of year so we never find it. Today I found it within five minutes. I then found an orange Suillus that I identified as Suillus bovinus (Bovine Bolete). My identification was helped because there were numerous Chroompgomphus rutilans (Copper Spike) growing in the same area. They are natural companions. Star of the day was a large ring of Leucopaxillus giganteus (Giant Funnel), a first for Ainsdale. Not many species but some good finds.

Friday 26th August 2016

A Bioblitz at Freshfield Dune Heath. I was asked to attend as I seem to be the only local mycologist. It is one of my favourite areas and I had high expectations after the recent warm wet weather. However, the heath was still very dry and the adjoining woodland was not much better. I only found twenty species and all were common. Of the three Boletus edulis (Cep) that I found, one was devastated by slugs and the other two way past their best. Highlight was a confrontation with a red squirrel who had wandered away from the NT Formby Squirrel Woods.

Wednesday 24th August 2016

Astrosphaeriella stellata © MykoGolfer

On the allotment produce is being harvested. Nets and canes are being taken down. My neighbour has stacked his bamboo canes by his shed. I checked them and was pleased and surprised to find Astrosphaeriella stellata, my Asian alien, on the end of one. It was on the end that had been stuck in the ground. I kept a piece of cane from my original find. The fruit bodies are now dull and many have fallen off leaving small craters. On this new cane, the fruit bodies are bright and there are hardly any craters. This suggests that the growth is from this year. Having sawn the specimen off, I have stuck the cane back into the soil to see if I can grow it.

Saturday 20th August 2016

Mycena corynephora © MykoGolfer Mycena corynephora © MykoGolfer

My plans went awry as the rain lashed down. When it eventually stopped, I went for a quick walk. Nothing much to record. Then it rained again. I was sheltering under a willow tree and spotted a couple of tiny white bits on the mossy trunk. I thought they would be Ascomycetes. When I put them under a microscope, I saw that they were gilled. They were Mycena corynephora. Just 129 records on FRDBI but the caps on mine were only 2mm and the stems 4mm. Without a microscope you would never be able to see the unique cystidia. My pics are x 40 so it shows how small they are. No wonder they are rarely reported.

Wednesday 17th August

Scutellinia © MykoGolfer Scutellinia © MykoGolfer

Lots of problems sorting out the Scutellinia (Eyelash) fungi. Apprently the common one, Scutellinia scutellata is not common any more. It is now Scutellinia crinita that is found. It seems to depend on the length of the hairs. There is a 1990 key by Schumacher that gives more detail. Peter Thompson has details in his book. The paraphyses stain purple with iodine, which mine did. There is a newer draft key by Yao from 2015 but this does not mention crinita even though it is a species recorded in the National Database. Curious.

Sunday 14th August 2016

Tarzetta catinus © MykoGolfer Psathyrella corrigis © MykoGolfer

North West Fungus group foray to Delamere Forest. I had not been there for years. It was very dry on the surface and still lots of undergrowth to negotiate. An interesting find of an albino Psathyrella. Many years ago I found one on my allotment. I identified it as Psathyrella gracilis form substerilis as described by Kit van Waveren. Gracilis is now corrugis and it seems the white form is now regarded as a synonym. Another find was Tarzetta catinus hiding under the bracken. I also identified both Leptospheria acuta and dololium on dead nettle stems. Usually only one of this genus is found on site. I now have a couple of Scutellinia (Eyelash) fungi to look at. I am told the genus has been revised but am not sure where to find the latest documentation.

Friday 12th August 2016

Geastrum striatum © MykoGolfer

My local golf course, that I visit frequently, was run by the Council. Due to lack of funds they have handed over the running to a private company. It is now a private golf course. There is a public right of way through part of it but I have always wandered at will. Now there are notices to stick to the path which they have helpfully churned up with heavy machinery. And they have dug a cable trench through one of my favourite bits. I have sent a letter asking permission to wander 'off piste' but have not yet been graced with a reply. Over to the adjoining park, I went to see if my Geastrum striatum (Striate Earthstar) were still thriving. I am pleased to say they have increased in number. I stopped counting at sixty. They are still in the same enclosed area no bigger than 10 x 4 feet. Not much else. A couple of Gymnopus peronatus (Wood Wooly Foot) and Scleroderma bovista (Potato Eartball) and that was it.

Sunday 7th August 2016

North West Fungus Group foray to Pennington Flash, a large lake that formed after colliery subsidence. A new site for the Group, I had visited once about ten years ago. The woodland was very dry despite the presence of the water and recent rain. Not so many higher fungi about but we did manage to exceed fifty. Of note was Hebeloma birrus. Not one I have seen before but obviously different from the more common species. Xerocomellus engelii with orange spots in the stem. Postia stiptica (Bitter Bracket) and tephroleuca (Greyling Bracket). And three Sclerodermas (Earthballs), citrinum (Common), verrucosum (Scaly) and bovista (Potato). I did a few dead stems and our rust expert attended so a few more will be addeed to the list. It was a bit windy but a nice day out.

Tuesday 2nd August 2016

Pluteus cinereofuscus © MykoGolfer Lachnella villosa © MykoGolfer

When it stopped raining, I went for a walk to one of my parks. Not much about. I pulled some dead stems of Senecio jacobaea (Ragwort). They all had lots of the Ascomycete, Mollisia clavata growing on them. Also a very, very tiny white hairy thing. I managed to extricate a couple to discover that they were Lachnella villosa, a Basidiomycete. Passing a woodchipped shrubbery, I saw a large group of Clitocybe fragrans (Fragrant Funnel). They did not smell but I have noticed this with previous finds. Beside them were two grey fungi that I thought were Entolomas from the small size and that the gills were pink. However, the spores were wrong. I eventually identified them as Pluteus cinereofuscus, an uncommon woodchip dweller.

Monday 1st August 2016

Two days ago I found eight species in a small beech copse. Today, same habitat but two different parks, only one specimen. Interestingly it turned out to be Russula sororia (Sepia Brittlegill). There is a very similar Russula amoenolens. The difference is in the reaction to guaiac and iron sulphate chemical tests. In the case of sororia the reactions are weak.

Saturday 30th July 2016

Inocybe erubescens © MykoGolfer

A busy day on the allotment. When I finished I paid a visit to Sudley House, former home of a shipowner, now a local museum. There is a small copse of mainly Beech that often supports early species, sometimes uncommon. Today's collection included Russula fellea (Geranium Brittlegill) and Xerula radicata (Rooting Shank). Best of all, a group of Inocybes that I did not recognise. Scaly cap with a wine red tint as had the stem. The smell was sort of unpleasant scented commercial soap. The nearby town of Widnes makes soap and the smell often drifts to the surrounding countryside. I recognised that smell on these Inocybes. Incobe erubescens (Deadly Fibrecap).

Tuesday 26th July 2016

Inocybe agardhii © MykoGolfer

My walk along the coast on Saturday proved very interesting. We found only two species. The first, looking like a Psathyrelle, has been identified as Conocybe dunensis. The other is the Inocybe. Not lacera. It became a choice between Inocybe agardhii and dulcamara, both sand lovers. I had to contact Penny Cullington for further information about the Inocybe Key before I could get any further. She helpfully pronounced them to be agardhii. The key to identification is the ring like cortina at the top of the stem.

Saturday 23rd July 2016

I joined Liverpool Botanical Society at Birkdale Hills on the coast for a walk along the dunes. This part of the coast is more a low sand bank than high dunes and can be covered by the sea at very high tides. Magnificent for flowering plants with many a rarity. Not much in the way of fungi. A few Inocybe lacera (Torn Fibrecap) in the creeping willow and a small brown job in sand that needs research. This area is also one of the main breeding areas for Natterjack Toads and we found a few baby ones crawling through the undergrowth. First time I have seen one.

Friday 22nd July 2016

A quick visit to Speke Hall and the adjoining woodland. Almost a fungi free zone. A couple of common Russulas (Brittlegills), ochroleuca (Ochre) and fragilis (Fragile) ,the smell of stinkhorns and that was all. It is very overgrown, mainly with brambles so I will have to wait until it starts to die back before visiting again.

Thursday 21st July 2017

Driving past a wide central reservation, I noticed some Amanitas. In 2010 I made my first find of Amanita franchetii here so I had to take a look. There was at least a hundred fruitbodies stretching for fifty yards, a considerably larger area than my first find. This particular central reservation is really a piece of parkland left from the estates of the Liverpool merchants before urban spread and supports a mix of mature trees. This is the second central reservation on which I have found this species. Also present was Boletus erythropus (Scarletina Bolete), although I am at a loss as to what the current name of this species now is.

Monday 18th July 2017

I went for lunch with some friends. They told me that I am on YouTube. They keyed in Tony Carter-Fungi and there I was. It was of a family foray I led for the National Wildflower Centre in 2013. I did not know it had been filmed. You would think someone from NWC would have told me. I do remember this strange chap who stayed aloof from the group. Never joined in at all. He must have been filming. I also remember that it was he who stood on and squashed my Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric), that I had brought from my golf club specially to show the kids.

Sunday 17th July 2016

Peziza vesiculosa © MykoGolfer

Unable to attend the North West Fungus Group foray, I had to content myself with a walk through a local park. Lots of woodchip had been laid resulting in hundreds of Psathyrella microrhiza (Rootlet Brittlestem), Leratiomyces ceres (Redlead Rondhead) and a large patch of Peziza vesiculosa (Blistered Cup). One had me fooled until I put it under the microscope. Agrocybe putaminum (Mulch Fieldcap), a recent addition to the woodchip lovers' list. Finally a couple of perfect Agaricus arvensis (Horse Mushroom) under some pines. Breakfast.

Thursday 14th July 2016

I have tendonitis so still unable to swing a golf club. Am struggling changing gear so it is bus, train and foot which is a bit restricting. A short cut through a local park produced Russula amoenolens (Camembert Brittlegill) and Russula subfoetens. They look similar but the first smells of cheeses, the other a sort of off colour fruity smell. There are different microscopic features. The roadside verges are starting to show fungi. A huge patch of Amanita rubescens (Blusher) in clumps on a dual carriageway together with Paxillus involutus (Brown Rollrim). I spot them from the bus and then go back to see what they are. Some interesting ones at the library. I must go and borrow a book.

Sunday 10th July 2016

Kuehenomyces mutabilis © MykoGolfer

I joined Cheshire Group at Mere Sands. It is years since I visited this site. Quite a bit around. A total of 66 species identified. A Russula (Brittlegill), a couple of Lactarius (Milkcaps) and Xerocomellus (Boletes). Also a nice collection of Tarzetta catinus (Toothed Cup) and Helvella macropus (Felt Saddle). I also collected a few dead stems and immediately recognised Flagelloscypha minutissima on Foxglove. I had to confirm it later under a microscope but I can now tell it apart from Lachnum virgineum. We were further surprised when we also found it on a small twig and a Hogweed. These made five finds in two weeks. Is it because I am better able to identify it or is it increasing? We finished early so Fungalpunk Dave, leader of the Cheshire Group went off to Ainsdale to look for the rust, Chrysomixa pirolatta on Wintergreen. It is one of the species in The Lost and Found Project. Following my directions, he found it. So a good day all round.

Friday 8th July 2016

Lachnum virgineum © MykoGolfer Flagelloscypha minutissima © MykoGolfer

From our recent foray to Clock Face, St. Helens, I have eventually identified Flagelloscypha minutissima. It was on a dead thistle stem. Even with a decent magnifier, it looks like Lachnum virgineum, of which there were lots on various substrates. That is what I originally thought it would be but for some reason took it home and, after two weeks, got round to checking it, just in case it was subvirgineum or niveum. Under a microscope, I could not find any asci and it had long pointed rough hairs. So not a Lachnum. Finding basidia requires much patience. From yesterday's walk along the Sefton Coast, I took a dead hogweed stem to check out a Lachnum. Wrong again. It turned out to be Flagelloscypha. There was something about the two samples that influenced me to take them home and look at them more carefully. To my eyes the Flagelloscypha seems more woolly than hairy. I do not think it is rare as I have recorded it six times. It is most probably overlooked as it is so tiny.

Thursday 7th July 2016

Bovista plumbea © MykoGolfer Psathyrella ammophila © MykoGolfer

I have injured my shoulder so can not play golf. Needing the exercise I decided to walk the coastal dunes from Blundellsands to Hightown. Varied habitat, grass meadow, sand dunes and finally estuary reed beds. Not a lot about but everywhere is overgrown. Even a marked path on the Sefton Coastal Path was almost impassable. I must buy a machete. I did pick some interesting dead stems along the way, in particular from Angelica which is prolific at the Hightown end of the estuary. The stems all have Ascomycetes on them but they are probably the usual ones that grow on all stems. Gives me something to look at on a rainy day.

Saturday 2nd July 2016

I joined Liverpool Botanical Society who were visiting the local Childwall Woods. The main interest of the day was grasses of which I know next to nothing and struggle even when I have a book in my hand. Lacymaria lacrymabunda (Weeping Widow) and Crepidotus cesatii were the only higher fungi on show. I did collect a lot of dead stems from plants I would not have been able to identify without the expert help on hand. My one disappointment is a rust on Cocksfoot grass. It supports four different rusts and I can not find any spores.

Thursday 30th June 2016

I spent most of the day on my allotment and went for a walk to my local golf course to wind down. Lots of Marasmius rotula (Collared Parachute) on bits of wood and twigs. I walked through a small copse of pine and found Otidea bufonia (Toad's Ear), a new species for the site. This one that can only be identified with a microscope. It is the only Otidea with hairs (so they say). Then, under the next tree was (had been) a huge Agaricus augustus (The Prince). Of course, someone had just kicked it over. I salvaged it as it is one of the best edible mushrooms. It measured 22cms aross, 12 cms high and weighed 450 grams. I wish I had seen it before it was vandalised. Anyway, it is now soup.

Wednesday 29th June 2016

Lachnum virgineum © MykoGolfer Scutellinia scutellata © MykoGolfer

I intended to spend a bit of time at one of my favourite woods at Hale. After twenty minutes it rained so hard I abandoned my visit. I did spot a dead nettle stem that was pure white to find it covered in Lachnum virgineum (Snowy Disco). I have never before seen so many so tightly packed on one stem. Also Scutellinia scutellata (Eyelash Fungus) on a fallen Ash trunk. Then I had to run.

Tuesday 28th June 2016

Volutella ciliata © MykoGolfer

Allotment this morning. A rush to pick raspberries, loganberries, redcurrants before the rain spoiled them - again. My neighbouring allotment is in a poor state, the tenant having been ill. Last year he grew a squash Cucurbita ficifolia (Figleaf Gourd or Shark Fin Melon). They have now gone rotten. Growing on the skin I found Volutella ciliata. Common fungus. Unusual host.

Monday 27th June 2016

My golf club produced Gymnopus peronatus Wood Wollyfoot) and Sceroderma bovista (Potato Earthball). A local park produced Boletus chrysenteron (Red Cracking Bolete). This one is now regarded as uncommon but it is a regular find in my local parks which do have a fair collection of Pine and Beech, often together. The details fit the key by Geoff Kibby. My allotment has a large patch of Marasmius oreades (Fairy Ring Campignon) growing on the main path. Things are looking up.

Sunday 19th June 2016

North West Fungus Group held a foray at Clock Face Country Park, St Helens. Still early so we did not expect too much. Nevertheless we recorded a good number with lots still to be examined at home. Finds identified so far include Tricholoma scalpturatum, Leocarpa fragilis, Peniophorella praetermissima, Tomentella fuscocinerea, Agrocybe semiorbiularis and pediades. We collected a few dead stems from nettles and thistles which have already added to our species list. More still to come.

Tuesday 14th June 2016

Belonidium sulphureum © MykoGolfer

Holiday abandoned because of an airline strike so I had to play golf instead. A few Agrocybe pediades (Common Fieldcap) in the rough and Coprinellus disseminatus (Fairy Inkcap) in moss round the base of a tree. Fortunately I forgot to throw my nettle stems away so had something to examine at home. Still things growing and I added Belonidium sulphureum to my list. There are still lots more to find so I may continue with my dead stem collections until the main season starts.

Friday 10th June 2016

Laetinaevia carneoflavida © MykoGolfer Crocicreas dolosellum © MykoGolfer Acrospermum compressum © MykoGolfer

Am off on holiday for a week so had to dispose of my bits of nettle stem. Amazingly, they are still growing fungi of all sorts. The latest finds are Acrospermum compressum (like Dead Mens Fingers), Crocicreas dolosellum (a goblet on a stem) and Laetinaevia carneoflavida (looks like Calloria neglecta but is smaller). The lazy way to mycology. Just pick dead stems and see what grows. I was very surprised at the number of different species. And it is obvious from the different spores that there are others present that I have not been able to identify. Yet.

Wednesday 8th June 2016

I played golf in a competition today so no time for fungus hunting. However, despite the scorching hot weather, the coolness of early morning persuadede a few to show themselves. There were dozens of Coprinopsis lagopus (Haresfoot Inkcap) in long grass along one of the fairways. Also a dozen perfect Agaricus arvensis (Horse Mushroom) under some birch trees. Unfortunately, I was unable to stop and pick them. Finally a group of Agaricus xanthodermus (Yellow Stainer) in their usual home on one of the teeing areas. I was able to show my playing partners how not to poison themselves.

Sunday 5th June 2016

Mollisia clavata © MykoGolfer Discocistella grevillei © MykoGolfer Calloria neglecta © MykoGolfer

The weather in Liverpool has been scorching for the past few days. At last we had a thunderstorm last night. First rain for ages. No fungi about and I have been kept busy watering my allotment. I have continued collecting dead nettle stems and giving them a soak. Someone has to do it. I have even moved up to Heracleum (Hogweed). The nettles produced the expected Calloria neglecta. Also Discocistella grevillei. The hogweed grew Mollisia clavata. The problem is that a number of species grow on the same stem, some very tiny. It can be difficult to separate the fruit bodies and decide which spore comes from what. I have photographed most of them and shall sit down this evening with Ellis and Ellis to see if I can identify them. I might get lucky.

Wednesday 1st June 2016

At last my golf course is growing some fungi. Amanita rubescens (Blusher), Bolbitius titubans (Yellow Fieldcap) and Agrocybe praecox (Spring Fieldcap). I also increased my dead nettle stem collection with Calloria neglecta and Leptosphaeria acuta. I do not usually have time to collect any Ascomycetes when playing golf but we had to wait for the people in front. These additions bring the total number of species at my golf course to 420.

Wednesday 25th May 2016

Golf today but nothing to be seen. I am playing quite well so no unplanned visits to the trees. While waiting to play I grabbed a handful of dead nettle stems. After soaking overnight, I identified Lachnum virgineum, Leptosphaeria dololium and more Periconia. In the afternoon I cut a load of dead wood from an old Symphoricarpus (Snowberry). Quite a bit of Peniophora lycii on the branches. I think it is on its way out.

Monday 23rd May 2016

Leptosphaeria acuta © MykoGolfer Hymenoscyphus vitellinus with Periconia © MykoGolfer

We have had some heavy showers over the past few days. The sun came out so I had a walk round my local golf course. I spotted some Calocybe gambosa (St. Georges Mushroom). The rest of my finds were all tiny and all found on dead nettle stems. These included Calyptella capula, Hymenoscyphus vitellinus, Leptosphaeria acuta and Periconia byssoides. The last one looks like hundreds of tiny black pins all over the stems. I also noted that the Stinkhorn eggs I saw at the end of January were still in situ but no development yet.

Sunday 15th May 2016

Linbladia tubulina © MykoGolfer Polyporus tuberaster © MykoGolfer Vibrissea © MykoGolfer

I joined the NWFG foray at Styal Woods, a National Trust property. As expected for this time of year, not many gilled fungi to be found. We did find some very interesting piles of wood and sticks that delivered up some uncommon Ascomycetes including a Vibrissea. Still working on them at home. Two photogenic finds were Polyporus tuberaster and a splendid slime mold, Lindbladia tubulina, looking like caviar on a tree trunk.

Saturday 14th May 2016

I briefly joined Liverpool Botanists who were holding a bioblitz at Speke Garston Coastal Reserve. Once part of the old Liverpool Airport on the banks of The Mersey, part has been annexed to Speke Hall as a nature walk. It is rough grassland and was very overgrown and dry so not much of interest for me. I found a couple of Ascomycetes, on on the dead stem of Phragmites australis. I had difficulty identifying it as the spores were too small for the more common species. Fortunately I found someone on Ascofrance.com with the same problem. The answer is Lentithecium arundinaceum.

Friday 13th May 2016

Golf today. At last I found Calocybe gambosa (St. Georges Mushroom) on the course. Only a few in a regular site but nothing in the other usual areas. And they are very late this year.

Thursday 12th May 2016

Lachnum virgineum © MykoGolfer

I finished hoeing my allotment so went for a quick walk to a local wood. A rummage in a pile of dead blackberry twigs produced lots of Lachnum virgineum, Mollisia clavata and Hyaloscypha fuckelii. A few spots and pimples to look at but not bad for 15 minutes.

Thursday 5th May 2016

At last. Calocybe gambosa (St Georges Mushroom). I am assisting The Biodiversity Project in Merseyside. They visit various local nature reserves to record wildlife. This site, Carr Lane Woods at Prescot was on the list. A small wood and fishing lakes split off from the local golf course when the M57 was built. Despite the ponds, it was very dry and clearly well maintained. All the dead wood was too big to move. A few Conocybe aporos and that was it. Might be better in the autumn.

Wednesday 4th May 2016

Golf today. Scorching hot this afternoon. At last, a fungus. Twelve Conocybe aporos, a species with a ring, on a mulched flower bed where I parked my car. But that was it. Still no St. Georges Mushrooms to be seen.

Monday 2nd May 2016

unknown fungus © MykoGolfer Cheilymenia theleboloides © MykoGolfer

It poured this morning. Then the sun came out so I paid a quick visit to one of my favourite haunts at Hale Hall. I managed to beat the Bank Holiday crowd. Some interesting finds. The remains of old Calvatia gigantea (Giant Puffball) on a woodchip pile. A heap of grass cuttings and leaves produced Cheilymenia theleboloides in large quantities. There was also a lot of small pinkish things scattered on the same pile. It is not an Ascomycete but has spores. I have no idea what it might be and can only hope that something will turn up in the literature. A Mollisia with a yellow centre and darkish exterior also has me puzzled as the yellow turned to grey after I got it home.

Friday 29th April 2016

Clitopilus hobsonii spores © MykoGolfer

Terrible weather so I finished off my identifications from Monday. I found some tiny all-white fungi growing out of a fallen branch and also growing on a dead leaf. I first thought a young Crepidotus epibryus but the spores were wrong. The spore print appeared to be white. So I tried for Mycena. But it had a four spore basidia and I could not find any typical cheilocystidia for adscendens or corynephora. A closer look at the spores and I could just make out a line through the middle. It reminded me of a Clitopilus spore. So I looked them up and there is a Clitopilus hobsonii. Striate spores. You can just see them on the photo if you look carefully. Then it gets more difficult. My spores are 8-9.5 x 5-6.5 (7) which is said to be too big in some books. One book suggests that the larger spored variety is Clitopilus daamsi for which there are only 4 records. Personally, I am not convinced when species are differentiated by spore size alone especially when the difference is not that great, as here. I shall stick to hobsonii.

Monday 25th April 2016

I joined members of The Biodiversity Project on a visit to Goyt Hey Wood that adjoins Carr Mill Dam. A regular foray site for NWFG, I had not been there for a couple of years. The reason being the rapid and unchecked encroachment of Himalayan Balsam that restricted any search for fungi. Although we have not had much rain recently, the area is naturally wet and still flooded in parts. Despite this my finds were disappointing. Hemimycena tortuosa (Dewdrop Bonnet) and an immature Crepidotus being the only gilled finds. Not much of anything else either.

Thursday 21st April 2016

The Merseyside Naturalists are visiting a local nature reserve at Pex Hill Observatory near Widnes on Saturday. As I was in the area I popped in to see if it was worth joining them. I had not been before. It is small with a number of stunted oaks. It also has a disused quarry. It is sand stone. It was very dry after only a few days of hot weather. It is also very tidy. Not a piece of fallen wood to be seen, although a lot of this seemed to have been used to create natural barriers. It was also a bit too doggy for my liking. I found nothing. The volunteers also told me that in summer the bracken, now dormant, grows to six feet high. I shall cross this one off my list of possible foray sites.

Saturday 16th April 2016

Geastrum pectinatum © MykoGolfer Morchella elata © MykoGolfer

Having been told by the Reserve Manager that he had found 24 morels, I was joined by two colleagues and the seven year old son of one of them for an assault on dune slacks. We found them. Most of them were in areas I have not been to before. The benefit of taking an adventurous 7 year old whose eyes are closer to the ground than mine. They were a long way out and we would never have made it last Sunday unless we had gone directly there. Hard walking and two metal gates to climb. We found over a dozen Morchella elata (Black Morel), all very fresh. Also lots more Geastrum pectinatum (Beaked Earthstar) which seems to prefer the tops of the sand hills. Also a good number of Melanoleuca cognata (Spring Cavalier). And the weather was beautiful.

Thursday 14th April 2016

I played golf today. There is nothing showing on the course which seems strange when compared to what I have found on other sites. I have just received an Email from the Site manager of Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve that he has counted ten fresh Morchella elata (Black Morel) on the very dune slack that I visited last week but found nothing. So I did not take my foray party there on Sunday. There again, it is a healthy hike out to this area so we probably would not have made it.

Tuesday 12th April 2016

I joined a Biodiversity survey at the grounds of the old Rainhill Hospital (now demolished and turned into a Local Wildlife Site). I had not been to this site. There are no previous fungi records. It is a fairly large woodland. No sign of anyone tidying up the fallen wood so there was a lot of promising material. Standard stuff for the time of year but plenty of it. I identified thirty species on site and collected a further dozen. Although there were no people around during our visit, there is evidence of heavy footfall, the area being surrounded by houses. Also the ground seems solid, perhaps the foundations and paths of the old hospital. I shall certainly return in the autumn.

Sunday 10th April 2016

Calyptella capula © MykoGolfer

I woke up to a heavy frost. I was worried it might spoil my foray to Freshfied and Ainsdale. The day turned out to be a beautiful spring day. A dozen enthusiasts attended. Lots of fallen wood. Lots of crusts, brackets and ascomycetes. A few gilled fungi such as Clitocybe fragrans (Fragrant Funnel) and the odd Panaeolus (Mottlegill). A nice Calyptella capula on an unknown piece of vegetation was found in the dunes. Everyone enjoyed the day. As one said, the area is so nice that one could spend days just walking around. We spent a little time chasing butterflies. I came back with a full box as usual so am praying for rain so that I can get on with them without distraction.

Tuesday 5th April 2016

I decided to revisit the local Eric Hardy Nature Reserve. It is split into upper and lover levels, the lower having a stream that floods and turns the paths into quagmires. This is regularly impassable in winter. It was muddy and passable but the way was instead blocked by a dozen or so trees that had been blown or just washed down from the upper level. It was more like an assault course. I managed to get through but I fear this favourite site may become off limits. I would not go there on a windy day. Lots of fallen wood but not many specimens to be found. Probably too fresh. Nothing unusual identified.

Thursday 31st March 2016

Geastrum pectinatum spores © MykoGolfer Geastrum pectinatum © MykoGolfer

Just returned from my annual springtime pilgrimage to Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve to see if any morels had grown. Lots of fallen damp wood so I made a small collection of Ascomycetes and crusts but I could have spent all day in one spot. I came across four patches of Clitocybe vermicularis, a speciality of Ainsdale. A couple of Melanoleucas. But sadly no morels even though there was plenty of water in the slacks. But Ainsdale never disappoints. There were hundreds of the usual Geatsrum triplex on the dunes. When I sat down for lunch, right beside me were two Geastrums (or is it Geastri), that are not triplex. The distinctive spores show it to be Geastrum pectinatum. New to Ainsdale and me. I know it has been found in Anglesey so one to look for again.

Tuesday 29th March 2016

Rosellinia thelena spores © MykoGolfer Henningsomyces candidus © MykoGolfer

I had been digging my allotment so popped over the road to my local golf course to wind down. Someone had kindly piled some sticks and leaves so I could not resist a rummage. Four obvious Ascomycetes. Under the microscope, I identified the very common Rosellinia aquila but the other one had very long points on the ends of the spores. This keyed out as Rosellinia thelena. A new one for me. Another find turned out to be the minute Basidiomycete, Hemmingsomyces candidus. Looks like fine sand to the naked eye and can only be identified with a microscope. Said to be common, I have found it before on this site.

Sunday 27th March 2016

Orbilia coccinella with Chaetosphaeria myriocarpa © MykoGolfer

The weather was dreadful so I was able to look at the finds from Friday. I did well with Ascomycetes. I identified nine species including Hyaloscypha leuconica, one that grows on pine. Most of the pine in Liverpool is in public parks where the fallen wood is tidied up. Nice to find some logs and branches to have a look at. I had a lot of trouble with Orbilia coccinella because I could not isolate a spore size. Then I realised that this grows on old Sphaeriales. So I looked again and there was Chaetosphaeria myriocarpa. This was where the spore confusion came from. Silly me. Not much luck with the crust fungi which steadfastly refused to give spore prints. I shall try again.

Friday 25th March 2016

Such a warm sunny day but everybody and his dog was out. I could not find a parking space at my usual haunts. However there is a little known narrow stretch of woodland alongside Speke Hall which is only accessible if you know where the hole in the fence is. I do. Mixed woodland with lots of pine and lots of fallen wood. Nobody to tidy up. I found an Ascomycete under nearly every piece I picked up. And a good collection of crusts. As the weather forecast is terrible for this weekend, it will give me something to look at.

Tuesday 22nd March 2016

No rain for well over a week has now left very dry conditions. I paid a visit to Pickerings Pasture, a fairly new local nature reserve on the banks of the River Mersey at Widnes. I did not find much, because of the tinder dry conditions. Amazing when you remember all the rain we have had. The site is small and the trees young. There is a lot of fallen wood in the copses. There is a large expanse of grass heath. It definitely has potential and I shall pay another visit in the season. It does suffer from popularity with dog owners. I shall never understand the mentality of people who hang their black plastic bags on bushes.

Saturday 12th March 2016

Pachnocybe sp. © MykoGolfer Pachnocybe sp. © MykoGolfer

Three days without rain. I went for a stroll around Speke Hall. Amazing how quickly this site dries out. Lots of prunings in heaps. Schizophyllum amplum (Poplar Bells) was still there but hardly recognisable as it had dried up so much. A few crusts and microfungi but no gilled species. A few months ago I identified a tiny specimen growing on a twig as Pachnocybe albida. Under a microscope it looks like a tree. I found another similar looking fungus today. My earlier find has elliptical spores but these were round. So I am stumped. But according to my Ellis & Ellis book the species needs taxonomic revision anyway.

Saturday 5th March 2016

The slight dusting of snow on the Costa del Liverpool soon disappeared and turned into a lovely spring afternoon. The paths in the local nature reserve were muddy and unpassable so I cut through the woods. Stacks of fallen branches and twigs. A few fallen trees, mainly birch. Disappointingly, hardly any fungi. Just a few common resupinates and only one Ascomycete, Mollisia cinerea. I shall certainly take another look later in the year although it is likely to become overgrown and impenetrable by then.

Tuesday 1st March 2016

Mycena polyadelpha © MykoGolfer

It did stop raining eventually and turned out to be a sunny spring afternoon. I went to Hale Hall woods. It is managed so there are piles of sticks all over the site. Rummaging around in one pile, I found a very small Mycena attached to a twig. In another pile, I noticed these tiny tiny fungi on rotting oak leaves. The second lot had 4 spore basidia, cheilocystida with short spines, cap hyphae looking like a hedgehog, some had hardly any gill. Consulting Cullington and Aronsen, the conclusion is Mycena polyadelpha. Photos not good but they show how small this species is. The first Mycena had cystidia with 3 to 4 long finger like attachments, smaller spores but also hedgehog cap hyphae. This I have identified as Mycena mucor. No photo as I only took one thinking it might be adscendens. Both are rarely reported but not surprising due to their size and that they hide in piles of sticks and leaves.

Saturday 27th February 2016

Helvella acetabulum © MykoGolfer

A good turn out at the North West Fungus group AGM to welcome our new President, Geoffrey Kibby. He gave a very interesting talk about the rise and demise of various species due to warmer temperatures, pollution and the increased use of woodchip. We went for a quick walk round Risley Moss. Not a lot about but we did find Helvella acetabulum (Vinegar Cup), a spring species. I had not seen one before. I thought it was a Disciotis venosa but fortunately someone was on hand to put me right. The ribbed stem is very clear.

Saturday 20th February 2016

Tapesia lividofusca © MykoGolfer

The frost had disappeared so I went for a walk in Stockton's Wood. The National Trust had been tidying up again. Lots of twigs and branches in piles. Evidence of a bonfire. I managed to turn over a couple of larger pieces of tree. Tapesia lividofusca, shown here with a visitor. Hyaloscypha daedaleae, a small white cup, new to me. Also another Hyaloscypha type but I could not identify it to my satisfaction. Still stuff about but you have to search hard for it.

Sunday 14th February 2016

Mesmodes anomala © MykoGolfer

A beautiful spring morning. Sun shining. So I went for a walk round my local golf course. Lots of fallen wood which has been stacked along the boundaries as a barrier. A bit young for fungi now but looks good for the future. Not much around but I did find Mesmodes anomala. This is another tiny Basidiomycete that looks like an Asco. When dry it looks like a brownish crust. When wet it blossoms into small hairy cups. It looks very much like the Episphaeria I found last week. You can see a difference in that the centre of the cups of Episphaeria are yellow. Mesmodes are grey. The spores are different.

Friday 5th February 2016

Volutella ciliata © MykoGolfer

Heavy rain forecast so I had to get my broad beans sown. I also managed to dig out one of my compost bins. While doing so I noticed some tiny white blobs on a piece of stem, runner bean this time. I took it home and have identified it as Volutella ciliata. Very common on dead stems during the winter but so small it is hard to spot. Interestingly, I found something similar on a piece of wood at Speke Hall on Wednesday. However, according to my books, this Volutella does not grow on wood and the spores on these were round not elliptical.

Wednesday 3rd February 2016

Episphaeria fraxinicola © MykoGolfer

Golf course closed but it was a sunny afternoon so I went for a walk round Speke Hall, where they have very kindly piled up all the branches that have blown down. This time I came up with Episphaeria fraxinicola. Very tiny, it looks like an Ascomycete until you examine it under a microscope and realise that it does not have any asci but has basidia. There are not many records for it but it is very small (my photo is x 400). I have found it before. Perhaps Liverpool is an Episphaeria hotspot.

Sunday 31st January 2016

Sarcoscypha austriaca © MykoGolfer

I braved the light rain to get out of the house for a bit. Unfortunately I was not out long before it threw it down. Lots of Sarcoscypha austriaca (Scarlet Elf Cup) so spring is in the air. Conversely, hidden away under a pile of cut logs, I found three eggs of Phallus impudicus (Stinkhorn). So is it still autumn? Very confusing weather. I must keep watch to see if they develop.

Wednesday 27th January 2016

Hyalopeziza millepunctata © MykoGolfer

High winds but very little rain here so I took advantage and went for a walk. The local golf greenkeepers have been out collecting all the dead wood from the course. They have put it in a big pile. How considerate of them. I could not resist a search. The problem is that if I do find something, I have little idea what tree it has come from. I did manage to find Hyalopeziza millepunctata, new for the site. Makes a change from the usual Mollisias.

Tuesday 26th January 2016

I recently wrote a survey report in which I explained to the recipient that fungi were very fleeting and that it was not possible to produce a comprehensive list without numerous visits. Today, as the promised floods had not arrived in Liverpool, I went back to the park to see if I could photograph the spectacular collection on a felled beech tree that I recorded only four days ago. They had all gone. Dried up completely. What a disappointment. I did find some Mensularia radiatus on a fallen Alder by the boating lake, a first for the site, so all was not lost.

Monday 25th January 2016

Lecanora chlarotera © MykoGolfer

I picked up a stick because it seemed to have a pink/red fungus growing on it. I could get nothing from it. But I also noticed a tiny green cup on a bit of lichen. I have identified this as Lecanora chlarotera, a lichenous fungus. Interestingly, there are a number of adjacent black cushions that have the same spores. I assume that it is part of the cycle but have not been able to find any literature to explain this.

Saturday 23rd January 2016

No rain. I went for a wander round an area of one of my local parks that I have not visited recently. It is very muddy. A couple of Geastrum striatum (Striate Earthstar) were in the same place as last year under a group of four Cupressus. Also a smallish Agaricus with large spores but it will not key out. A couple of large fungi that I though were Melanoleuca had smooth round spores and keyed out as Lyophyllum decastes (Clustered Domecap), in a form I had not previously seen. The caps peeled. A large felled beech was quite spectacular. I recorded Stereum hirsutum (Hairy Stereum), Pleaurotus ostreatus (Oyster Mushroom), Phlebia radiata, (Wrinkled Crust), Schizophyllum commune (Split Gill) and Bulgaria inqinans (Black Bulgar) as well as the Ganoderma that probably killed it. Very colourful. Sadly too large to photograph and get them all in the frame.

Wednesday 20th January 2016

I played golf today for the first time since before Christmas. Still very wet. Clavulina rugosa (Wrinkled Club) still prospering under a Hornbeam. A first find of Clitocybe metachroa (Twotone Funnel) in the same line of trees. Most unusual was a very mature Lycoperdon pratense (Meadow Puffball) rolling down one of the fairways. Where did that come from?

Tuesday 19th January 2016

Baeospora myosura © MykoGolfer

A nice day at last. I had time for a brief walk to my local golf course. I keep finding a small brownish species growing in litter that has had me fooled. I found it again today. This time growing on a cone. It is Baeospora myosura (Conifer Conecap). I have been visiting this site for twenty five years and this is the first time I have recorded this common species. -                                          

Monday 18th January 2016

Typhula uncialis © MykoGolfer

I went to my allotment today. Still too wet to do anything useful. I have a pile of prunings from my blackberry and raspberry canes. I have been waiting for it to stop raining so that I can burn it. I gave it a kick to turn it over. My tame robin waits for me to do so and then looks for titbits. I was lucky to spot this tiny Typhula on a dead stem. Not many grow on stems but it was still a difficult one to identify. In the end it came down to size and shape of the spores and that they were not amyloid, they did not change colour when chemically treated. My conclusion is Typhula uncialis. I must look for some more.

Sunday 17th January 2016

Basidiodendron eyrei © MykoGolfer

Hardly any snow in Liverpool. It stopped raining so I went for a walk round Black Wood. When I started being interested in fungi I went to this wood often. In recent years my visits have been few and fairly fruitless. The wood has lots of potential. Lots of fallen trees and branches. But not much in the way of fungi, not even Ascomycetes. It is well used by the public so perhaps there is too much footfall. Having said this, I did identify Basidiodendron eyrei, a grey coloured smear on a fallen tree. It took a lot of research to nail it down but when you only bring home one specimen there is more time to do it.

Friday 15th January 2015

I took advantage of a sunny afternoon and that the local golf course was closed. No need to avoid golf balls. A few bits and pieces but nothing unusual. All the Ascomycetes I find are the same, Bisporella citrina or Polydesmia pruinosa. Very disappointing. I was surprised to find a healthy Lycoperdon expuliformis (Pestle Puffball) and added Clavulina cinerea (Grey Coral) to the list for the site. But nothing new.

Wednesday 13th January 2015

Finding a gap in the rain I visited a local park that I ignored last year. It is steep sided having been a river in days well gone. So difficult to get at. It is not well maintained. The Council does not cart away any of the fallen trees and branches, of which there were lots. Plenty of woodpiles to look through and I found a good number of species but all of them very common. Then it rained again. I must go back soon.

Monday 11th January 2016

Brevisllicium olivascens © MykoGolfer Hyphoderma setigerum © MykoGolfer

I managed to identify two of my crust fungi. At this time of year there is more time to study them. One is Hyphoderma setigerum, a white pimply smear on a piece of dead wood but it has unmistakable microscopic features. The other, which looks just the same, is Brevisllicium olivascens. Another white smear on a piece of dead wood. I though it was something completely different but the spores were wrong, the cystidia were wrong. I got a result but you do need access to the literature. My books do not cover everything so I have to use Mycokey and the various Internet sites. I do not always manage to identify a specimen but I am happy with these two. Both are common but you need a microscope to extract the necessary information.

Sunday 10th January 2016

Craterium minutum © MykoGolfer Mollisia ramealis © MykoGolfer

I intended to go to a new DIY supermarket but it was so full I continued on to Speke Hall again. I like this time of year. The chance of something new but not too many specimens to examine. My two newbies, not rare but I have never previously found them, were the Ascomycete Mollisia ramealis and the Myxomycete Craterium minutum. Still a couple of crust fungi to look at.

Friday 8th January 2016

Oudemansiella mucida © MykoGolfer

Maintenance day on the allotment. Cleaning pots and sorting out bamboo canes. So afterwards I went for a quick walk to my local golf course which is just across the road. I took my usual route. Today the brambles and nettles had receded. Exposed were the remains of a beech tree that had fallen down and then been sawn up. Growing on these remains were two Oudemansiella mucida (Porcelain Fungus). Described in all literature as very common. But not in Liverpool. Although my local area has hundreds of beech trees, and quite a few have fallen over, I have never before recorded a Porcelain Fungus.

Wednesday 6th January 2016

Schizophylum amplum © MykoGolfer

Golf course closed. But it was a nice sunny day so I went for walk at Speke Hall. Pickings were good. Still waxcaps on the Great Lawn. I found Phallus impudicus (Stinkhorn) in the woods. A couple of the more common Ascomycetes. The National Trust staff had been clearing up all the fallen twigs and small branches and kindly piled them up for me to sort through. Star of the day was Schizophyllum amplum (Poplar Bells) on poplar twigs. I found it here some years ago when it was deemed unusual enough for it to be sent to Kew Herbarium. I have found it elsewhere. Always at this time of year after storms have blown bits off the trees. Looks like a tiny Auricularia (Jelly Ear) and dries up very quickly so best looked for after rain. I filled all my boxes. I must go back soon.

Monday 4th January 2015

I went to a local supermarket which is sited at the junction of two main roads. In the car park is a small, brick, raised bed with a scrubby tree and a privet bush. In the surrounding soil, woodchip and assorted rubbish were four Lepista saeva (Field Blewit). Who knows how they got there. The nearest grassland is a school football field, two hundred yards away.

Saturday 2nd January 2016

It finally stopped raining so I went for a walk to a local park. Another beech tree had toppled since my last visit. Part of the park is getting quite a collection of fallen beech trees. I noticed that one trunk had a good number of Sarcomyxa serotina (Olive Oysterling). Growing twenty yards away, another tree casualty seemed to have similar. I took samples from both trees. The first I confirmed because it has tiny sausage spores. To my surprise the second produced brown spores and I identified it as Crepidotus mollis (Peeling Oysterling). I do not recall having seen mollis with such large fruit bodies. Just as well I checked.

Friday 1st January 2016

A quick walk round the park after lunch. The park was full of children on various types of transport. A lot of Sarcomyxa serotina about on the fallen beech trees. The brackets seem to be in very good condition but I am not finding many ascomycetes. Last year at this time I had recorded a good number. Perhaps they need a cold spell. I keep finding white fungi at various sites in Liverpool but mine have all been Lepista irina (Flowery Blewit) which seems to have replaced Clitcybe nebularis as the 'abundant' winter fungus. I brought some home just before Christmas to check the spores. I forgot about them. I wondered what the strange smell was. Fortunately it was pleasant.

Wednesday 30th December 2015

Henningsomyces candidus © MykoGolfer

Poured with rain today. Here is one I found earlier. Henningsomyces candidus that has been sitting in my damp box awaiting identification. Thought it was an Ascomycetes but it is not. Found growing in a birch wood. It is very tiny so easily missed.

Tuesday 29th December 2015

A sunny day. I decided to visit Halewood Triangle Country Park as I had not been for over a year and it is one of the local Biodiversity sites. The Triangle is so named because it was where they turned railway engines round. As a woodland it is fairly new, mainly birch. It looks promising but usually disappoints. I started well with Lepista irina (Flowery Blewit) in the car park. As I walked round the site it became obvious that this was the dominant species. It was everywhere in great numbers. I also found Mycena corynephora, a very tiny white Bonnet with distinctive microscopics, a new one for me. Not much else though.

Monday 28th December 2015

Hypocrea species © MykoGolfer Hypocrea species © MykoGolfer Hypocrea-aureoviridis © MykoGolfer

I have been struggling all week, trying to identify some specimens of Hypocrea that I collected in my local park. I had no trouble with Hypocrea aureoviridis because it is bright yellow. Then Hypocrea pulvinata because it grows on Birch Polypore. But I still have two more. Both on wood, one yellowish and one orange. Suggestions gratefully received. Apart form pulvinata, I have never found an Hypocrea before. Now I get four at once.

Friday 25th December 2015

Gloeoporus taxicola © MykoGolfer

I needed a quick walk after Xmas lunch so, as it managed to stop raining for a bit, I popped up to one of my local parks to check on the Geastrum striatum (Striate Earthstar) that grow in a small copse of mixed conifers. The earthstars occupy a small patch protected by three pine trees where they seem happy and from which have never moved despite increasing in number. I cut a piece from a resupinate fungus on a fallen tree. It was bright orange brown and I would have taken bets that it was Phellinus ferreus or ferruginosus although that would have been unusual on pine. It had tiny allantoid (sausage) spores and encrusted hyphae. It turned out to be Gloeoporus taxicola, a new one for me.

Thursday 24th December 2015

I managed another game of golf today. Still lots of fungi around. Gliophorus psittacinus (Parrot Waxcap), strangely clustered round the base of a tree instead of in the grass. Entoloma conferendum (Star Pinkgill), easy to identify from the shape of the spores. Some large Melanoleucas (Cavaliers) in the car park. I must have missed them on Monday. They were not in best condition. I could not find any cystidia but they were not Melanoleuca melaleuca so I had to give up. Merry Christmas to one and all.

Tuesday 22nd December 2015

So what happened to the Hohenbuehelia that I found in Childwall Woods, Liverpool. It went to Kew from where I received the following - this has to be "atrocoerulea" and cited various notes from FAN3 and FN that mastrucata is usually bigger, with thicker gelatinous layer and metuloids with little in the way of a crystal cap (whereas yours are heavily encrusted). I agree that your material and photo do not look like the mastrucata that Iíve seen. Alick, like me, is not completely happy with H. grisea as a distinct and recognisable taxon which is distinguished by Elborne. Again this is supposed to have thinly encrusted metuloid caps which doesnít match your material (however the drawings of these cystidia in FN are unhelpful as encrustation not shown). So we agree that atrocoerulea is the best place to file it for now and Iíve done this as K(M) 200880. So next time you see a Crepidotus, take a careful look at it.

Monday 21st December 2015

Melanoleuca brevipes © MykoGolfer

Back on line again after an enforced absence. Still fungi about on my golf course. It has been so warm if a tad too wet. Plenty of Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) and Russula fragilis (Fragile Brittlegill). As an indication of how late some species are, I found two Agaricus augustus (The Prince) on the 7th December and 2 Boletus edulis a couple of days before. Each specimen weighed in at 8 ounces and not an insect to be seen. Excellent eating. The wet weather has prevented the mowers doing much cutting. One of the teeing areas is currently covered with Melanoleuca brevipes (Stunted Cavalier) and another teeing ground with Melanoleuca excissa (Smoky Cavalier). They look similar but the microscopics are different. Interestingly, I have found both species before, some years ago. Both on the same teeing areas.

Friday 13th November 2015

Hohenbuehelia mastrucata cystidia © MykoGolfer Geoglossum fallax © MykoGolfer

A sunny break in the weather so I checked the churchyard of Liverpool's 14th Century All Saints Church for waxcaps. One or two. The best find was Geoglossum fallax. The churchyard adjoins Childwall Woods. So looked in there while I was in the area. Very muddy and lots of leaves. The wind got stronger and the rain started. On my way out, having found nothing, I turned over a fallen branch. I saw what looked like a tiny Crepidotus mollis. I took to check the spores. It is not a Crepidotus, it is an Hohenbuehelia. It has metuloid cystidia and a four spored basidia. The microscopics fit Hohenbuehelia mastrucata, a Red Data list species, although it looks nothing like any of the photos on the internet. The alternative choice is even rarer in the UK but it has only a two spored basidia. They could be wrong. I have asked Kew if they want it but it is only 7mm big so by the time I have dried it, it will be very small indeed.

Wednesday 11th November 2015

Golf today and it failed to rain. I was surprised by the amount of fungi on the course. It was mostly small, Mycenas (Bonnets), Conocybe (Conecaps) and the like. The top of nearly every sand bunker had a collection of some sort. Mycena olivaceomarginata (Brownedge Bonnet) is one I find every year in the same place. The same for Clavulina rugosa (Wrinkled Club) that grows under the same Hornbeam tree every year at this time. A first find of Stropharia caerulea (Blue Roundhead) but it was on woodchip in a flowerbed so not really part of the golf course.

Tuesday 10th November 2015

Entoloma chalybaeum © MykoGolfer Clavulinopsis luteoalba © MykoGolfer Suillus luteus © MykoGolfer

A beautiful day so I popped into Speke Hall to have a look at The Great Lawn as the recent weather has been too wet for them to mow. I was right. It was alive with fungi. At least a hundred Suillus luteus (Slippery Jack), six varieties of waxcaps including a hundred Hygrocybe pratensis (Meadow Waxcap). Entoloma chalybaeum (Indigo Pinkgill) was also prevalent. There were hundreds of Club fungi. I did not know that Clavulinopsis helvola (Yellow Club) and luteoalba (Apricot Club) grew happily together. Obvious when you see them. I filled my collecting box in one hour. I am now struggling to identify some, especially the three Cortinarius.

Saturday 7th November 2015

Horrendous weather this morning. I had to wait for a break in the rain to go up to my allotment and pick some veg for tea. The grass paths were alive with fungi. Melanoleuca excissa (Smoky Cavalier) was unexpected, growing with Clitocybe fragrans (Fragrant Funnel) and Hygrocybe virginea (Snowy Waxcap). So I went for a walk round to see what else I could find. The list got better with Melanoleuca polioleuca (Common Cavalier), Galerina clavata and Clitocybe rivulosa (Fool's Funnel). Best of all was the find of Tubaria dispersa (Hawthorn Twiglet). Mine grow on Cotoneaster berries (Reds supporters?). Last year only one. This year I am up to two.

Thursday 5th November 2015

Stropharia inuncta © MykoGolfer

I went to my allotment to pick a cabbage. The grassy path is growing some excellent fungi. Panaeolus olivaceus, which has spores with warts like the common Panaeolus foenisecii but you need an oil immersion lens to see them. I have found it once before. Then I found a new one for me. Stropharia inuncta (Smoky Roundhead). Looking like a Psathyrella but it has a ring on the stem, a slimy cap with a pointed umbo and the cap peels. Described as occasional but widespread.

Wednesday 4th November 2015

Golf and another Boletus edulis (Penny Bun). This time weighing in at 12 ounces. Nothing much else around but the weather has been warm so they are still mowing regularly. Until they get halted by wet conditions it is likely to remain quiet.

Tuesday 3rd November 2015

Conocybe filaris © MykoGolfer

Allotment today to plant my garlic. This year, I grew some spare cloves in a large plant pot. They were OK. The surprise was to find a group of Conocybe filaris (Fool's Conecap) had taken up residence in the same plant pot. It seems they like nutrient rich soil so perfect habitat.

Saturday 31st October 2015

I joined Liverpool Botanical Society at Calderstones Park in Liverpool to be educated about trees. This is my local park that I visit weekly. To my shame I know little about the trees. The estate was laid out by Charles MacIver, joint founder of Cunard Line. Most of the specimen trees are from the Americas and Asia. I was disappointed with the number of fungi around. I expected more. But how may people have recorded Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster Musghroom) on Laburnicytisus adamii (Broom Laburnum) or Hypholoma fasciculare (Sulphur Tuft) on Polyepsis australis (Quenoa). A very interesting day.

Friday 30th October 2015

Out and about today. I started at my allotment and found six species had grown overnight. They were not there on Thursday. One waxcap, One Pinkgill, One Funnel Cap, two Bonnet species and a Psathyrella. Encouraged by this I went to Stockton's Wood where the fungi were also blooming. Unfortunately, there were hundreds of children running around as National Trust had some sort of entertainment on. So I gave up but not before I had recorded Boletus badius (Bay Bolete) and a very nice Pleurotus cornucopiae (Branching Oyster). So I moved on to my local golf course, which had very little. Interesting how different sites are even though only a few miles away.

Wednesday 28th October 2015

Boletus edulis © MykoGolfer

Golf on someone else's course today. Look what turned up under a birch tree. Boletus edulis (Penny Bun). What a fine specimen weighing in at 8 ounces. Tea tonight.

Sunday 25th October 2015

Tricholoma lascivum © MykoGolfer Panaeolus semiovatus © MykoGolfer

Another survey day at Westhoughton. At last it has rained. Now the site has gone from dry to very muddy. A lot of fungi had been washed away. I did not think we were doing very well until I put the final list together. We found some interesting specimens. My colleague identified Galerina pallida, Mycena diosma and Marasmius recubans. I joined in with Tricholoma lascivum (Aromatic Knight). It is a white Tricholoma which I thought would be easy. No. There are five of them. One test was to taste it. Acrid does not accurately describe it. Wow. To identify it I had to work out the Q! ratio of the spores. Takes the fun out of it? We looked at some of the pasture used for grazing horses and cows and I noted a few I had not seen before. Not many cow fields in Liverpool. Star find was Coprinellus bisporus. Not much to look at but very interesting microscopics.

Friday 23rd October 2015

Melanoleuca cognata © MykoGolfer

Bonfire day on the allotment to get rid of all the raspberry and blackberry prunings. I was surprised to find a Lepista sordida hiding under the pile of canes. I then went for a quick walk to the adjacent golf course. A mystery. Someone had carefully placed two Melanoleuca cognata side by side on a path. So who else has an interest in mycology? Who has been picking my fungi?

Wednesday 21st October 2015

Panaeolus papilonaceus © MykoGolfer

Another day for a survey at Westhoughton. We looked at one wood which had a gorge running through it so a bit difficult to access all parts. However, there were plenty of species about including Lentinellus cochleatus (Aniseed Cockleshell) and Pleurotus dryinus (Veiled Oyster). We also surveyed some of the cow pasture. Most of the species were the expected Panaeolus papilionaceus (Petticoat Mottlegill) or similar, with only a very small patch that had a couple of waxcaps and Yellow Club.

Sunday 18th October 2015

Geastrum fimbriatum © MykoGolfer

I led the NWFG foray at Ravenmeols Nature Reserve. It was very dry. I searched for the spot where I found Tulostoma brumale (Winter Stalkball) last year. Only one miserable specimen left. The reserve has various habitats, pinewoods, scrub willow, heathland and dunes all within easy reach of the car park. We started well as the dune heath around the car park produced some interesting species, Lepiota alba and very pale Mycena pura (Lilac Bonnet) that waited until I got them home before they showed their true colour. One pinewood was fairly productive, Geastrum fimbriatum (Sessile Earthstar), Russulas caerulea (Humpback), sanguinaria (Bloody) and xerampelina (Crab).The other had nothing. The scrub willow surprised us with some waxcaps, Gliophorus psittacina (Parrot) and Hygrocybe insipida (Spangle) while the main heathland had nothing. We had time to look at the sand dunes and found Melanoleuca cinereifolia (Dune Cavalier) and Inocybe serotina. I brought a number of specimens home but the problem is most are in poor dry condition or too sandy.

Friday 16th October 2015

After an afternoon of digging my allotment while this dry weather holds, I needed a walk to stretch my muscles. The entrance to my local golf club is just across the road from my allotment, so I paid a quick visit. I was only there for 40 minutes but managed to spot Mycena pura (Lilac Bonnet), lots of Lepista flaccida (Tawny Funnel) and Clitocybe nebularis (Clouded Agaric). There has been a lot of maintenance done leaving piles of logs, branches and twigs. It is starting to rot down. As long as they do not burn it, I should have plenty to look a this winter. As usual I found a small Ascomycete. It is a Hymenoscyphus but the spores do not match anything in my books. Another one for the Mystery Folder.

Thursday 15th October 2015

Pholiota squarrosa © MykoGolfer

I went shopping for some garlic cloves for my allotment. Having made my purchase, I popped into nearby Speke Hall. The first fungus I found was a huge Boletus edulis (Penny Bun), sadly too far gone to be edible. Beside it were a couple of Cliyocybe odora (Aniseed Funnel), a species I have not identified for many years. Not too much around as they had just mown The Great Lawn and strimmed a lot of the surrounds. After identifying Pluteus umbrosus (Velvet Shield) on a fallen beech, I went into Stockton's Wood on my way back to my car. The first tree was an oak and at the base was a small group of Pholiota squarrosa.

Tuesday 13th October 2015

I had to go back to Clarke Gardens to get some more samples of a resupinate fungus on some stacked branches that had defeated me. The new specimens were more productive and I identifed it as Physisporinus vitreus (a Porecrust). Walking back through an area of beech that I never visit, I found Xerula radicata (Rooting Toughshank) and Russula emetica (Sickener). I must add this area to my usual route.

Monday 12th October 2015

I played golf this morning with a partner who sometimes goes out with Liverpool Botanists. He is always interested when I point out the various fungi in the course. Not bad today as Leccinum scabrum (Birch Bolete) and versipelle (Ornage Birch Bolete) were growing together under some birch trees. He got stuck behind a newly planted ornamental tree and after playing his shot handed me a pale yellow Russula. I was as going to tell him it was Russula ochroleuca (Ochre Brittlegill) but it had a distinctive smell. So I took it home. It turned out to be Russula farinipes (no English name). First time I have seen one. Hard to believe that such a chance collection should turn out to be an uncommon species. Aleuria aurantia (orange Peel Fungus) has started to grow. Clearly getting nearer to winter.

Saturday 10th October 2015

Mutinus caninus © MykoGolfer

National Fungus Day and a training session and foray for The Biodiversity Society. I had to give a talk, show people how to use a microscope and then take them on a foray. I had five pupils. I took them to Clarke Gardens, a Liverpool Park that is one of the sites earmarked by Biodiversity. I go there quite often. This time I had six pairs of eyes. The difference was quite remarkable. I have a box full of unknown species and they found fungi in places I never normally look at. Find of the day so far is Mutinus caninus (Dog Stinkhorn). It is many years since I last saw one.

Thursday 8th October 2015

Nothing on my golf course this morning. I am giving a talk and foray on Saturday and was hoping that I could collect some specimens to take with me. This afternoon I popped up to the local golf course. Saved. Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) and a couple of Russula grisea (Oilslick Brittlegill). Some coming through so I left them to pick tomorrow. They are in the fridge so I hope they last. I did spot Lyophyllum decastes (Clustered Domecap) in some scrubby woodland. New for the site.

Tuesday 6th October 2015

Oudmansiella mucida © MykoGolfer Stump © MykoGolfer

I went with a colleague to Hulton Hall, Westhoughton, as we have been asked to do a mycological survey there. A private estate where few members of the public are allowed to enter. Lots of mature woodland, mainly Fagus but also some areas of Quercus. I was disappointed with what we found but beech is never a prolific habitat. Some nice Oudmansiella mucida (Porcelain Fungus) which is not common in this area but the rest were standard fare. There again, we were only having a look round and shall do a more detailed survey in a couple of weeks when, hopefully, there should be more fungi around. I did find a potential entry for stump of the year.

Monday 5th October 2015

Cystidia © MykoGolfer Psathyrella spadicea © MykoGolfer

I spent most of the morning trying to identify a Psathyrella (Brittlestem) from Ainsdale. It has a cystidia with crystals on the end which is unusual for this genus. I eventually homed in on Psathyrella spadicea (Chestnut Brittlestem). Not common and a first for the site. I also finished off the remaining specimens from Moore. Nothing too unusual. Parasola leiocephala, a tiny inkcap growing on bare soil. This evening a quick look round a local park produced Russula atropurpurea (Purple Brittlegill) growing under Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree) an uncommon host.

Sunday 4th October 2015

Geastrum triplex © MykoGolfer Macrolepiota procera © MykoGolfer Lycoperdon excipuliformis © MykoGolfer

A beginners' foray at Moore. Beautiful day. No beginners. Not one. So Paul and I set off alone. Lots of fungi but all the same species. The Site Ranger was kind enough to let us have the keys to all the gates so we could wander at will where the public could not. We spied some large Lycoperdon excipuliformis (Pestle Puffball) on one of the heathland sites. Investigating these we came upon some very large Macrolepiota procera (Parasol). One was 22cms wide (8Ĺ inches for Eurosceptics). If this was a public area I doubt It would have survived. Too big for my frying pan. Paul was happy that we had at last found Geastrum triplex (Collared Earthstar) on the site, after years of searching.

Saturday 3rd October 2015

My annual public foray at Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve. I thought it would be very dry, being a sandy site. The Reserve Manager wanted to take everyone out to the dunes and walk back. After a quick look round, I has found Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric), Paxillus involutus (Brown Rollrim), Leccinum scabrum (Brown Birch Bolete), some Russula, Lactarius, Hebeloma, Collybia. Everything you need for a public foray. So why make it difficult? I won the argument. We stayed close to the Manager's office and were rewarded with 45 identified species in two hours. Not bad seeing that I was the only person identifying them.

Thursday 1st October 2015

Back from holiday. I went out to get some elderberries so that I could make some wine. I found Hygrocybe virginea and Conocybe arrhenii. Nothing unusual but new for the site. It was very dry. I am taking a public foray at Ainsdale on Saturday. It might be hard work.

Saturday 19th September 2015

Last look before I go on holiday. Local golf course for half a hour. Ten species in this time, mostly hidden under nettles and brambles. Nothing unusual. Mycena adscendens (Frosty Bonnet), Marasmiellus vaillantii (Goblet Parachute), Leratiomyces ceres (Redhead Roundhead) to name a few. Also Boletus chrysenteron (Red Cracking Bolete) under Quercus ilex.The experts say it does not grow with Oak but it fits the description perfectly.

Friday 18th September 2015

Another curious find on a fallen branch in my local park. A white pinhead fungus. Under the microscope the pins look like a stalk of wheat with the spore bearing conidiophores at the top. It is called a Synnemata. The only fungus I can find that fits the bill is a Pachnocybe, the only white one being Pachnocybe albida. Not many records for it but they are so small and not many people would spot them. More research again.

Wednesday 16th September 2015

Golf. Things starting to show. Russula ochroleuca (Ochre Brittlegill), Amanita rubescens (Blusher) and a large patch of Gymnopus peronatus (Wood Woolyfoot).

Saturday 12th September 2015

A quick visit to my local park as I had not had a look at my favourite woodchipped flowerbed for a few weeks. Some large Agaricus under Cupressus proved to be interesting. Golden brown and scaly with a very thick stem, they bruised yellow which made me think they were A. xanthodermus (Yellow Stainers). But, the colour was too bright and they smelled of almonds. Back home under the microscope they keyed out a Agaricus lanipes. I have identified this uncommon species in the same area before. Nearby on the lawn under a Sweet Chestnut I found another golden brown Agaricus. Smaller, it also smelled of almonds. The spores were larger and it keyed out as Agaricus augustus (The Prince), an excellent edible. A strange grey furry resupinate has me fooled. It has long spores that have bristles on both ends. I think it is a Menispora but further research is needed.

Friday 11th September 2015

My local museum grounds has a small compact beech woodland which usually produces interesting species. Today I found two Boletus radicans (Rooting Bolete). Seems to becoming a regular.

Thursday 10th September 2015

A quick walk to my local golf club. Boletus chrysenteron (Red Cracking Bolete) under pine trees. A large patch of Agaricus xanthodermus (Yellow Stainer) amongst the nettles together with Lepiota cristata (Stinking Dapperling).

Sunday 6th September 2015

North West Fungus Group foray at Styal was well supported. Hard work in the morning but lots of finds later. Highlights identified on site were Boletus edulis (Penny Bun) and Cordyceps militaris (Scarlet Caterpillarclub) still attached to the larvae. About 70 finds in total. The final list will be published on the North West Fungus Group website as soon as I sort it out.

Friday 4th September 2015

A short walk along the drive to my local golf course to wind down the muscles after a morning digging on my allotment. Lots of Scleroderma bovista (Potato Earthball) under a Thuja (I think). The Agaricus bernardii (Salty Mushroom) beside the roadway. I have failed to identify this on previous occasions. I did not realise that the cap splits into deep cracks. I do now.

Thursday 3rd September 2015

One measly Lepiota cristata (Stinking Dapperling) from my golf club. At least it did not rain and we picked lots of plums behind the last green.

Wednesday 2nd September 2015

A visit to Hale Woods dodging the rain. Very disappointing. A couple of Russula grisea (Oilslick Brittlegill?) at one end of the woods, parazurea (Powdery Brittlegill) at the other end. Acres of brambles and nettles in between.

Saturday 29th August 2015

Cheilymenia theleboloides © MykoGolfer

To save waste on my allotment, I cut the ends from large plastic coke bottles. I stick the necks into the ground beside a chosen plant, courgette, and put in fertiliser and water. This year I used pelleted chicken manure. Having taken out the now finished plants, when I examined my water bottles, they had a solid cake of pellets in the bottom. But it was growing an Ascomycete. After much research, I believe I have identified it. Cheilymenia theleboloides. Most of the species in this Genus are to be found on horse and cow dung. This one is more of a generalist.

Monday 24th August 2015

Leucoagaricus leucothites © MykoGolfer

This came from a neighbour's garden growing in his flowerbed. Leucoagaricus leucothites (White Dapperling) :-                                                                                                                                         

Sunday 23rd August 2015

Psilocybe coprophila © MykoGolfer Mycena amicta © MykoGolfer

Mrs. MykoGolfer and I visited a friend in north Wales. She went off to play golf so I joined members of the Cheshire Group who were foraying at Hawarden Castle. We finished with about 70 species but it was hard work. It seems a bit slow this year, I suspect because everything is still so green and lush. Of interest to me was Mycena amicta (Coldfoot Bonnet) on pine litter that started turning a bluish colour after being picked. Some very large Boletus luridus (Lurid Bolete) on someone's lawn, Phaeolus schweinitzii (Dyer's Mazegill) and Skeletocutis amorphus (goes red on the underside). A number of species associated with cow dung including Psilocybe coprophila. Not species found in Liverpool due to lack of cattle.

Friday 21st August 2015

Orbilia auricolor © MykoGolfer Macrocystidia cucuminis © MykoGolfer

A quick scout round my local golf course. Things are looking up. Russula cyanoxantha, loads of Crepidotus mollis and Marasmiellus ramealis. Also an early Macrocystidia cucuminis that I though was a Mycena but the microscopic showed very large cystidia, hence the name. A nice Skeletocutis nivea under a log. A couple of Ascomycetes, one of which I have identified as Orbilia auricolor. A tiny yellowish pinhead species has got me fooled. I have all the microscopic bits but am no nearer an answer.

Monday 17th August 2015

A lot more Leccinum duriusculum (Slate Bolete) have popped up on the golf course. A lot of Populus tremulsa (Aspen) were planted when the course was built. Not a popular tree because it throws up lots of suckers. Good for Boletes though. Only one Calvatia gigantea (Giant Puffball) so far but the area they live in is subject to golf traffic so others may have been destroyed.

Sunday 16th August 2015

I visited Croxteth Hall which is only fifteen minutes away by car. I rarely visit, yet it is an ancient woodland. However, it is surrounded by housing and very popular. Everywhere is full of people and the area is well used. It should have lots of fungi but I have always struggled to find many. Today, I found Xerocomellus engelii, Agaricus sylvaticus (Blushing Wood Mushroom) and Inocybe sindonia. A poor return for two hours.

Friday 14th August 2015

A friend asked if I knew where to find sloes. Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn) is not a plant that is widely grown in suburbia. I knew of a large planting in my local nature reserve but it is young, not many sloes and, looking at the all the tracks through the undergrowth, I am not the only one who knows where they are. One of the Liverpool botanists advised me of a large thicket on the banks of the Mersey, close to the new Mersey Coastal Reserve set up by National Trust. I had a look. Lots of bushes, lots of sloes, no sign of competition. Some of the sloes were deformed, a condition caused by the fungus Taphrina pruni (Pocket Plum). No sign of the red rust being sought by Kew in the Lost & Found Project.

Wednesday 12th August 2015

Boletus pulverulentus © MykoGolfer

Golf today. Leccinum duriusculum (Slate Bolete) under the Populus tremula (Aspen). A bit late this year. On the way home, I popped into a local park to see if anything was growing. Under an Oak tree I found a small Boletus pulverulentus (Inkstain Bolete). Aptly named as the flesh turns bright blue as soon as it is cut. A first for me.

Sunday 9th August 2015

We held a foray at Clock Face Country Park, St. Helens. This was the site of a colliery, that was closed and the land replanted about twenty five years ago. Despite being young woodland, it produces a lot of fungi. Every one who attended remarked that they had seen more fungi in the first 15 minutes than they had all month. The site has broadleaf woodland, copses of Larch and Pine and a grassy heathland. Up to now, we have identified seven Russulas, five Boletes and a host of other species. Of interest so far is Leccinum cyanobasileucum on the heath. Looks like Leccinum scabrum (Brown Birch Bolete) but the flesh changes to red and blue. The other is Resinomycena saccharifera, a very tiny species that was growing on dead Phalaris arundinacea (Reed Canary Grass). We are still working on the finds. Full list on the NWFG website when the work is completed.

Tuesday 4th August 2015

We have a foray on Sunday so I popped out to see if there was anything about. Not too bad. Agaricus campestris (Field Mushroom) on a path at my allotment. Someone must have dropped some manure. A nearby park produced three Xerocomus poropsorus (Sepia Bolete), Russua fellea (Geranium Brittlecap) and Xerula radicata (Rooting Shank) in fifteen minutes. We should be fine on Sunday.

Monday 3rd August 2015

Handkea utriformis © MykoGolfer

As the weather forecast was so poor I went for a quick walk round Hale woods to see if anything was growing. Still a bit dry but I was hindered more by the thick lush undergrowth rather than the conditions. I did find lots of Marasmius rotula (Collared Parachute), a couple of Psathyrellas (Britletem) and Volvariella gloiocephala (Stubble Rosegill). I also found the rust, Puccinia behenis (Red Campion Rust). Most interesting was Handkea utriformis (Mosaic Puffball) growing on woodchip which I thought was an unusual place to find this grassland species.

Sunday 2nd August 2015

I noticed a powdery mildew on Nipplewort leaves at my allotment. Usually if you can identify the plant then you can identify the mildew. I checked my Ellis & Ellis, the bible of tiny fungi. It suggests Podosphaera fusca but there is an another, a Sphaerotheca species that has been recorded on this plant but only once. Reading University are offering to identify powdery mildews if you send them. So I sent it.

Tuesday 28th July 2015

Encouraged by my find of Xerula, following more rain, I paid a visit to the stream area of my local nature reserve. All I found were some Ascomycetes that I had found on my previous visit. I was checking photographs on Google and came across one that was perfect for Orbilia xanthostigma that I had identified. I then realised that it was my photo from last month. I did find a mildew on Enchanter's Nightshade, to add to the rust I found on the same plant species a couple of days earlier.

Monday 27th July 2015

I had a golf match today. After a couple of days of decent rain, some fungi had been tempted to show themselves. Panaeolina foenisecii (Brown Mottlegill) was everywhere. A lovely clump of Xerula radicata (Rooting Shank) had sprouted on one of the paths. I wish I had packed my camera. Unfortunately, they were too exposed to golf traffic to survive for long.

Saturday 25th July 2015

I managed to identify one of the Ascomycetes from my visit to the coast last week. It was Mollisia hydrophila which grows on Phragmites australis (Common Reed). The other one, an Orbilia, still avoids identification. Today, I popped into one of my local parks on the way back from a shopping trip. A small plant with white flowers was clearly supporting a rust. First identify the plant. After much searching through my botany books, I identified the plant as Circaea lutetiana (Enchanters Nightshade) and the rust as Pucciniastrum circaeae.

Thursday 23rd July 2015

Agrocybe pediades © MykoGolfer

I went to Formby to see if I could find the wintergreen rust Chrysomyxa pirolata where it was recorded in 1931. I think the area has changed considerably since 1931. No dunes but pinewood immediately adjoining the Red Squirrel Reserve. There had been a blowout of a couple of dunes so much of the area was covered in sand which was still on the move. I did not even find any wintergreen. There were lots of Agrocybe pediades (Common Fieldcap). On Saturday, when I visited Birkdale there were no Agrocybe, only Psathyrella ammophila. Today no Psathyrella. I am told that the dunes create localised ecosystems supporting different species depending on where you are.

Wednesday 22nd July 2015

Golf today. The only species seen was Polyporus squamosus (Dryad's Saddle) growing on the same Acer stump as it has for the past three years.

Saturday 18th July 2015

Another visit to the Ainsdale Coast, this time with Merseyside Naturalists. The area between Southport and Ainsdale is known as The Green Beach because the plants are reclaiming land from the sea (for a change). A number of rare pioneer plants have been identified but not much in the way of fungi yet I did find some Psathyrella ammophila They were growing in the strip of very low dune separating the sea from the slack area. It is an area that is frequently covered by high tides and very exposed. These Psathyrellas must be tough. Lots of Wintergreen but no sign of the Chrysomyxa rust on any of them. A couple of Ascomycetes on dead Reedmace stems but have not yet been able to identify them.

Tuesday 14th July 2015

An interesting find of a Conocybe at my allotment. It looks like Conocybe apala. Very fragile with a fragile white stem. The spores fit apala and it has a four spored basidia. However, it was not growing in grass but on bare soil. It was in a frame where I harden off young plants before planting outside. It is very close to a grass path and the area does have some grass weeds. But there are so many Conocybes and not much literature on some of them. I have not yet found an alternative with the same microscopic features so I shall stick with Conocybe apala (Milky Conecap). But there is a lingering doubt.

Friday 10th July 2015

I went back Ainsdale today. As it had rained for a couple of days, I thought some fungi might have grown. They had not. I finished up on the dunes along the Dune Path not far from where I visited last week. I came across one patch of wintergreen and found some more of the rust Chrysomyxa pirolata. It does not seem to be endangered at Ainsdale. Not having been out so far before, I had no idea where exactly I was. Luckily a man with a smartphone was passing so I accosted him and he gave me the Latitude/Longitude. So I can find it again if necessary.

Monday 6th July 2015

I received the following Email from Dr. Martyn Ainsworth at Kew - Thanks for the very nicely rusted and pressed Pyrola material, now duly confirmed as Chrysomyxa pirolata and nice to know that it can produce sori on the upper surfaces of leaves and on petioles too (although fewer of them). The specimens now preserved as K(M) 198768. Success.

Wednesday 1st July 2015

Orbilia delicatula © MykoGolfer

Another quick visit to the local Reserve on a scorching hot day. Too hot to stay in and the woods were refreshingly cooler. Still a bit of dampness in the ground, sufficient to encourage a couple of species. Nothing special. The ascomycetes, Tapesia fusca and Orbilia delicatula were common under fallen wood. The most interesting find was a resupinate polypore but it failed to shed any spores so I had to give up.

Tuesday 30th June 2015

Lasiosphaeria ovina © MykoGolfer

I packed my specimen of Wintergreen rust off to Kew. I hope I got it right. I then took a look at a large stand of Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn) that grows in a local Nature Reserve. A colleague in north Wales reports that all the trees there have been infected by Taphrina pruni which turns the berries into pocket plums. Useless for sloe gin. My trees seem fine although not carrying a lot of fruit. There was still a bit of moisture in the ground and the underside of a fallen branch produced a collection of the tiny Ascomycete, Lasiosphaeria ovina.

Saturday 27th June 2015

I joined the Liverpool Botanista at Knowsley Safari Park. Lots of Bee Orchids on waste ground. I have seen them on every outing. Must be their year. Not much in the way of fungi. Some very dried up Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster Mushroom) in the Moose enclosure. A few rust fungi on some grasses that I was only able to identify because the botanists could identify the grass species. I now know how to identify a Deschampsia (Hair Grass). I am learning bit by bit.

Thursday 18th June 2015

Tulostoma brumale © MykoGolfer Chrysomyxa pyrolata © MykoGolfer

I was asked by Kew Herbarium to look for a rust, Chrysomyxa pyrolata, that grows on Pyrola (Wintergreen). It was last found on Ainsdale & Birkdale Sandhills Reserve. So I decided to start there. Not being a botanist, I was struggling to identify Wintergreen. Luckily I met an entymologist who thought I was a botanist. Long story but he knew where to find some Wintergreen. Unfortunately it did not support any rust. However the same hillock did support a large colony of Tulostoma brumale (Winter Stalkball). After lunch, I moved to another section of the Reserve. On another hillock I found some Wintergreen that was definitely rusty. Macroscopally and microscopally, it fits the bill and is from the same area as previous records.

Monday 15th June 2015

Golf today. I found a lone Suillus grevillei (Larch Bolete). In twenty years this is the earliest record for my golf course. Also Agrocybe praecox (Spring Fieldcap) which is expected at this time of year. At least something is growing.

Sunday 14th June 2015

I got bored with the cricket on TV so went for a quick walk to a site that I knew would produce fungi, even in these drought conditions. The Eric Hardy Reserve is a ravine with a stream that is like a swamp when it rains. After two weeks of no rain, the stream has dried up so all the fallen wood that is normally submerged is now accessible. Mycena acicula and speirea were common. The fallen wood delivered Orbilia xanthostigma and Flagelloscypha minutissima, a second find this year. Also more Phanerochaete sordida. I was only there for thirty minutes. I must go back soon. On my way back home, walking through the adjacent park, I came across a large patch of Allium ursinum (Ransom). Only one leaf had a rust and it had aecial cups, so Puccinia sessilis.

Tuesday 9th June 2015

During my recent visit to Stockton's Wood, I collected a nondescript white resupinate from the underside of a fallen branch. It was the only thing I found. Being dry, it had to be soaked for a day before it was soft enough to take a sample for my microscope. Then another day on a glass slide to see if it would drop any spores. It had long pointed cystidia, some with a suggestion of crystals. It had short sausage shaped spores. My conclusion is Phanerochaete sordida. Described in the British Checklist as very common and widespread, it is only the second time that I have identified it. I probably would have overlooked it if there had been other fungi to collect.

Saturday 6th June

I joined Liverpool Botanists at Aughton in West Lancashire. Arable land so not much in the way of fungi but some interesting flowering plants. Calocybe gambosa (St Georges Mushroom) popped up on a dual carriageway and Phellinus pomaceus (Cushion Bracket) on a cherry tree in a garden. Nothing else, not even a rust fungus.

Friday 5th June 2015

I had a couple of hours to spare so went down to Stockton's Wood at Speke. The whole place was full of people playing Its A Knockout. Despite the blaring music I had a quick look round but all I found was a lone Pluteus cervinus (Deer Shield). Nothing at all under the fallen wood. Eventually the noise was too much so I hurriedly left.

Saturday 30th May 2015

Looking at the weather forecast, I took a walk to my local park before it rained. Not much about. Volvariella gloiocephala (Stubble Rosegill) in one of the flowerbeds and a Laetiporus sulphureus (Chicken of the Woods) on a Cherry instead of the usual host of Oak. I checked on my group of Geastrum striatum but there were only two old specimens left.

Thursday 28th May 2015

I played golf but we had to abandon the game due to torrential rain. Running back to the clubhouse, I spotted some Calocybe gambosa (St. Georges Mushroom). The first I have seen on the course this year. Usually there is a large ring to be found next to one of the teeing areas. It seems it has moved twenty yards north into a piece of peripheral woodland that I would not have visited if it had not rained.

Wednesday 27th May 2015

Ganoderma australe © MykoGolfer

For two years I have been waiting for spores from a Ganoderma growing on a dead Escallonia bush in my garden. When I first reported it to Kew, they requested a specimen as it was an unusual host. Because it was in a awkward position, I used the lid from a margarine tub to collect the spores that conveniently stuck to it. I was able to identify it as Ganoderma australe (Southern Bracket). I immediately told Kew. Now they say they do not want it. After all that waiting I am disappointed. At least I save on the postage.

Tuesday 26th May 2015

The sun came out. It was almost warm. I did not want to miss this so went for a walk to my local golf course. I had not been for a few weeks. It is now very overgrown. Grass seems to be having a good year. So there was noting much to see. I pulled up a few dead herbaceous stems and found Calloria neglecta and Leptosphaeria acuta. Nothing special. However, I had not previously recorded either species for the site.

Friday 22nd May 2015

Green Winged Orchid © MykoGolfer Agrocybe paludosa © MykoGolfer

I joined Liverpool Botanists at Altcar Rifle Range to look for orchids. Not usually open to the public (for obvious reasons), this is an SSSI because of the number of orchid species recorded. This evening there were a few Marsh Orchids but mainly Green Winged Orchids. At the last count over 25,000 of them. That is a lot of orchids. Not much in the way of fungi. The only species was Agrocybe paludosa. It is quite small with a ring on the stem. This is not a common Agrocybe but the wet marshy meadow is perfect for this species. I did manage a quick look round the outer dunes before going home and recorded over twenty Psathyrella ammophila in the sand.

Sunday 17th May 2015

Microbotryum violaceum © MykoGolfer Polyporus squamosus © MykoGolfer Flagelloscypha minutissima © MykoGolfer

North West Fungus Group foray at Beacon Park, Scarisbrick. The weather did not look promising. Cold, dry and windy. Our leader was not very optimistic. But many eyes soon started a reasonable collection and we finished up with about seventy species identified and a few more in boxes to take home. Not many gilled fungi as to be expected at this time of year. Plenty of smaller stuff under logs and branches. Highlight so far is Flagelloscypha minutissima, a very, very tiny white hairy fungus that looks like an Ascomycete. It was on Willowherb. I have found it before so was fairly certain of its identification at the time, now confirmed under a microscope.

Friday 15th May 2015

Just got back from Madrid. While walking through the Palace park I did see some fungi under some pine trees but it was up a hill and the temperature was 35degC. I left them where they were. I did like the mushrooms in garlic and paprika that I had for dinner.

Saturday 2nd May 2015

Interesting phone call from someone who is running a Bioblitz. Could I do fungi? Where? Southport coastal dunes. When? June 12th. I explained that the likelihood of finding fungi in sand dunes in June was nil. As a bioblitz is supposed to be the recording of all living species within a designated area there did not seem much point in looking for fungi. It was then suggested I could go along and talk to people about the life cycle of fungi? I declined this invitation.

Monday 27th April 2015

Lecidella elaeochroma © MykoGolfer Datronia mollis © MykoGolfer

When I went to Freshfield, I managed to break my camera. It had an ON button which was a bit sensiitive. It switched on accidentally. The lens came out in my bag and jammed. So I bought a new Nikon Coolpix S7000. It is small and neat and also will take a picture as close as 1 centimetre. I attach a picture I took of Datronia mollis at Dibbisdale on Sunday. It is much better than the old one. I also succeeded in identifying a lichen from on Sunday. It is Lecidella elaeochroma. I thought it was an Ascomycete but it had no asci. I do not usually bother with lichen. Fungi are difficult enough.

Saturday 25th April 2015

I joined the Liverpool Botanists at Dibbinsdale Nature Reserve. It is a very wet site, being a flood plain at the bottom of a steep gorge. After a week of scorching weather I hoped it might produce something. It proved to be disappointing. The only find was of Kuehneromyces mutabilis (Sheathed Woodtuft). Not much under the fallen wood although, the site looked a bit 'clean'. Most of the wood was too big to tackle or in the middle of the water. It rained heavily after lunch so, hopefully, things might begin to grow. I still have not seen St. George's Mushroom yet.

Tuesday 21st April 2015

Coprinopsis spelaiophila © MykoGolfer

Too hot and dry for gardening so I went for a walk in one of my local woods. I did not expect to find very much and was proved correct. A fallen branch with Lasiosphaeria ovina was all I found in a very dry woodland. Toward the end of my normal route is a hollowed trunk, where I found Coprinopsis spelaiophila in 2012. I always check just in case. Lo and behold there they were. Two fruitbodies growing inside the hollow toward the bottom. I took one which checked out microscopically. I could not get at them to take a photograph so have used the one from 2012.

Wednesday 15th April 2015

Pholiotina aporos © MykoGolfer

Golf this afternoon. My wife informed me about a patch of fungi in a flowerbed on the course. I followed the directions and found a large patch of Pholiotina (Conecaps). These had a ring on the stem. Not many choices at this time of year but they still had to be taken home for microscopic examination. I was surprised that they turned out to be Pholiotina aporas. Growing on mulch, I expected another species.

Sunday 12th April 2015

I had to lead a foray at Freshfield Dune Heath and Ainsdale on Sunday. The weather was horrendous. A howling gale to start. Then, just after lunch, it poured. We kept to the woods and made no attempt to reach the dunes. The results were quite good considering. Sixty species identified so far. One couple left early. On their way back to the carpark they found Disciotis venosa (Bleach Cup). So they came all the way back in the rain just to show us. This is a first for this site. We found a few Entolomas and Panaeolus but most of the finds were brackets, resupinates and tiny things under logs. A find of Hapalopilus nidulans (Cinnamon Bracket) was interesting because I had found one last week at another site, not having seen one for fifteen years. Could this be good year for this species?

Thursday 9th April 2015

Golf today. It has been hot and dry yet I found a very large Pluteus cervinus (Deer Shield) by the side of the first green. Hopefully, something will have grown by Sunday when I lead my foray.

Wednesday 8th April 2014

I went to Freshfield and Ainsdale to check out the route for my foray on Sunday. A bit too warm for such a long hike. Despite all the rain, it was very dry. No water in the slacks and not a Morel to be seen. Last year it was wellies only and the the Morels had drowned. I did not bother to foray, just a look round. I did spot some Clitocybe vermicularis, a rare specialty of Ainsdale. I have not seen any for two years so nice to see them back. I had a look under a couple of logs in passing and had no problem finding Ascomycetes. Hopefully the additional eyes on Sunday will turn up a few specimens.

Tuesday 7th April 2015

Paxina leucomelas © MykoGolfer Morels © MykoGolfer

A colleague has sent me some photos from a site in north Wales of some Morels and Paxina leucomelas, the latter being one I have never seen. I must ask him where it is, if he will tell me. So Spring is here. I hope we have some Morels at Ainsdale where we go on Sunday.

Monday 6th April 2015

Anthostomella spore © MykoGolfer Anthostomella rubicola © MykoGolfer

Thick fog this morning so I burned the remainder of the rubbish on my allotment. Then the sun came out and it was very warm. So I sowed my carrots and then went for a walk to my local golf course. I take the same walk at least once a week and look at the same fallen branches and twigs. There is always something new. Today in a quick half hour I collected Calloria neglecta (believe it or not, a first for this site). This was followed by Calycina conorum, a white disco on a fallen pine cone and Anthostomella rubicola on dead blackberry stems, a tiny back spot but with a very distinctive spore.

Saturday 4th April

Eriopezia caesia © MykoGolfer

I have identified one of my ascomycetes as Eriopezia caesia. Apparently common but new to me. The other one still has me fooled. It looks like the very common Polydesmia but the spores are half the size and the microscopic bits are the wrong shape. The nearest I have got is Parorbiliopsis minuta for which there are very few records. I can not find a decent photo of it on Google to back up the one in my book. I may need assistance.

Thursday 2nd April 2015

I went for a stroll round Stockton's Wood, a National Trust property. They had been out chopping things down and burning again. Why not use a Vacuum cleaner? A few bits and pieces were left. Hemimycena tortuosa {Dewdrop Bonnet) under some stacked logs. This is becoming a regular winter find with the water droplets on the cap and stem. Another nice find was Hapalopilus nidulans (Cinnamon Bracket} on a dead tree. Only the second time I have ever seen it. A few Ascomycetes to still identify.

Monday 30th March 2015

unknown fungus © MykoGolfer Eutypella scoparia © MykoGolfer

Played golf and came across a branch with small black fungi on it. Not having a knife with me, I had to stick a four foot long branch into my golf bag. My playing partners merely shook their heads. Back home I identified the fungus as Eutypella scoparia. However, on the branch I detected another fungus, so small, it is merely a suggestion. I could not recognise any asci but it has long spores. I have no idea what it is. Another one for the Mystery Folder.

Friday 27th March 2015

Mucronella calva © MykoGolfer Mucronella calva © MykoGolfer

I was going to join Merseyside Naturalists at Moore on Saturday but the weather forecast is so poor I decided to go today. I wanted to see if the mysterious purple resupinate fungus was still there. I hoped to have another go at identifying it. No luck. It had finished. It was a very nice day and the birds were all in song. Lots of birders looking for the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. No luck there either. And the Bitterns had gone. I turned over a log and came across a tiny white toothed fungus. Had me fooled. Brought it home and eventually identified it as Mucronella calva. New one for me. My photos are not the best but it is very small and hard to focus.

Saturday 21st March 2015

Hemimycena tortuosa © MykoGolfer

I visited Knowsley Triangle Country Park, a site I last visited thirteen years ago when I set up a foray for the rangers. Then it was very young, having been created on a major railway junction of The Cheshire Line, hence the triangle. Now it is mature and a site I must visit again. Mainly birch, I was surprised that I did not see any Birch Polypore or Stagshorn Xylaria. It is very damp woodland with a few ponds where I scared the toads who were very busy doing whatever toads do at this time of year. Lots of logpiles to turn over. I did not find a lot, the best being Mycenella tortuosa. Not always covered in slime but still identifiable from the snakelike hairs on the stem and narrow spores.

Tuesday 17th March 2015

Ceriporia purpurea © MykoGolfer

A quick walk over to my local golf course after an afternoon allotment digging. A couple of Ascomycetes that I am still struggling with. Most interesting was a resupinate polypore on a fallen branch, probably beech. It has allantoid (sausage spores) and when KOH is applied it quickly turns purplish. Using my just arrived Porois Fungi of Europe by Ryvarden, my determination is Ceriporia purpurea, a new one for me.

Monday 9th March 2015

I went for a bit of golf practice on my own. It gave me the chance to examine some of the fallen branches which is difficult to do when playing in a match. In reality, there are not very many as they get cleared away. I found only Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma. Not exciting except that I had never previously recorded it on my golf course. It is species number 400 which is not bad for a suburban course on old farmland.

Friday 6th March 2015

Waiting for my car service to be completed I went for a stroll in a nearby green space. I picked up a piece of pine branch and noticed what appeared to be an Ascomycete. Not having a magnifier or a knife I had to take the whole branch. The receptionist at the garage was a bit bemused. Preparing it for microscope, I noted it was tough and broke a cover slip. I had to use potassium hydroxide on it to soften it. It was clearly not an Ascomycete.The spores are like thick sausages, but it also has smaller round spores. My conclusion is Dacrymyces capitatus. Not one I had identified before. The books say rarely reported but I suspect it is overlooked.

Saturday 28th February 2015

Hemitrichia calyculus © MykoGolfer

A sunny spring morning so I went to Speke Hall to see if anything had started growing. Not a lot. Apart from a nice show of Sarcoscypha austiriaca (Scarlet Elf Cup), the few specimens I brought home were from under logs and fallen branches. Four Myxomycetes that I managed to identify for once. Two or three Ascomycetes, one of which is causing me a problem. It is either Hyaloscypha albohyalina or Hyaloscypha fuckelii. It depends on the length of the hairs which are quite small and I am struggling to isolate one in order to take a measurement. On the way out, I noticed that the Nation Trust volunteers were 'cleaning up' the woodland floor again. They will be laying carpet next.

Thursday 26th February 2015

orange lump © MykoGolfer

A day off from golf due to course maintenance so I visited one of my favoured woods at Hale Hall. It was a hard slog in the mud. Not a lot about but a couple of new species for the site. The first I identified as Rosellinia mammiformis. The members of this Genus look the same so it is down to what plant they are on, in this case Hedera (Ivy), then size and shape of spores. The other was Hypoxylon rubiginosum. All the other Ascomycetes I found were the common ones, Mollisia cinerea, Tapesia fusca and Polydesmia pruinosa. A couple of mysteries, one being an orange lump. It has spores but no other microscopic features that I could see. Is it a fungus?

Saturday 21st February 2015

The AGM of North West Fungu Group was held at Risley Moss today. I gave my foray report for last year, Professor Bruce Ing, our retiring President, gave an illustrated talk on his speciality subject, Myxomycetes (Slime Moulds). Then when lunch was being prepared, a young man entered, armed himself with a knife and threatened people. The police were called and he was arrested. We then went for a short walk round the Reserve. Found a few specimens (there are always lots of Sarcoscypha (Scarlet Elf Cups). It then hailed and sleeted, so I went home. All very exciting.

Friday 13th February 2015

Birch stump at Ainsdale © MykoGolfer Stump at Clarke Gardens © MykoGolfer

It has been very dry for a week. Even looking under logs and branches has been unrewarding. I have spent most of my evenings as an archivist, typing up the records of Pat and Len Livermore, who undertook frequent forays in the Gaitbarrows area. Laptop on knee in front of the TV, one eye on the typing and the other eye on the football. I am committed to seventy hours and have only reached halfway. My photographs of interesting stumps were accepted for publication in the Field Mycology magazine. International fame at last. I also managed to get some dried specimens off to Kew Herbarium. I have not heard from Kew so I hope they got there alright.

Tuesday 3rd February 2015

Henningsomyces candidus © MykoGolfer

Quite frosty but very sunny so the ground warmed up by lunchtime. I am having new windows fitted but the weather was too nice to miss. A small selection of polypores and crusts but nothing unusual until I tuned over a very rotten piece of old beech and noticed some very tiny white things. It was not until I put the piece of wood under my little microscope that I could see any shape to them. I had thought they would be Ascomycetes but was wrong. They are Henningsomyces candidus, a Basidiomycete. They are only 0.5mm or less so I was very lucky to see them. A new one for me. The photo is not too good but they are very tiny.

Saturday 31st January 2015

The weather is cold and very windy. I have not been able to get out. I have been busy archiving old hand written records from Gait Barrows Nature Reserve. They were collated by Pat and Len Livermore in the 1980s. The intention is to add them to the Fungal Records Database. It can get a bit dull after a time but I can do them while watching the football and racing on TV which helps. Arsenal versus Aston Villa tomorrow so I should get a good few finished.

Sunday 25th January 2015

Hypochnella violacea © MykoGolfer Illosporiopsis christiansenii © MykoGolfer

I have been a bit quiet recently but it changed on Sunday when I joined the Cheshire Group at Moore Nature Reserve. Lots of Ascomycetes. I brought home every colour variation of Mollisia cinerea. I managed to isolate Mollisia fusca and melaleuca but the rest looked the same under the microscope. One interesting find was of Chaetosphaeria cupulifera which looks like a common species but the spores gave it away. Another new to me was a pink one on lichen, Illosporiopsis christiansenii. We are still puzzled by an unusual purple cottony resupinate found under a log. I think it is Hypochnella violacea but have yet to convince my colleagues.

Thursday 15th January 2015

Still no snow so I took another walk to the park. I like looking for fungi at this time of year because, there being so few to collect, you have time to study species that would probably be discarded after an autumn foray. A couple of white cottony resupinates under logs were examined. At this time of year they are damp and usually producing spores. The first had distinctive smooth spores and I identified it as Hypochnicium eirksonii. The other one produced some unusually shaped brick like 'spores' that had me guessing. Another sample revealed some small spiny spores. After some research I found that Trechispora stevensonii produces an anamorph, a non sexual structure, that breaks into pieces. So both were present at the same time. Both species are common and widespread but I had never taken on the challenge of identifying them.

Tuesday 13th March 2015

Geastrum striatum © MykoGolfer

I went for a quick walk round my local park before the threatened snow arrives. Under some Cupressus leylandii I found a small patch of Geastrum striatum. I now have two local sites for this uncommon species. Both are under Cupressus so worth having a look if you have any in your area. I also brought back a few Ascomycetes that will keep me occupied for a couple of days.

Monday 12th January 2015

The sample that I cut from the cherry tree stump has finally produced some spores. They fit Phellinus pomaceus (Cushion Bracket), which is what I thought it would be. I probably found it some years ago on a roundabout immediately opposite the kiddies playground of a pub. I was too embarrassed to wade into the undergrowth to take a specimen.

Thursday 8th January 2015

Durella connivens © MykoGolfer

As the weather forecast for the weekend is dreadful, I took advantage of a sunny day to look round Speke Hall and the adjoining Stockton's Wood. Apart from a couple of common Mycenas, my finds were of ascomycetes growing on the debris from the trees. I struggled with a white hairy disc that I eventually identified as Hyaloscypha hyalina - no stem, pointed hairs. I also took home an orange cushion but when I looked at the piece of wood under a microscope, I saw that it supported a number of black discs that I had not seen. This was Durella connivens, new to me and, looking at the National database, not recorded very often. A bit of good luck.

Wednesday 7th January 2015

Bracket © MykoGolfer

Just my luck. I had to pop down the road to my local Tesco Express. Outside the door is the stump of an old cherry tree that was cut down. And growing on it is a bracket fungus. I sneaked down early this morning while no-one was around and cut a small piece off. Unfortunately there are no spores yet. There are no clamps on the hyphae which suggests it may be a Phellinus. I shall have to bide my time and wait for the right moment to take a sample. Yet another supermarket fungus.

Saturday 3rd January 2015

The manager of Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve sent me a couple of Tulostomas (Stalkballs) that he had found durng his travels round the various reserves on the Sefton Coast. He asked if I could identify them which I could. One was Tulostoma brumale (Winter Stalkball), the other being the much rarer Tulostoma melanocyclum (Scaly Stalkball). The former has a brownish stem, the latter reddish. There are microscopic differences which were also present. It was very interesting to have both species together and be able to compare them.

Friday 2nd January 2015

Physarum nutans © MykoGolfer

A sunny day but very windy. Not to be wasted, I went to one of my favourite woods on the banks of the Mersey. There it was very, very windy. Undeterred I found a good selection of common resupinates. New for the site, on a pile of conifer prunings, I found Panellus mitis (Elastic Oysterling) and Stereum sanguinolentum (Bleeding Conifer Crust). Unusual for these woods because there are only a couple of pine trees, probably ornamental plantings when the old hall was in use. I had quite a struggle to identify a Myxomycete (Slime Mould). I eventually settled on Physarum nutans for microscopic reasons. Not easy as there are two very similar species.

 

FUNGAL SNIPPETS from MYKOGOLFER for 2014

Monday 29th December 2014

Mollisia ligni © MykoGolfer

The snow has nearly gone. The local golf course was closed for play so I went for a wander to places normally out of bounds. Not much around but a good day for oysterlings. Crepidotus cesatii on a dead birch tree, Crepidotus epibryus on fallen twigs and Resupinatus applicatus (Smoked Oysterling) on the underside of a number of fallen branches. A few Ascomycetes, Mollisia ligni being a new find for me.

Saturday 27th December 2014

Hericium cirrhatum © MykoGolfer

The snow hit with a vengeance last night. I shall definitely stay at home and do some armchair foraying. A member of my Group sent me a picture of a splendid Hericium cirrhatum (Tiered Tooth) seen growing on a beech stump near Rochdale. I have found this a couple of times in my local parks but nothing near as spectacular as this specimen.

Friday 26th December 2014

Played a couple of holes of golf this morning. Still a few bits and pieces around including Pholiota gummosa (Stick Scalycap), one I had not found this year.

Wednesday 24th December 2014

The spore print from the supposed Lyophyllum that I picked yesterday was not right. I did not get enough to note a colour but the spores were ellipsoid and spiny. Looking at the specimens again, this time in sunshine, I just glimpsed a hint of mauve on the stem. I had to ask Mrs. MykoGolfer to confirm it. Yesterday was so dark and gloomy, especially when I picked them at about four o'clock, I could not see it. Even now it is not bright but the specimens are old and dry. The photo I took on my scanner just shows it. The answer is Lepista saeva (Wood Blewit).

Merry Christmas

Tuesday 23rd December 2014

Lepista saeva © MykoGolfer

I was driving past a Co-op supermarket and remembered I needed some bread. I parked my car beside a raised flowerbed. I saw some fungi in the old woodchip. But it was beside a bus stop where people were waiting. So I had to wait ten minutes for the bus to arrive and take them away before I could pick them. I did not want to look silly. They look like Lyophyllum decastes (Clustered Domecap) but I am waiting for a spore print before I can confirm. I shall consider writing a book about supermarket car park fungi. Buy one - get one free?

Monday 22nd December 2014

The additional pages to the book, Ascomycetes in Colour by Peter Thompson, arrived today. This page includes the Astrosphaeriella stellata that grows on my old bamboo canes at the allotment. I had recently sent a couple of samples to him so that he could take a photograph. Fame at last.

Saturday 20th December 2014

I popped into Tesco to buy my essential Christmas stocks. There is flowerbed right outside the main entrance that is heavily woodchipped. Last year I collected Gymnopus fuscopurpureus on this very same flowerbed. This year it i covered with a Clitocybe. Unfortunately the shop was busy and there were dozens of shoppers going in and out. So I had to leave them. Most annoying. Why did it not grow on the many other flowerbeds in the car park? Perhaps I could sneak round early tomorrow morning before the shop opens?

Friday 19th December 2014

I played golf today and was surprised by the number of fungi still around including Lactarius (Milkcaps) and Russulas (Brittlegills). I thought these species would have disappeared before now. I was playing in a competition so did not have time to examine them more closely. And the weather was a bit severe. I doubt there was anything new. Warmer weather is forecast so we might be foraying for a little while longer.

Wednesday 17th December 2014

I was asked to send a sample of my finds of Astrosphariella stellata, an Ascomycete that I found on my old bamboo canes, to Peter Thompson. He is going to add it to his recent book. I keep giving all my specimens away and I have not kept any for myself. Peter Thompson offered to return my specimens. Fungal etiquette. Then, Mrs. MykoGolfer said ''And what are you going to do with it?'' Point taken. I am about to send my last piece to Kew . Back to my allotment to see if I can find some more.

Monday 15th December 2014

Psilocybe inquilina © MykoGolfer

Some atrocious weather at the moment. The chances of finding a moment to get out have been limited. I found some very small brown fungi on soil last week that I could not identify. I found another group of them in litter this morning. It is brown with a brown stem, brown gills and brown spore print, although the spores under a microscope are more yellow. After a lot of research my conclusion is a Psilocybe and the only one I can find of this size and with the size of spores and cystidia is Psilocybe inqillina. New to me but now found twice in one week.

Thursday 11th December 2014

Astrosphaeriella stellata © MykoGolfer

Dodging the hail showers, I went up to my allotment to make sure the greenhouse was in one piece after the gales. OK. Fine. Having taken down my runner beans and stacked the bamboo cane supports, I checked to see they were secure. I noticed a small black fungi on one of the canes. The return of Astrosphaeriella stellata? Yes indeed. I contacted those who are interested in this species and ALL want a piece of this species. Peter Wilberforce, who first identified it, Peter Thompson to add to his Ascomycete book and Kew Herbarium. The only person who does not have a piece is me, the person who found it.

Monday 8th December 2014

I took a chance on a break in the weather for a quick walk to my local park. Despite the frost, there were still Russulas around, blennius and ochroleuca. A Melanoleuca has me foxed but a lot of them look the same. The larger spores and type of cystidia ruled out the common ones, the only one I could find that fitted all the microscopic features was Melanoleuca schumacheri but this is a Red Data species. There were lots of very small fungi in the undergrowth. I collected three. I have not managed to identify any of them. One looks like a tiny Collybia with very small white spores. I have looked at Micromphale brassicolens. I note that the genus has been changed to Gymnopus (Collybia). But I cannot get the microscopic features to fit. Frustration.

Thursday 4th December 2014

Churchyard fungus © MykoGolfer

People know I am interested in fungi and send me terrible photos, asking me to identify them. Here is the latest (one of the better ones) found in a churchyard. Looks like it is covered with confetti?

Monday 1st December 2014

I have been contacted by The Biodiverse Society, a partnership of various wildlife trusts, who are looking for volunteers to assist with surveying sites, recording wildlife and training people to do these things. Some of my regular sites are on their list so I met a couple of nice young ladies at Clarke Gardens in Liverpool, to discuss having a foray there next year. I took them round the site and showed them the proposed route. We collected a few fungi on the way round including Lyophyllum fumosum, which I eventually identified from the globose white spores. Only the second time I have seen this one. There was a good collection of species considering the date. So I agreed to assist as long as it does not impinge on all my other fungal commitments, or my golf, or my allotment, or my horseracing or my**********

Sunday 30th November 2014

Tulostomas melanocyclum © MykoGolfer

Another beautiful November day so I decided to take a look at Raven Meols Hills in Formby as I hope to run a foray there next year. It has a good mix of sand dunes, conifer, birch scrub and heathland. I did not expect to fill my collecting box within thirty minutes. Most of it came from the pinewoods. The dune heathland was very disappointing. I found a quiet spot in the dunes to eat my lunch. I noticed that I was sitting beside a patch of Tulostomas melanocyclum (Scaly Puffball). For years there was a patch of these at Ainsdale Nature Reserve but they have slowly disappeared, I suspect because visiting forayers keep digging them up to look at them. I shall record these but keep them a secret.

Wednesday 26th November 2014

Golf today. Still bits and pieces around. I counted a good number of Melanoleuca polioleuca (Common Cavalier) under a newly planted tree. The Mycena meliigina were still on the poplar tree but have been joined by another species. I did not have time to examine further. I also found Agaricus campestris (Field Mushroom) on one of the tees. One for breakfast.

Monday 24th November 2015

When I go to my allotment, I park my car opposite the gates to the local golf club. I often walk up the driveway to see if anything is growing. I was in luck. A couple of Lepista saeva (Field Blewit) in grass beside a Yew. This is not a common species in this area.

Sunday 23rd November 2014

stump with fungi © MykoGolfer Lactarius aspideus © MykoGolfer

I joined colleagues of the Cheshire Group at Ainsdale Sand Dunes Nature Reserve. It was a gorgeous day. We were tripping over fungi. Our first find was of a yellow milkcap with purple milk by a pond. I have identified it as Lactarius aspideus. Never seen it before. This was followed by a Lepiota that looks like Lepiota castanea except the spores are tiny. I did identify it as Lepiota langei but it appears this one has been split into two and given different names. So I have no idea what it is. Other highlights were Russula persicina, an Ainsdale speciality. Sand lovers Inocybe sindonia and Hygrocybe conicoides (Dune Waxcap) were found on the dune heath. We found ninety-three species with a few still to do in boxes. Not bad for November. One interesting birch stump had six different fungi growing on it.

Saturday 22nd November 2014

Geastrum triplex © MykoGolfer

Where I park my car outside my allotment, the householder has cleared the path of fallen leaves and piled them into the gutter. Within a week, two Geastrum triplex have grown right in the middle. That is what I call opportunism.

Friday 21st November 2014

Lycoperdon pyriforme © MykoGolfer

I joined colleagues at Dunham Massey, where we hope to negotiate with the National Trust to hold a foray there next year. It was cold and wet. There was a good number of fungi around. Nothing unusual regarding the larger fungi. We hoped to find some waxcaps on the main lawn but we only found Hygrocybe laeta (Heath Waxcap) and psittacina (Parrot Waxcap). There was a lot of fallen beech trees and branches that produced a variety of wood lovers including Peziza micropus, Rutstroemia firma (Brown Cup) and Lycoperdon pyriforme (Stump Puffball). The dead bracken produced Mycena pterigena (Ferny Bonnet). An interesting find that I thought would be a myxomycete turned out to be the anamorph state of Botryobasidium aureum. I could not find it in my books but eventually found it on the internet.

Wednesday 19th November 2014

Golf today. Still lots of fungi around. On a mossy trunk of a black poplar, I found some tiny brown Mycenas (Bonnets). There are a couple of common species that grow on this habitat but this was neither of them. It had large round spores, a very chubby four spored basidia and cystidia with large digital growths. My conclusion is Mycena meliigena. It is said to be rarely collected. But it is very small and difficult to extract the microscopic information. I had taken four gill specimens and destroyed the fungus before I got lucky and found the necessary bits. It was the only fungus I brought home otherwise I may not have got round to it.

Tuesday 18th November 2014

I did my talk this evening to the Liverpool Organic Gardeners. After finding a couple more specimens, I was able to take a good collection to the meeting. Unfortunately it clashed with England versus Scotland. Only one man and a a dozen ladies turned up. I am not sure if their organic gardening extended further than their own back gardens. I had to explain about fungi in general before reaching the examination of my specimens. I am not sure if this was of great interest. Certainly the meeting warmed up when the tea and biscuits turned up. Ah well.

Monday 17th November 2014

It poured last night. I decided to collect some of the specimens for my talk while it had stopped raining. Sadly, the condition of some of my targets had deteriorated after all the rain. I collected them anyway. Clitocybe nebularis (Clouded Funnel), Lepista flaccida (Tawny Funnel) safely boxed. I was fortunate to find some Armillaria (Honey Fungus) and some Aleuria aurantia (Orange Peel Fungus) so some good talking points. Hopefully they will survive until tomorrow evening. I must pop up to my golf course and hope that some Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) have survived. They were there last week.

Sunday 16th November 2014

Kew Herbarium did not seem to think much of the specimen of Ganoderma applanatum (Artist's Fungus) found on pine. They described it as immature. I admit it was a bit small but it was the only one we could get off the tree. And it is expensive sending large packages through the post. Undeterred, I joined a colleague back at Beacon Park to see if we could remove another, bigger one. Could we find the tree?. Not immediately. We scoured every pine wood we could remember for over two hours. The woods were full of fungi but our interest was not in foraying. We did find Hygrophorus hypothejus (Herald of Winter). Very apt. Also Flammulina velutipes (Velvet Shank) and Sarcomyxa serotina (Olive Oysterling) which I collected for my forthcoming talk. We had given up on the Ganoderma when, in the last pine wood, nearest to the car park, we found the tree. I had brought a saw so I was able to remove a large specimen. I hope Kew will be satisfied this time.

Friday 14th November 2014

Peter Thompson seems satisfied that the specimen on a bamboo cane that I sent him is Astrophaeriella stellata and may include it in his book. I was at my allotment this morning, looking for it without success. I did find some Resupinatus applicatus (Smoked Oysterling) on a cane. It seems to grow from the pith. I then took some rubbish to the recycling plant. It is very close to the Liverpool Garden Festival site so I had a quick walk round. The only species were growing along the pathsides in disturbed ground. Nothing at all in the woodland yet. Perhaps too early. There were hundreds of Lacymaria lacymabunda (Weeping Widow) and Coprinopsis atramentaria (Common Inkcap). Also lots of Lyophyllum decastes (Clustered Domecap) and, if my identification is correct, Lyophyllum fumosum. I relied on the microscopic features of the cap. It is a nice place to visit. A pity there is not much fungi.

Wednesday 12th November 2014

Not much on the golf course this morning but in the car park was a huge Aleuria aurantia (Orange Peel Fungus). I picked it in the hope it will last until I do my talk next week. This may not be necessary. When I went to my allotment this afternoon, on the hardcore entrance road, were dozens of them. As long as the delivery lorries do not run over them, I should have a good collection. I read that this species prefers stony ground although this is the first time I have found it in such a substrate.

Sunday 9th November 2014

A beautiful sunny day so I went for a stroll in some local parks. Lots of Clitocybe nebularis (Clouded Agaric). I came across five large rings. A stand of pine produced a couple of Gymnopilus penetrans (Common rustgill), not a species I have ever found locally. Mycena pura (Lilac Bonnet) appeared, another first. It is said to be very common. Not in my area. I collected a few Ascomycetes so back to my microscope to see if I can identify them.

Saturday 8th November 2014

Gymnopus fuscopurpurea © MykoGolfer

Having watched the Chelsea Liverpool match, I popped out to check on my local sites. In one of the parks, amongst a large group of waxcaps, Hygrocype laeta (Heath), psittacina (Parrot) and chlorophana (Golden). Under a monkey puzzle tree, I came across this nondescript fungus (see picture) with a brown cap, brown gills and brown stem. It had me fooled until I did a spore print. Surprisingly, it was white. I have identified it as Gymnopilus fuscopurpurea. Described as uncommon but spreading. I found it last year in a Tesco car park on woodchip.

Friday 7th November 2014

I have at last sent of all of my specimens to Kew and Peter Thompson. Nothing much at the golf course on Wednesday except for a very new Boletus edulis in yet another different area. The latest I have found before this year was 31st October but I do not go every day so there may have been later ones that I have missed. And it depends where I hit my golf ball. I am preparing for a talk I have agreed to give. I have reconnoitred my sites to see if there will be any fresh specimens. I should be able to produce Clitocybe nebularis (Clouded Agaric), Lepista flaccida (Common Funnel Cap), Hypholoma fasciculare (Sulphur Tuft). I just hope the weather stays warm and the Amanita Muscaria (Fly Agaric) and Paxillus involutus (Brown Rollrim) keep growing. And the mowers do not get them.

Monday 3rd November 2014

Golf this morning. Lovely sunshine. Lots of fungi showing. Dozens of Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) everywhere. The Clitocybe nebularis (Cloud Agaric) has spread out. Two new areas for Boletus edulis (Penny Bun). This species has spread out over the last couple of years. I wonder if the age of the trees, which were all planted about the same time, has an influence? I managed to identify Cortinarius hemitrichus (Frost Webcap) and Entoloma conferendum (Star Pinkgill) neither of which has been collected on this site for a few years.

Sunday 2nd November 2014

I was at my allotment when I noticed a small black fungus erupting from the rotting end of a bamboo cane on a neighbouring plot. Thinking it might be another example of Astrosphaeriella stellata, I cut the end off. I tried to get some microscopical evidence but only succeeded in breaking a few cover slips. Not really my forte. I therefore offered my speimens to Peter Thompson as I saw no point in me hacking away until there was nothing left and no result. He has agreed to look at it.

Thursday 30th October 2014

I got it wrong. The spore print from yesterday's find was not from an Entoloma at all. It turned out to be Mycena galopus var. nigra. I got over excited. In the meantime, I have managed to identify some of the Ascomycetes from my collection on Sunday. Hymenoscyphus herbarum and Orbilia auricolor. They are hard work to identify. For such small fungi, there is such a lot to look for. Both species are common.

Wednesday 29th October 2014

Schizophyllum amplum © MykoGolfer

An interesting day. My wife was hanging out the washing when she noticed a small black fungus on the lawn. I was called upon to identify it. My decision was Entoloma nitidum (Pine Pinkgill). It grows in boggy areas which is a good description for this bit of my garden. I then went to play golf. The first thing I found was a small piece of fallen wood with Schizophyllum amplum (Poplar Bells) growing on it. It was under willow but there is poplar nearby so difficult to say what the wood was from. Lots of Mycenas on the backs of the bunkers. They all were Mycena olivaceomarginata (Brownedge Bonnet). Also a large ring of Clitocybe rivulosa (Fools Funnel) under hornbeam.

Tuesday 28th October 2014

Lepiota boudieri © MykoGolfer

I am battling my way through the specimens on dead nettle stems with mixed results. For the second week running I have identified Leptosphaerea dololium on a dead nettle. Usually it is acuta but my specimens have only four segments in the spores. In future, all nettle stems will have to be checked. I got bored so went to my allotment. On my neighbours's plot I found two Lepiota boudieri (Girdled Dapperling). They smell very sweet and the microscopics confirm the identification but I have no idea why they are in an allotment garden. I found two in the adjoining allotment in 2012 which suggests that the fungus is spreading.

Monday 27th October 2014

Golf this morning. The extra hour makes it a bit easier to get up. Things starting to pop up in the warm weather. Quite a few Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) were showing and large group of Leccinum scabrum (Brown Birch Bolete). My best find was of Mycena speirea (Bark Bonnet), presumably growing from buried wood from the adjacent ash trees. Not unusual but a first for the site.

Sunday 26th October 2014

I joined the North West Fungus Group for their foray at Rostherne Mere, the deepest lake in Cheshire. It is privately owned by the water authorities and entry is restricted to permit holders. Lots of undisturbed woodland to look in. Also extensive reed beds and a couple of grazed fields. No full list yet but amongst the finds were some Tephrocybe on burnt ground, still to be identified. There was a lot of tiny species in the wet ground. On one small piece of twig, I found a Typhula, a Bisporella, a Mollisia, a Leptosphaeria and an extremely small Agaric. I also brought home a selection of nettle stems which have similar collections of fungi growing on them. These will keep me occupied for the rest of the week.

Saturday 25th October 2014

I read an article about a foray in a Welsh churchyard that produced a wealth of fungal species. So, I decided to take a look at a local Liverpool churchyard. Mind you, it is medieval. I only had time to spend fifteen minutes walking round the small graveyard. I found four waxcaps species, Cystoderma, Entoloma, Aanita, Galerina and Clavulinopsis. Nothing special but a varied selection. I must take time to take a closer look.

Thursday 23rd October 2014

Amanita citrina var. alba © MykoGolfer

I visited a couple of sites today, looking for specimens to dry for a talk I am booked for. Calderstones Park in Liverpool always has lots of Geastrum triplex so I collected a couple. I also found an unusual Pluteus cinerfofuscus. I thought it was Pluteus salicinus but I examined six gill sections and could not find any of the typical Pluteus horned cystidia. I then went to Speke Hall for some more bits and pieces and found a beautiful Amanita citrina var. alba (False Deathcap). It differs from the standard citrina as it does not have the yellowish veil remnants on the cap and has a smooth stem. I did not know there was a variety until I checked it at home.

Sunday 19th October 2014

Lepista panaeola © MykoGolfer Entoloma hebes © MykoGolfer

I was unable to get to my North West Fungus Group foray but having fulfilled my family commitments, I joined a colleague who was holding a public foray at Moore Nature Reserve. He was a bit overwhelmed when over forty people turned up. Thankfully the fungi have started to sprout and we found lots of species, over one hundred. Highlights were Lepista panaeola, growing in a very large ring in the same place as last year. Ossicaulis lignitalis (Mealy Oyster) growing in a hole in a birch trunk, Agrocybe erebia (Dark Fieldcap) and Entoloma hebes (Pimple Pinkgill). One that caused discussion was a Coprinellus growing on an orange ozonium. The spores matched Coprinellus micaceus but, at this time of year, it should be Coprinellus domesticus. This is why mycology is so interesting.

Thursday 16th October 2014

Geastrum striatum © MykoGolfer

I went out this afternoon. Things are starting to pop up. I came across a young couple who were foraging for edibles who said that they had found a large ring of Marasmius oreades. Unfortunately my arrival disappointed them because they were Hygrocybe laeta (Heath Waxcap). I then proceeded to mesmerise them with my knowledge of fungi. I probably saved them from an early death. I persuaded them into my favourite copse of conifers where we found forty or so Geastrum striatum (Striate Earthstar). I have never seen this many before. Hopefully, we will have two new members next year. Still alive I hope.

Tuesday 14th October 2014

An interesting day at my allotment. A day of tidying up before heavy digging begins. My first find was of Mycena olivaceomarginata. It has cystidia with thick digital growths, as does Mycena vitilis. But vitilis grows in woods. Mine was in grass. Taking down my runner bean frame, I was surprised to see Psilocybe cyanescens (Blueleg Brownie) was attached by mycellium to the base of one of the bamboo canes. Next, while clearing grass from my raspberry canes, I noticed a violet coloured film-like fungus on an old stem. After much research, my conclusion is Exidiopsis efffusa. This species is not previously recorded on raspberry. Another Exidiopsis is but it is described as white which mine is not. The microscopy fits effusa better.

Monday 13th October 2014

Golf today. It did not rain. Still nothing much around. A couple of Lacrymaria lacrymabunda (Weeping Widow) on a flowerbed. We did come across the most perfect Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) on the last hole. I wish I had packed a camera. As one of my non-mycology colleagues said - it was just a round ball on Saturday. So it was.

Saturday 11th October 2014

I joined colleagues at Dibbinsdale Nature Reserve to promote National Fungus Day. A disappointing turn out mainly of Reserve volunteers. Fortunately the recent rain brought a few fungi out but many species expected at this time of years were absent. There was enough of interest, including Stropharia aeruginosa (Verdigris Roundhead), Inocybe geophylla (White Fibrecap) and Rhodocollybia maculata (Spotted Toughshank). We managed to find a good number of Ascomycetes and Polypores so we were able to cover most fungal groups. Our audience seemed to enjoy themselves. Let us hope that they continue their iterest.

Friday 10th October 2014

Lasiosphaeria ovina © MykoGolfer

I am hosting a Nationa Fungus Day foray tomorrow so I had a look round one of my local woods to see what the prospects were like. Still not much but they are starting. A lot of Coprinopsis atramentaria (Common Inkcap) and Pholiota gummosa (Sticky Scalycap). I shall take some with me tomorrow just in case. An interesting group of Lasiosphaeria ovina on dead wood. I have only seen white ones before. These were grey and the hairs were very obvious. I thought I had found one of the other species but the spores confirmed ovina.

Thursday 9th October 2014

My colleagues have now returned from their weekend at Keswick. Despite the rain, they seem to have had a productive time. Seventeen different species of Hygrocybe (Waxcaps) from Latrigg Fell. That is a great deal more than we found at Moore on Sunday. I am not sure if we managed to find seventeen species. Dodging the heavy showers as usual, I managed to get to my allotment to pick some veg. I came across a fungus growing on the grass path. It had a greyish cap but did not ring a bell at the time. Under the microscope, the white spores were warty and the few cystidia I found were pointed some with encrustations. Clearly a Melanoleuca. I narrowed it down to Melanoleuca excissa (Smoky Cavalier) but the literature is not clear on a couple of similar species. It is a difficult genus on which to reach a confident conclusion.

Sunday 5th October 2014

Most of the North West Fungus Group went to Keswick for the weekend. I and a few colleagues held a foray at Moore in Cheshire. The rain came a little too late and it turned cold. The fungi were a little sparse but we found enough of interest. A new species for me was Phlebiella tulasnelloidea, a grey resupinate on a fallen branch. The corticiod fungi can be difficult to identify. Luckily this one has very distinctive round warty spores.

Sunday 28th September 2014

Today I led my annual public fungal walk for the rangers of Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve. According to the news this is the driest September for sixty five years. It was a struggle but we did manage to identify thirty five species. Nothing unusual, which is preferable when leading a public walk. It avoids the embarrassment of not being able to identify something. Rhodocollybia maculata (Foxy Spot) is not a common find on this site. Psilocybe cyanescens (Blueleg Brownie) also turned up.

Friday 26th September 2014

Just returned from my week in Switzerland. Very spectacular scenery but not many fungi. All I saw was an unknown Hebeloma (Poisonpie) and Pholiota squarrosa (Shaggy Scalycap). I did see some Pleurotus eryngii (King Oyster) on sale in a supermarket. I intended to buy some as I have never tasted them. Unfortunately I forgot. So I still do not know what they taste like.

Sunday 14th September 2014

Cortinarius alboviolaceus © MykoGolfer Cortinarius trivialis © MykoGolfer Tricholoma psammopus © MykoGolfer

I went to the North West Fungus Group foray at Clock Face Country Park near St. Helens. We found large patches of Lactarius pubescens (Bearded Milkcap). This species was growing just about everywhere a pine tree grew. Further along the path we came across a more colourful relative, Lactarius torminosus (Wooly Milkcap) and also Lactarius deliciosus (Saffron Milkcap). The boletes were also well represented by Suillus luteus (Slippery Jack), Suillus grevillei (Larch Bolete) and an uncommon Suillus viscidus (Sticky Bolete).The most interesting finds were of Cortinarius, a difficult genus to identify even with a microscope. Fortunately these had very clear distinguishing features, Cortinarius trivialis (Girdled Webcap) and Cortinarius alboviolaceus (Pearly Webcap). Also found was a very uncommon Tricholoma psammopus (Larch Knight) that has not previously been recorded locally. Considering that this former colliery land was only reclaimed in the late 1990s, we were surprised by the diversity and numbers of fungi that could be found. Sixty species identified on the day.

Friday 12th September 2014

Eutypella scoparia © MykoGolfer

I have spent days looking at a small Ascomycete found on a fallen branch at Ainsdale. It has projections like fingers. I have been carefully scraping the ends of the 'fingers' looking for spores. Nothing. My book shows a species, Eutypella scoparia, that looks just like my specimen. Reading the description, I discover that the spores are all kept in the base and that the 'fingers' are sterile. So I had been wasting my time. I then found the spores and asci.

Sunday 7th September 2014

Cortinarius uliginosus © MykoGolfer Bovista limosa © MykoGolfer

I led a foray for North West Fungus Group to Ainsdale Sand Dunes Nature Reserve. A joint effort with Mersyside Naturalists to honour a founding member and mycologist who died some years ago. We could have done with a bit more rain as, being sandy, it was a little dry. We did not find as much as usual but we identified about sixty on the day. Highlights were Amanita submembranacea on the dunes in the same spot as it was in 2005, Bovista limosa (Least Puffball), a tiny thing which is a specialty of this coast. Also Suillus collinitis (Weeping Bolete), a double for Suillus granulatus but it has pink in the stem base. Still battling through the little boxes. I actually succeeded in identifying a Cortinarius uliginosus (Marsh Webcap), found in a ditch. The other three Cortinarius have totally defeated me.

Friday 5th September 2014

Russula caerulea © MykoGolfer Lepiota boudieri © MykoGolfer Lyophyllum decastes © MykoGolfer

I spent most of the day picking my apples and pears. Then I gave most of them away. It was such a good year. I then decided I deserved a walk so I went to Speke Hall. Quiet now that the schools have gone back. I managed to access a boggy area that is usually too wet to access. A nice Lactarius blennius (Beech Milkcap), Lepiota boudieri (Girdled Dapperling), which I thought was a Cystoderma until I was able to look at the spores. New one for me. Three different Inocybes of which I have so far only managed to identify Inocybe mixtilis. An interesting white thing, that stained red, was in patches on the dried boggy area. No idea. Lots of Lyophyllum decastes (Clustered Domecap) in the kiddies adventure area. And some pretty Russula caerulea (Humpback Brittlegill). Not a bad couple of hours.

Thursday 4th September 2014

Played golf at Huyton this afternoon, just for a change. Lots of fungi about, in numbers rather than species, mainly under oak. Usual suspects. Paxillus involutus (Rollrim), Russula atropurpurea (Purple Brittlegill), Amanita rubescens (Blusher) in hundreds. One Inocybe caused me problems. I settled on Inocybe stellatospora (Wooly Fibrecap) but not with total confidence. The other species of interest was Gloeophyllum sepiarum (Conifer Mazegill) growing from wooden supports on the paths.

Monday 1st September 2014

The day got off to a bad start when I discovered I had a flat tyre. So no golf. Not all bad though. It just so happens that the local tyre fitters have their premises just down the road from Speke Hall. I was able to leave my car and go for a quick look round Stockton's Wood. The fungi were all standard species like Hebeloma crustiliniforme (Poisonpie), Lycoperdon perlatum (Common Puffball), Lactarius tabidus (Birch Milkcap) but each had produced a large number of fruiting bodies. A few species, although common, were new to my list for this wood although I do not often visit this part which is a good walk from the Hall and my usual parking place. Must go back soon for a closer look.

Friday 29th August 2014

Amanita lividopallescens © MykoGolfer

I played in a golf competition this morning. Not much time for fungi as it poured down and I was hitting the ball straight. I did have time to collect another four Boletus edulis (Penny Bun), one from a new area. They are branching out. A bit of news from our foray to Dibbinsdale on the 17th. A fairly large brownish fungi growing in grass has been identified as Amanita lividopallescens. It is to be sent to Geoffrey Kibby for confirmation. It was very deep rooted as I had to dig it out to get at the volva. Only 29 records on the National Database so a good find.

Thursday 28th August 2014

Grifola frondosa © MykoGolfer Gymnopilus junionius © MykoGolfer

Mrs. Myco was playing golf. The sun came out. I decided to use my National Trust membership and visit Errdig Hall, near Wrexham. A very impressive house. I did not intend to look for fungi but one always has an eye open. The woods were disappointing. I sometimes think that NT means National Tidy. I did find a very photogenic Gymnopilus junonius (Spectacular Rustgill or is it Happy Jim?) but not much else. It was such a nice day, I decided to go on to Chirk Castle. Impressive building, beautiful gardens but not much sign of fungi apart from Grifola frondosa (Hen of the Woods) on and around a fallen tree in the car park. Perhaps too early for these sites?

Wednesday 27th August 2014

Leccinum duriusculum © MykoGolfer

Big day today. I played golf. It did not rain. The fungi exploded. Loads of Leccinum duriusculum. Nearly every Aspen tree was surrounded. Lots of Amanita rubescens. I have never seen so many. Every Larch copse had Suillus grevillei. Leccium scabrum under the birch. AND I picked   1 KG of Boletus edulis which has now been sliced and put in the boiler cupboard to dry. The only other species of interest was a group of Pholiota gummosa, presumably on an old stump.

Tuesday 26th August 2014

Chlorophyllum brunneum © MykoGolfer Agaricus impudicus © MykoGolfer

After a muddy morning of harvesting and then pickling beetroot, when the sun eventually came out, I went for a quick walk round on of my local parks. There were fungi everywhere. I brought a boxful home. A couple of large ones, Agaricus impudicus and Chlorophyllum brunneum, both under Cupressus. A small (unfortunately) Boletus edulis (Penny Bun), three different Russulas, Parasola leiocephala and auricoma, which look quite different when seen together. The afternoon sun also brought out lots of parents and children so I had to curtail my effort. I shall go back when it rains.

Monday 25th August 2014

 © MykoGolfer

I took advantage of a break in the rain to visit my greenhouse and harvest some tomatoes. On the grass path, I found Mycena olivaceomarginata (Brownedge Bonnet). The English name is very accurate. The brown edge to the gills is very distinctive. I also found a patch of the poisonous Clitocybe rivulosa (Fools Funnel). This is early as all my previous records for this area are from October onwards.

Saturday 23rd August 2014

I agreed to take a public walk in support of a Bioblitz at Knowsley Safari Park. The Park has a woodland walk. The woodland is not very large, you can walk round in about ten minutes. Half is pine, the other half sycamore with a few oaks. Most of the ground is covered with bracken. Not promising. Unfortunately, I had to compete with the falconry show in the adjoining enclosure. When that ended only one person joined me for the walk. He was a very nice man and we found twenty species, the most exciting being one Macrolepiota procera (Parasol). It seems that fungi can not beat hawks and owls.

Friday 22nd August 2014

Laetiporus sulphureus © MykoGolfer Lepiota brebissonii © MykoGolfer

After a morning of picking and pickling green chilli peppers, I needed a breath of fresh air so I went to Speke Hall for a look round. The public was out in force so I visited the adjoining ancient woodland. My first find was of Lepiota brebissonii (Skullcap Dapperling), an uncommon woodland species. Most spectacular was a large group of Laetiporus sulphureus (Chicken of the Woods). Not an unusual fungi but this was growing on a living horse chestnut. There are only five records for this host on the National Database. That said this species is often found on unidentifiable trunks and stumps.

Thursday 21st August 2014

Leratiomyces ceres © MykoGolfer Xerocomellus porosporus © MykoGolfer

I have recently done so many forays for other people that I had a look round on my own at one of my favourite woods at Hale Hall. Never disappointed. My first find was of a couple of Melanoleuca verrucipes (Warty Cavalier). Not a bad start. In an hour, I had collected over 20 species without trying. Two Xercomellus species, one being X. engelii with orange spots at the stem base, the other was X. porosporus, a drab cap that cracks to show a white flesh. Gymnopus ocior is an unusual find for me. Prettiest was Leratiomyces ceres (Redlead Roundhead), a good specimen on some fallen bits of wood.

Sunday 17th August 2014

Pluteus chrysophaeus © MykoGolfer Pluteus salicinus © MykoGolfer

I went to the North West Fungus Group foray at Dibbinsdale Country Park at Wirral in Cheshire. Our debutante leader was concerned because she could not find much when she went to reconnoitre the site earlier in the week. However the joint effort found seventy-five species identified so far. Boletus edulis (Penny Bun), Pluteus chrysophaeus (Yellow Shield) and salicinus (Willow Shield), Megacollybia platyphylla (Whitelaced Shank), Lasiosphaeria ovina , Sceroderma cepa to name but a few. It was blowing a gale but we did manage to avoid the rain. It is over ten years since I forayed on this site. It is still as productive as ever.

Wednesday 13th August 2014

I led a public foray for Merseyside BioBank who organised a bioblitz. Unfortunately the morning started with an immense cloudburst. This seemed to have washed all the fungi away. The best find was of a large Agaricus augustus (The Prince) under conifer. After that only the usual common brackets and even they were hard to find. I think the audience was disappointed but it was not the messenger's fault. Then the sun came out and I played golf. Still lots of Leccinum duriusculum (Slate Bolete) and some Agaricus bitorquis (Pavement Mushroom). Then, on my way to the pub to wind down my day, I found Inocybe napipes (Bulbous Fibrecap) under a young beech tree. Busy day.

Monday 11th August 2014

Walking down the path to my allotment, I came across an Agaricus growing in the grass. It was Agaricus campestris (Field Mushroom). These are not so common in places where there are no horses. But on the allotment site, we buy a wagon load of horse manure from the local stables and members then barrow it along the paths. I had it for breakfast. Very nice.

Saturday 9th August 2014

I joined the Liverpool Botanists at Hightown on the Sefton Coast. They identify the plants which helps me identify any ascomycetes. Unfortunately, all the plants seemed to be in pristine condition. The only one I found was an inconclusive Alternaria on Soapwort. A few proper fungi, Lepiota erminea and Bovista plumbea (Grey Puffball) on the fixed dunes. I also found Claviceps purpurea (Ergot) on some oat grass which was of more interest to the botanists. For my part I was very interested in the finds of Isle of Man Cabbage, a rare coastal plant. Also lots of Marsh Samphire. Must look up some recipes and go back and pick some.

Sunday 3rd August 2014

I spent the morning picking peas and beans (and courgettes) on my allotment. After two days of heavy rain I went for a quick walk to see if anything had started to fruit. Not a lot. I was surprised by a large patch of Polyporus leptocephalus (Blackfoot Polypore) in a beech wood. Nearly every piece of fallen wood had a specimen on it. Poking about under some blackberry I spotted a Cyathus striatus (Fluted Birds Nest). Unusual for it to be on its own, unless I just did not see any others.

Friday 25th July 2014

After a week of scorching hot weather, I did not expect to find any fungi when I played golf this morning. I was wrong. Under an aspen tree, I found two patches of very healthy Leccinum duriusculum (Slate Bolete).

Monday 21st July 2014

My allotment neighbour asked me if I knew what was affecting his Monarda plants. They were obviously displaying a powdery mildew. I could not find any reference to Monarda in Ellis & Ellis. Research on the web showed it was part of the mint family but that did not help. Eventually I found a website that identified the mildew as Erysiphe cichoracearum, apparently a common problem with this flowering plant.

Sunday 20th July 2014

I have spent most of the week trying to, identify the fungi we found last Sunday. As expected the Inocybes proved to be difficult but we democratically decided on Inocybe curvipes. The Psathyrellas were unresolved as 'Little Brown Jobs' and the Cortinarius totally escaped recognition. The Melanoleuca cognata turned out to be Xerula radicata (Rooted Toughshank). The day did produce ninety confirmed species. Not bad for a park that was only created sixteen years ago. And in July.

Wednesday 16th July 2014

Golf. I am playing well so not much time for fungi. I did spot Polyporus squamosus (Dryad's Saddle) growing from a sycamore that had been pruned. The tree is still alive so it must be growing from the dead wood left after the pruning.

Sunday 13th July 2014

North West Fungus Group held a foray at a new site, Beacon Country Park in west Lancashire. Being our first foray we did not know what to expect as it has been very hot recently. We had an excellent day. So far 76 species identified with some more to look at in little boxes. An interesting find of Ganoderma applanatum (Artists' Fungus) on pine, a very uncommon host. Also of interest were Pluteus plautus (Satin Shield), Psathyrella leucotephra and Pholiota flammans (Flaming Scalycap).

Saturday 12th July 2014

Today I joined the Liverpool Botanists at Wigg Island, Runcorn. Situated in the middle of the River Mersey, I expected a wetter site but it proved to be very dry. Apart from various mildews on plants for which I have to thank the botanists for identifying, the only large fungus I saw was Psathyrella candolleana (Pale Brittlestem). The site of an old demolished ICI chemical plant, a lot of it is about to be included in the new Mersey Bridge project. It is a nice reserve but probably a bit too young for decent shows of fungi.

Wednesday 9th July 2014

Golf today. I was a bit wild so ended up in trees where I had not been before. There I found some Amanita fulva (Tawny Grisette). A little later on we came across some Lacrymaria lacrymabunda (Weeping Widow). Considering that the golf course has recently been prepared for a major competition, to find anything still growing is a bonus. Looks good for the future.

Saturday 5th July 2014

I joined the Merseyside Naturalists at Freshfield Dune Heath. Not much fungi about as it has been very dry and the area is sand based. A small woodland produced a couple of Amanita fulva (Tawny Grisette). I also found some Daldinia fissa on burnt gorse. After lunch we moved to Ainsdale to look for tiger beetles and Helleborines on the sand dunes. Both were found, this being the most northern site for the beetle. I was able to show my companions a large number of Psathyrella ammophila (Dune Brittlestem). None of them had previously seen fungi growing on sand dunes so I was able to extend their knowledge.

Thursday 3rd July 2014

Peronospora spores © MykoGolfer

Bad news on the allotment. My onions have been attacked by the aptly named Peronospora destructor (Onion Downy Mildew). I checked the spores which remind me of fruit on a branch.There is no chemical cure and all I can do is use the onions as quickly as possible and destroy the leaves. Looks like a lot of onion soup. -                                                                                                            

Wednesday 2nd July 2014

Ganoderma spp © MykoGolfer

Did a spot of gardening this morning. One of my bushes is dying. I noticed a bracket fungus starting to grow near the base. It looked to me like a Ganoderma. Not knowing what the bush is, I had to go down to the local Garden Centre. They tell me it is an Escallonia. Checking the National Database, I note that Heterobasidion annosum (Root Rot) has been found on this host. Could be. I shall have to wait and see how it develops. Unfortunately, the bush might fall over before that happens.

Saturday 28th June 2014

Merseyside Biobank held a bioblitz at Sudley Hall, Liverpool. An old merchant's house, now a museum, it has a small stand of beech that sometimes produces unusual specimens. However, it is a bit early in the year so I declined to run a foray for the public as I did not think we would find enough to justify public participation. I had a look round. It has been very dry and the current policy of minimum maintenance of the grassy areas made my search difficult. I only found seven species. Some old and dry Russula nigricans (Blackening Brittlegill), Russula fellea (Geranium Brittlegill) and Boletus erythropus were the only Agarics. The rest were the usual common species found on stumps. I was right to decline.

Friday 27th June 2014

Alternaria spores © MykoGolfer

I was at my allotment this morning and noticed that my Scarlet Pimpernel was showing a leaf fungus. I identified this last year as Alternaria anagallidis. I sent details to Kew but their view was that this species may not be host specific so they would not take my specimens. I managed to get some very good spores samples this time. It is definitely an Alternaria. If not Alternaria anagallidis, what could it be?

Thursday 26th June 2014

During my visit to Iceland I had an interesting conversation with my tour guide. She told me how plentiful are the fungi there. She picked them to eat. In particular some brown ones under birch. Her husband was sceptical when she cooked them for him but liked them. They had gills so were not boletes. She also told me that all the red ones under birch were edible and she also cooked them. I offered some cautionary advice but this was not accepted. I wish them both well.

Tuesday 24th June 2014

Russula nana © MykoGolfer

Just arrived home having been on holiday to Iceland. Not many fungi about. Lots of birds and flowers. I did manage to find Agrocybe pediades (Common Fieldcap). The only other one I found was a bright red Russula on short turf. Not a tree in sight. The only one that I can find that fits the description is Russula nana (Alpine Brittlegill). It grows in alpine meadows with alpine dwarf shrubs. Spot on. -                                                                                                            

Sunday 8th June 2014

Fomes fomentarius © MykoGolfer Scutellinia scutellata © MykoGolfer

The North West Fungus Group held a foray at Tandle Hill, Royton near Oldham. It has an extensive beech wood which is very wet and this kept us occupied for most of the morning. Because of the early date we were restricted to looking for the smaller fungi under logs and on branches. An interesting find of Flammulaster carpophilus (Powdercap?) on a beech cupule and dead wood. A collection of Scutellinia scutellata (Eyelash Fungus) on some stacked logs. Lots of myxomycetes (Slime Moulds) on the soggy deadwood. Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa was everywhere. Fifty species recorded so far. We ended with a spectacular display of Fomes fomentarius (Hoof Fungus) and Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster Fungus) on the same fallen tree.

Monday 2nd June 2014

Proper golf today. My first find was of Calvatia gigantea (Giant Puffball). It has grown on the same spot since 2010. How a fungus so large survives in such a heavily maintained environment is a mystery. A later find was of a group of Amanita excelsa var. spissa (Grey Spotted Amanita), smelling of radish. Again in the same place as previous years.

Sunday 1st June 2014

Mycena acicula © MykoGolfer

After a morning of planting cabbages and peas, I went for a quick walk round the local golf course to get my muscles working. The entrance to the course is directly opposite my allotment. I was fortunate to spot some very tiny Mycena acicula growing from the end of a fallen twig. First record for this site.

Friday 30th May 2014

Golf this morning. A few more early Amanita rubescens (Blusher) have appeared in a different area. I also found Agrocybe pediades (Common Fieldcap) growing on the top of a sand bunker. I wonder if they came with the sand?

Thursday 29th May 2014

Steminotopsis typhina © MykoGolfer

I popped out for an hour after it finally stopped raining. No gilled fungi to be seen so I had to resort to looking under logs and sticks. One ascomycete, Tapesia fusca and one myxomycete, Steminotopsis typhina, were all I had to show for my time.

Tuesday 27th May 2014

Periconia cookei © MykoGolfer

I visited one of my local woods. Unfortunately the warm and wet weather has encouraged plant growth and it was very overgrown. I found some piles of woodchip on which were growing Coprinopsis lagopus (Haresfoot Inkcap), Parasola auricoma (Humpback Inkcap) and Melanoleuca verrucipes (Warty Cavalier). My only other source was a single dead stem from Arctium minus (Burdock) on which I found Lachnum virgineum, Calpytella capula, Mollisia clavata and Periconia cookei. Not bad for one stem. I did not even see the Periconia until I looked at the stem under my microscope.

Monday 26th May 2014

Episphaeria fraxinola © MykoGolfer

I have been befuddled by a small fungus that I found on an old log a couple of days ago. It is a tiny hairy disc that looks like a Lachnum. But the spores are not typical. Then (after three days of research) I realised that I not found any asci so it could not be an Ascomycete (spore shooter). I eventually tracked it down to Episphaeria fraxinicola. Only twenty-five records on the National Database. It is very, very tiny so easily missed.

Wednesday 21st May 2014

Golf today and I played well so did not visit the trees at all. For the past couple of years, I have not found any Calocybe gambosum (St Georges Mushroom) on the course. They had grown in the same places for the past 15 years. Today, while waiting for my partners to play, I was walking along the side of a small copse where I have never before seen any species of fungi. And there they were. A large ring of Calocybe gambosa. There were also a number of Lycoperdon pratense (Meadow Puffball) growing on various teeing areas, where they like the very short grass. The tees are mown in the morning. How do they grow so quickly?

Tuesday 20th May 2014

Allotment today. Passing a nice crop of poppies on a neighbouring plot, I noted that some of the leaves were showing a few spots. The only fungus I can find is Entyloma fuscum, a smut, for which there are only four records on the National Database. I managed to photograph a spore but lost some others when I tried to improve the specimen on my slide. It looks right from the information I have gleaned from the Internet but I need to have another go. Fortunately there is plenty of material. I hope my neighbour does not decide to get his hoe out.

Monday 19th May 2014

Golf today. I was very surprised to find Amanita rubescens (The Blusher) in a small copse of pine and birch. This is the earliest by two weeks of any previous record that I or the North West Fungus Group has. Add this to the Leccinum I found in April and the Russula from Sunday, there may be a pattern of early fruiting emerging.

Tuesday 13th May 2014

Allotment today. I found a couple of Agrocybe praecox on a grass path.

Monday 12th May 2014

Passing the woodchip on my golf course, I noted that the Melanoleuca verrucipes numbers had increased to about fifty. Many of them are only a few centimetres across. The same shrubbery is also supporting the same number of Agrocybe rivulosa.

Sunday 11th May 2014

I led the North West Fungus Group foray to Carr Mill Dam. I chose the site because spring has been so dry for the past two years and there are lots of marshy areas where we always find fungi even at the height of summer. Of course this year it poured with rain and it was flooded. Also lots of Himalayan Balsam which is growing unchecked. We found a very early and slugeaten Russula gracillima (Slender Brittlegill) by the waterís edge. This is very early for any Russula. We identified fifty-three species. The most interesting was Cudoniella clavus var. grandis (Spring Pin). The dead Balsam stems did produce a few ascomycetes which we are still discussing.

Wednesday 7th May 2014

Last year my Golf Club removed some ancient Rhododendrons and replaced them with a shrubbery on which they spread copious amounts of wood chip. Today I recorded seven Melanoleuca verrucipes (Warty Cavalier). A new record for my golf course A couple of years ago this would have been regarded as a rarity. This fungus has benefitted from a warmer climate. The woodchip is home grown so it is not an introduced species. It got there by itself. It clearly likes very fresh wood chip so I doubt it will be there next year.

Friday 2nd May 2014

I have just returned home after a visit to Great Yarmouth. I walked along the coast and they have a wonderful expanse of coastal dune grassland. Unfortunately it was so cold that I did not venture too far. I ended up at Great Yarmouth Races where a woodchip bed produced the usual Coprinellus auricomus, Leratiomyces ceres (Redlead Roundhead) and Agrocybe putaminum. Am now back home. Warmth at last.

Saturday 26th April 2014

Calocybe gambosa © MykoGolfer

I joined the Liverpool Botanists for a walk through the woods at Runcorn. Runcorn is a new town. I have only ever seen it when driving along the many expressways that crisscross the area. I did not know that it is built through and around a large area of ancient woodland. So large an area that a pedometer carried by one of us registered 8.5 miles when we finished. It was a long walk. The botanists identify the plants which means I can then identify the various host specific rusts. Otherwise I would struggle. Not many fungi about but I was able to contribute Disciotis venosa (Bleach Cup), Calocybe gambosa (St. Georges Mushroom) and introduce them to the delights of the ascomycete, Lachnum virgineum (Snowy Disco) that they had previously though were a few spots until they looked at them the through my magnifier. In turn their identification of an Arum maculatum (Lords and Ladies) helped me to identify the uncommon Puccinia sessilis.

Wednesday 23rd April 2014

Leccinum scabrum © MykoGolfer

I played golf today and this one took me by surprise. Leccinum scabrum under a birch tree on the 23rd April. The earliest Leccinum I have ever recorded is of Leccinum variicolor, on the 25th May, on the same golf course. So this find is way off the scale :-                                                                                                                                                                                

Sunday 20th April 2014

Unknown © MykoGolfer

A colleague found some strangely shaped specimens that looked like a type of Morel but he could not identify them. He circulated the details to see if any of us could help. The size and shape of the spores confirmed a type of Morel. We reached the conclusion that they were large and misshapen Verpa conica. A request for assistance from Wild About Britain confirmed our deliberations.

Saturday 19th April 2014

Xylaria oxyacanthae © MykoGolfer

Someone took a photo of the Xylaria oxyacanthae from the foray on Sunday. Here it is :-                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Sunday 13th April 2014

Conocybe aporos © MykoGolfer Entoloma clypeatum © MykoGolfer

I led a foray for North West Fungus Group to Freshfield Dune Heath and then into Ainsdale Sand Hills Nature Reserve. Not a lot of gilled fungi, the best being Entoloma clypeatum, Conocybe parasola and Parasola leiocephala on Formby Golf Course. A rare Inocybe ochroalba was the highlight. It is a unique area and often produces rarities. Lots of Ascomycetes, so I shall be spending most of the week trying to identify them. An interesting find was of Xylaria oxyacanthae. It looks like Xylaria hypoxylon (Candlesnuff) and grows on buried hawthorn berries.

Friday 11th April 2014

I met up with some colleagues at Dibbinsdale Nature Reserve on the Wirral. We intend to hold a public foray on National Fungus Day in October so thought we should have a look and sort out details with the Ranger. This is a good fungi site that I have not visited for twenty years. It now looks very different but I managed to find my way round. Sadly we did not find much in the way of fungi at this time of year despite the fact that this is a wet site. Disappointing but I am sure that it will be productive when we hold our event.

Saturday 5th April 2014

Resupinatus applicatus © MykoGolfer

I spent this morning sowing peas and putting up nets for them to climb up. As I was sticking my bamboo cane supports into the ground, I noticed that one cane was sporting some fungi. I have not completed my examination but the signs so far indicate Resupinatus applicatus (Smoked Oysterling). It is very tiny. There is no mention on the National Database of this species growing on Bamboo. The cane is hollow and there is some soil (and a couple of worms) in the space but there is nothing else to support it. It also seems to be growing inside the cane.

Wednesday 2nd April 2014

Yesterday, while out walking on my local golf course, I found a couple of Psathyrella candolleana (Pale Brittlestem) growing under some Sycamore trees. It has to be checked microscopically to see the comparatively small spores and rounded cystidia. Today, while playing golf on my own course, I found a couple of Psathyrella, which, after microscopic examination, proved to be Psathyrella spadiceogrisea (Spring Brittlestem). It has slightly larger spores. They can be difficult to tell apart without a microscope.

Monday 31st March 2014

Too busy planting potatoes and sowing peas on my allotment to go foraying. Even golf takes a back seat this week. I did find a solitary Galerina clavata (a Bell) on one of the grass paths which is new for the site. It grows after heavy rain which fits perfectly.

Tuesday 25th March 2014

Disciotis venosa © Michael Valentine 2014

The North West Fungus Group held a foray at Spring Wood, Whalley, Lancashire on Sunday. Unfortunately, I could not attend but the foray leader has sent me a list of finds. Fifty one species were recorded. The highlight of the day was a collection of several Disciotis venosa (Bleach Cup). A first for the site. Being an excellent photographer, he sent me a photograph of the specimens. I have only seen this species once, in North Wales. I shall certainly be on the lookout in my local sites.

Monday 24th March 2014

Did a spot of gardening today. I was putting nets over my blackcurrants when I saw a Peziza growing on the bare soil. It proved difficult to identify because I could not find any spores. Not even in any of the asci. Without a spore I was stymied. Best guess is Peziza badia but it is not a species that I have found on my allotment before.

Thursday 20th March 2014

All quiet at the moment, probably because it has been dry for over a week. Rain today so hopefully things will pick up. I did come across a couple of Agaricus campestris (Field Mushroom) on the grass path at my allotment site. Nothing on the golf course but I am playing well at the moment so no excursions into the woods. I still have not identified the Ascomycete on my African Marigold stems. Now consigned to the Mysteries folder. I photographed everything so it may turn up on one of the specialist websites.

Sunday 16th March 2014

I visited my favourite wood at Hale Hall. It is all very dry. Only Coprinellus micaceus (Glisteneing Inkcap) and a very dry Laetiporus sulphureus (Chicken of the Woods) to be seen. Someone had removed all of my old dead trees that I had been nurturing for years. However, six mature tress had been blown over in the gales so I can start again. My most interesting find was in my back garden on the stem of a Tagetes (African Marigold). One of those tiny black specks had colonised the dead stems. It is an Ascomycete but I cannot find any reference to it in my books or the national database. I have added it to my Mystery file.

Wednesday 5th March 2014

There is a pile of pruned twigs and small branches in a hedge on my allotment site that has been slowly rotting down for a couple of years. I often pick through it as it is a good source for small Ascomycetes. Today I was surprised to see a large gilled fungus growing from the pile. I thought it would be a Pluteus but the spores are white and ornamented. The conclusion is a Melanoleuca (Cavalier). After 5 gill sections, I could not find a cystidia so I have recorded it as Melanoleuca melaleuca. The twig pile must have rotted down to form a sufficient soil base to support this specimen.

Thursday 27th February 2014

Propolis farinosa © MykoGolfer pine cone © MykoGolfer

I have been struggling to identify a small Ascomycete (spore shooter) that I found on a pine cone. I was checking the website forums on AscoFrance and noticed an article about a Pyrenomycete fungus living on an Ascomycete that looked just like my mystery. Further research showed my fungus to be Propolis farinosa. This is a common species but none of my books had it growing on pine. A check on the National Database revealed a number of examples on pine, including cones. I wonder why the books omitted this.

Tuesday 25th February 2014

Torula herbarum © MykoGolfer

Many years ago I bought one of the small Bresser microscopes from Lidl. It is useful because it has an overhead light so I can take photos of tiny Ascomycetes. But when I moved to Windows 7 and 8 the microscope camera would not work because the software was too old and I could not replace it or update it. A colleague told me about a download from a site run by Richard Shotbolt. It works fine. Better than the original. I found this black thing on Himalayan Balsam. It is Torula herbarum. Only two entries in FRDBI but I fancy it is very common as there are lots of pics on Google. The spores are taken with the camera. Not bad?

Saturday 22nd February 2014

Sarcoscypha austriaca © MykoGolfer

The Annual General meeting of the North West Fungus Group at Risley Moss is always followed by an informal walk around the Reserve. Lots of log piles that were very fruitful. It is mainly Birch and the first find was of the uncommon Ciboria betulae (Goblet). A colleague found another on an old Alder catkin that should be Ciboria caucas (Alder Goblet). Hemimycena tortuosa (Dewdrop Bonnet) was under many of the log piles. As usual, there was a lot of Sarcoscypha austriaca (Scarlet Elfcup). I await the results of other members with interest.

Wednesday 19th February 2014

Another nice day so I played golf. I was surprised to find another Earth Tongue. This time in the car park. It was Geoglossum cookeianum. That makes 2 different species this month. I also found Galerina graminea, another new species for the site. As I foresaw, I am struggling to identify many of the Ascomycetes from Ainsdale. One on a pine cone, I thought would be easy but no luck so far in my books.

Tuesday 18th February 2014

I took advantage of some beautiful weather to take a look at Freshfield Heath and Ainsdale Reserve. As you would expect after the high winds, there were lots of fallen trees, branches and debris. And it was very damp. I managed to get a good collection of Ascomycetes and a few Myxomycetes very quickly. Whether I manage to identify them all is another matter. The dead gorse on the heathland was particularly fruitful. There is a lot of cow and sheep dung but perhaps too fresh at the moment. A few basidiomycetes, Clitocybe fragrans (Fragrant Funnel), a nice Galerina clavata, Crepidotus luteolus (Yellow Oysterling) and mollis (Peeling Oysterling).

Sunday 16th February 2014

After the hurricane winds and heavy rain, I was able to get out to see if any promising trees and branches had been dislodged. I went to my local golf course where there is a very old Monkey Puzzle tree. I collect all the fallen bits from this tree in one place so that I can check to see if and when they support the growth of Hohenbuehelia cyphelliformis. The first thing I found was a freshly fallen branch from this tree. I knew it was fresh because I had been there only on Thursday to check. It was sporting three little specimens. As none of my branch collections have ever grown anything, I am tempted to conclude that this fungus grows on the attached dead branches before they fall rather than afterwards. Nothing much else around. The rain must have battered them into submission. All dead leaves, needles and twigs have been washed off the raised banks and there is a lot of erosion leaving some of the trees in a perilous position.

Monday 10th February 2014

No rain. Golf. A bit of early light frost. The warm, wet weather seems to have confused some fungi. An errant golf ball landed in a small copse of Silver Birch (Betula pendula). It was surrounded by Gymnopus dryophila (Russet Toughshank). During the early gales before Christmas, one of the Silver Birch trees snapped and the rest was sawn down. The resultant sawdust has been very quickly colonised by Tubaria furfuracea (Scurfy Twiglet).

Tuesday 4th February 2013

Phragmocephala atra © MykoGolfer Spores © MykoGolfer

I have been collecting lots and lots of discs, blobs and hairy things from various bits of dead and rotting wood. Half of them are common and easy to identify. The other half, despite having all the microscopic information, totally mystify me. I have been looking at Ascofrance.fr for inspiration only to find that there dozens of people who are just as confused as I am. I collected a dead nettle stem that had been colonised by what turned out to be the very common Leptosphaeria acuta. However, under under my microscope, I also noted some unseen tiny spikes that I thought would be young or old Leptosphaeria. But they had different spores and my Ellis & Ellis directed me to Endophragmia (now Phragmocephala) atra. Only fifty four entries on the Database so not seen very often.

Wednesday 29th January 2014

Geoglossum glutinosum © MykoGolfer

At last it stopped raining long enough to play golf. A bit rusty and I ended up in the trees. In a patch of moss I found Clitocybe fragrans (Fragrant Funnel). As I was picking it, I noticed a first for the Golf Course. Some Geoglossums (Earth Tongues). I have tentatively identified them as Geoglossum glutinosum from the size of the spores and other microscopic bits. Hopefully a more knowledgeable colleague, who wrote the Beginners Guide to Earth Tongues will confirm it.

Tuesday 28th January 2013

Too wet even for me to get out. Earlier in the year, I identified a find as Lepiota subincarnata. I had not seen one before and the books suggested that it was unlikely that I should find it in the shrubbery at my local park. With some help with literature from my colleagues, I decided that there was nothing else it could be. Having received the latest copy of Field Mycology, I was very pleased to see a featured article about it. It seems my local park should be the perfect place for it.

Wednesday 22nd January 2014

Still wet and warm. I went for a walk to see if the Geastrum striatum (Striate Earthstar) were still in the usual place as I could not find them at the end of last year. I did find them but it was hard work trying to spot them in the coniferous debris. Another find was Schizophyllum commune on a fallen Beech tree, only the third time I have ever found it in this area. The mossy areas beneath the Yew and Pine trees produced lots of Galerina vittiformis (Hairy Leg Bell) and Hygrocybe laeta (Heath Waxcap). Having carefully collected lots of very small Mycenas (Bonnets) from twigs, moss, logs, branches, whatever, they were all Mycena adscendens (frosty Bonnet). Very disappointing.

Saturday 18th January 2014

How long will this good weather last? Back to Speke Hall and the adjacent Stockton's Wood. Still a few Mycenas (Bonnets) about. Usually small and white. Usually Mycena adscendens (Frosty Bonnet). But I live in hope that something unusual will appear. That is the whole point of foraying. I am building a large dried collection of unknown Ascomycetes that I cannot find in any of my books. They are all photographed and measured so I am ready if something turns up. Like a Volutella that I waited for a year before I finally was able to identify it. But I got it eventually.

Wednesday 15th January 2013

Hemimycena tortuosa © MykoGolfer

I paid another visit to Speke Hall to do a bit of 'log rolling' in the ancient woodland. A few Ascomycetes were unearthed including Tapesia fusca and Polydesmia pruinosa. Best find was of the tiny Hemimycena tortuosa, identified from the water droplets on the stem and cap. This species likes living under logs so has to be searched for. Unfortunately the droplets had disappeared by the time I photographed it.

Monday 13th January 2014

Lasiosphaeria hirsuta © MykoGolfer

Another sunny day. Golf this morning. I was very surprised to find a Russula fragilis (Fragile Brittlegill) growing under the birches on one of the holes. I know it was not there on Friday so the fungi are confused by the continuing good weather. I noticed some black bits on a dead Ivy stem so took it home. I identified it as Lasiosphaeria hirsuta. Apparently common but a new one for the site.

Saturday 11th October 2014

Glorious weather again. I visited a wood that I did not look at last year. lt is usually full of dogs and kids and famous for 'male exhibitionists' so a difficult area to foray alone. It is on another of Liverpool's sandstone hills so it keeps warm in winter. I was surprised to find a Pluteus cervinus (Deer Shield) on a beech stump. The next stump was growing a mass of Melanotus horizontalis (Wood Oysterling). I remember when this species was new to the UK, having been introduced from Scandinavia and could be found on plywood bird boxes and the like. I once found it growing on my doormat. Now it grows wild.

Sunday 5th January 2014

I had intended to go to Ainsdale but the weather forecast advised staying away from the coast. I went to a wood at Speke Hall instead but only got an hour in before it started to pour with rain. Within a few minutes, I found three Mycenas (Bonnets) and Hypholoma fasciculare (SulphurTuft), the latter being totally absent from the wood I visited on Saturday. Strange how similar woods can be so close and yet one was devoid of gilled fungus. They are both mature Beech, Oak and Birch so you would expect similar fungi, especially as Speke Hall is exposed to the wind coming off the Mersey. It was cold. I also noted a lot of Cudoniella acicularis (Oak Pin). I must go back when the weather improves.

Saturday 4th January 2014

Resupinatus applicatus © MykoGolfer

No rain. No gales. Sunny day. So I went out to look at a local wood that I rarely visit. Not much around which is probably why I give it a miss. Yet it is full of old oak and beech trees with lots of fallen wood. Very disappointing. Interestingly, the fungus of the moment in all the sites I have recently visited is Resupinatus applicatus (Smoked Oysterling). Not one I have recorded often but in the past couple of weeks I have found it every time I have been out. Sadly, no sign of its hairy relation, Resupinatus trichotis.

 

FUNGAL SNIPPETS from MYKOGOLFER for 2013

Tuesday 31st December 2013

Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma © MykoGolfer

An interesting one to finish the year. I collected a small sliver of wood (about 3cms) on which I thought was the common fungus, Chaetosphaerella phaestroma, a very, very black Ascomycete that grows as a mass of little, hard balls on dead wood. I scraped a bit off to look at the spores but to my surprise, the spores were for another similar type of black fungus, Melannoma pulvis-pyrius, also common. Just to check, I scraped another area of my small sliver of wood. Too my surprise, this did have spores from the Chaetosphaerella. So, on one small piece of wood lived two fungi. I must check more often. Happy New Year.

Friday 27th December 2013

Crepidotus epibryus © MykoGolfer Bisporella sulfurina © MykoGolfer

The period between the gales was quite nice. I managed to visit a couple of my local sites. An interesting late find of Lepiota castanea (Chestnut Dapperling) that had been protected by a deep pile of leaves. The rest of my finds were of crust fungi or Ascomycetes growing on and under pieces of fallen timber. Bisporella sulfurina (a yellow Disco) grows on old Pyrenomycetes (usually small black fungi embedded into bark). I have found this on a Diatrype and an Eutypella this week. Another find under the leaves was of Crepidotus epibryus (an Oysterling). This one often grows from the dead leaves. It can be very tiny so not easy to spot.

Sunday 22nd December 2013

I went up to my allotment to check on my Brussels sprouts. We have a large entrance gate from the public road. The fenced entrance roadway is of crushed stone hardcore as we regularly have visits from delivery lorries. The entrance has a liberal but not deep, loose scattering of leaves and mast from a large Beech. I was surprised to see five Geatrum fimbriatum (Sessile Earthstar) in this Beech litter on the hardcore roadway. I have not found this earthstar in the area before. I am puzzled as to how they arrived and survived in this particular fungus unfriendly spot. It is a soil free area. The public road and footpath immediately outside have been covered with deep drifts of dead leaves for some weeks until the recent gales and the Council dispersed them last week. Did they grow with the dead leaves? Did they blow in? Very strange. They are not the only fungi that grow from this roadway. The odd Agaricus and Xerocomus force through the surface.

Wednesday 18th December 2013

One of the specimens I collected on Sunday was of a bracket growing on a tree stump. At the time, I thought it would be a Trametes but there was something about the pore structure that made me take it home. I have been waiting patiently for it to drop some spores. After placing it on wet paper a couple of times, it has finally produced. The spores are elliptical not long and thin. My identification is Cerrena unicolor. I have not knowingly seen this before. As it is very similar to a Trametes, I probably do not bother to collect as it would be a long job to examine every similar looking bracket in the hope that something different might turn up. The Checklist describes it as occasional. I must check more often.

Sunday 15th December 2013

Not being a Manchester United fan, I took advantage of the lunchtime weather to look at The Eric Hardy Nature Reserve. Usually it is flooded as the stream regularly overflows. But without appreciable rain for some weeks, it was not the usual morass. Lots of things still growing along the stream bottom which contains lots of soggy logs and branches. Lots of Mycenas (Bonnets), adscendens (Frosty), speirea (Bark), galopus var. nigra (Black Milking), luteoalba (Ivory) and arcangeliana (Angel). Inocybe geophylla var. lilacina (Lilac Fibrecap) in the same place that I found it last year at this time. I found some strange jellylike thing growing on rotten bark that I have not a clue what it is (if it is a fungus). Back in time to watch Liverpool on TV.

Saturday 14th December 2013

I had to take some composting material to my allotment. I was surprised to find a Conocybe rickenii on one of the paths. Under the microscope, the two spored basidia and skittle shaped cystidia abounded. The spores are very large so the eventual choice of species was not difficult. They like dung and rich soil of which there is plenty on an allotment site. I did not expect to find this so late in the year but it has been so mild.

Wednesday 11th December 2013

Golf today. There has been no rain so the grasscutters had been out and decimated everything. I did find a very large patch of Aleuria aurantia (Orange Peel Fungus). My golfing partners thought that someone had spilled a pot of paint on the ground. An errant golf shot landed under a Hawthorn where there was an old stump of something unknown. The two specimens I picked turned out to be Psathyrella spadiceogrisea (Spring Brittlestem). It does grow in autumn and the recent cold spell followed by very warm weather may have fooled it into growing out of season.

Monday 9th December 2013

Cordyceps militaris © MykoGolfer

A beautiful sunny day so I decided to go to my golf club and practise a few shots. Aiming toward a small newly planted tree, I noticed some fungi around the base. They turned out to be Cordyceps militaris (Scarlet Caterpillar Club). These grow on dead and buried moth pupae and caterpillars.There are six of them, quite small. I wonder if it was just one dead caterpillar or a mass grave. It is the first time I have found this species on my golf course.

Sunday 8th December 2013

After the battering from the stormy weather, I went for a wander to see if anything interesting had fallen from the trees. Along an avenue of elderly beech trees, I was surprised to find four species of Russula (Brittlegills) still in growing amongst the litter. The common Russula ochroleuca (Ochre) together with nigricans (Blackening), fellea (Geranium) and probabaly ionochlora (Oilsslick) but there was not a lot of this one left. I also found a Lacarius subdulcis (Mild Milkcap) in the same area. I did find a few sticks with bits and pieces on so something to research on dark nights.

Sunday 1st December 2013

Crepidotus epibryus © MykoGolfer

After finding Mycena capillaris last week, I have been searching through the leaf and plant litter for some more of the smaller fungi that grow at this time of year. With some success. Lots of Mycena adscendens (Frosty Bonnet) as one would expect. Also, Marasmius setosus (one of the Parachutes), growing on dead leaves. Another was Crepidotus epibryus (a small Oysterling) on small plant stems. One or two Myxomycetes (Slime Moulds) but I struggle to identify them.

Friday 29th November 2013

Mycena capillaris © MykoGolfer

Kicking over some wet leaves in the park, I noticed this small Mycena. Then I noticed hundreds of them. There are a number of different tiny white species of Mycena so impossible to identify them without using a microscope. Using a new key, I identified these as Mycena capillaris. They were on beech leaves so that met one of the criteria. The others are the shape of the spores and the type of cystidia (in this case the round heads with the little spikes on). I have found this new key to be very useful. But the slice of gill edge has to be so thin, almost invisible, otherwise it is difficult to find the cystidia. With my failing eyesight and shaking hand, I need about ten goes before I get the bit I need.

Wednesday 27th November 2013

Lecanidion atratum © MykoGolfer

A few bits and pieces on the golf course this morning. A group of Mycena galopus var. nigra (Black Milking Bonnet) under a Hornbeam tree. While waiting for my colleague to extricate himself from a copse of Poplar, I picked up a fallen branchlet and noticed some tiny black things poking through the rotten wood. Under the microscope, they were cushion like but overnight they dried to discs. From the large curved spores and a lot of help from my Ellis & Ellis, I determined that they were Lecanidion atratum. New one for me. Back home, parking my car, I saw a mucky looking fungus growing from the gap between the pavement and my front wall. It turned out to be Agaricus subperonatus.

Saturday 23rd November 2013

A nice crisp, frosty morning. I played golf. To my surprise, I came across a couple of Boletus edulis (Penny Bun) still in good condition. I did not expect them to continue so late and in such cold weather. So I made some mushroom soup and added them to it. They certainly add flavour to the supermarket ones.

Friday 22nd November 2013

Have received a response from Kew regarding my offer of specimens. Kew would like me to send the Sowerbyella radiculata. They have recommended that I throw the Paxillus obscurosporus away because they have no-one to work on it. I am pleased about this as it was going mouldy and flies were emerging from the airing cupboard.

Thursday 21st November 2013

As the person in charge of next years foray programme, I like to check out the directions to new foray sites to make sure that they are easy to follow. I know how to get to the sites that I frequent but it is a different matter to instruct someone else how to get there. Today, I went to Beacon Hill Country Park, Upholland. A very awkward place to get to, especially if a bus is stopped in front of the ornamental clock you have to turn left at. Having successfully sorted that one out, I moved to find Clock Face Colliery Country Park. Much easier to find and give directions. I had time for a quick walk round and was surprised at the amount of fungi still growing. I collected about thirty in twenty minutes. Most of it the same as those we identified last month but I did add a few to the site list. I am looking forward to foraying this site next year.

Sunday 17th November 2013

Trying to have a look at my local sites before the cold weather hits. This time, Otterspool Park. An interesting place. It was once the base for the Mersey fishery being the best salmon river in the area and good for sturgeon. That was the 18th century. Hard to believe now. Not much about but the park is a ravine from an old stream and is very steep and difficult to access when wet and muddy. My only decent find was of Schizophyllum amplum on a fallen aspen. It is not supposed to be common but I have now found it three years in a row on different sites. The fungus is not very big, looks like an old Auricularia (Jelly Ear) and dehydrates quickly. Easily missed. Kew tell me that it should be common on west coast maritime poplars and they could be right.

Saturday 16th November 2013

Bolbitius reticulatus © MykoGolfer Rosellinia aquila © MykoGolfer

Still working on Friday's collection. I thought I had collected Lasiosphaeria ovina but when I looked under my microscope, the spores were wrong. It turned out to be Rosellinia aquila that had been colonised by another fungus, Calcarisporium arbuscula. Had me fooled a while. I did manage to take a photo of the Bolbitius reticulatus, which I had dangling in water while waiting for a spore print. It shows the lined cap very clearly.

Friday 15th November 2013

Went for a mooch round Hale Hall before the weather gets cold. I found a nice group of Lepista saeva (Wood Blewit). This is the only local site that I find this species. It was not until I got home that I was able to identify most of my finds. A large standing dead trunk produced some Ossicaulis lignitalis (Mealy Oyster) but it was a tiny nondescript specimen with a slimy cap that caused me problems. It had a red-brown spore print. It was Mycokey that pointed me to a Bolbitius but it did not match anything in my books. It turned out to be Bolbitius reticulatus but it did not have a deeply reticulated cap as shown in my books. It appears that the cap is usually just lined. If I had known what it was I would have taken a photo but it was too late after I had cut it up. Apparently it is another southern species moving north.

Wednesday 13th November 2013

Played golf today. Still plenty of fungi about. Apart from Aleuria aurantia (Orange Peel Fungus), nothing new. However, under a small stand of birch, I found five Hygrophoropsis aurantia (False Chanterelle). Last week, I found one under a hornbeam. According to the British Checklist, this should grow with conifer. A major publication says it is rarely outside forests. I can inform these authorities that it happily grows on a parkland golf course with not a conifer in sight.

Monday 11th November 2013

I sent Geoffrey Kibby a photo of the Paxillus obscuruporus (Rollrim) as he published a Key for this Genus in 2004 in Field Mycology. The colour of the spore print is said to be wine red/brownish but I was unclear what that meant. The spore print did not look anything like the wine stains on my tablecloth. He confirmed that my find was definitely Paxillus obscurosporus and that the colour should be reddish brown and not the usual yellow brown of a Rollrim. The colour is shown in a later edition of the magazine describing a Paxillus vernalis .Fortunately, I had that copy and confirmed the colour against that of the piece of A4 on which the fungus currently sits. I only hope all the maggots vacate soon.

Sunday 10th November 2013

I stayed in today. Despite the lovely weather, I just had to finish the microscope work on my finds of the past few days, particularly the Mycenas (Bonnets). I had collected Mycena flavescens, galopus (Milking), olivaceomarginata (Brownedge) and sanguinolenta (Bleeding). Also Russula rosea (Rosy Brittlegill). All in all, I had a good week.

Saturday 9th November 2013

Sowerbyella radicatum © MykoGolfer

Avoiding the heavy showers, I went to see if Geastrum striatum still grew in the small pine copse at one of my local parks. I could not find it but came across what, I thought, was a Peziza. However, It had a stalk. Back at the ranch, the microscope showed that it had large ornamented spores, so not Peziza nor Otidea. It was Sowerbyella radicatum. New to me. This small copse has produced some very interesting fungi.

Friday 8th November 2013

Paxillus obscurosporus © MykoGolfer

Just a normal day. Down to the pharmacist for my prescription. Instead of waiting, I have a look along the central reservation of the dual carriageway. Who wants to stay in the shop? Entoloma conferendum (Star Pinkgill) and Hebeloma sinapizans (Bitter Poisonpie). As I drove home, passing the Juniors' School, immediately outside the gates, I saw a large fungus. In the pouring rain, while no-one was watching, I sneaked out and snaffled it. It was a giant Paxillus, 280 millimeteres across. There is only one in the keys that grows so large, Paxillus obscurosporus. I have offered it to Kew but I shall have to send it by parcel post.

Thursday 7th November 2013

After digging over my allotment this morning, I went for a walk to my local golf course to straighten my back out. There were lots of fungi about. Perhaps the season is getting longer? A lot of species I expected and recorded before But I had a lot of first finds for the site. Boletus badius (Bay Bolete) under beech, Lacrymaria lacymabunda (Weeping Widow), Rhodocollybia distorta, Tubaria dispersa (this has no recognised name but as it grows on mummified hawthorn berries - Hawthorm Twiglet?). A lot of Mycenas (Bonnets). I identified some, Mycena pura (Lilac Bonnet) and Mycena abramsii, probably always there but identified for the first time.

Wednesday 6th November 2013

Gymnopus fuscopupreus © MykoGolfer

I went shopping at Tesco yesterday. The car park has a few miserable patches of shrubbery with old woodchip mulch on them. I managed to spot Lepiota cristata and Melanoleucha excissa. Then some small brown jobs which I thought would be Psilocybe cyanescens (Blueleg Brownies). These were directly outside the main entrance but at risk of personal ridicule, I managed to pick some. Despite having brown gills, the spores are white. After some microscope work, I identified the species as Gymnopus (ex Collybia) fuscopupureus. Described in the Checklist as previously a rarity but now commoner, particularly in southern England. As I have found a number of 'southern' fungi in Liverpool over the last couple of years, its presence is not a surprise. There is still a doubt about its identification because it should react green with KOH. It may be an American import, Collybia bicornis. One to look out for next time you go shopping.

Tuesday 5th November 2013

Kew have asked that I send them my specimens of Tephrocybe impexa, found on a bonfire site at Speke Hall. Also my bits of Scarlet Pimpernel with the Alternaria angallidis on the leaves. I have dried it and it looks a bit like tea leaves. I have sent them a copy of my photos as well so that they know what they looked like when I found them. In the post.

Monday 4th November 2013

Leccinum aurantiacum © MykoGolfer

Golf this morning After the heavy rain of Sunday, there was not a lot of smaller fungi about. Another Boletus edulis (Penny Bun) for the pot. A patch of Leccinum aurantiacum, under Aspen. The first of the orange capped Boletes of this year. An attractive foxy red cap with dark brown squamules on the stem, the flesh turns black when cut. A few of the poisonous Clitocybe rivulosa (Fools Funnel) and a large patch of Clavulina rugosa (Wrinkled Club). Both have been growing under the same Hornbeam tree for many years.

Sunday 3rd November 2013

It pored with rain and hail for most of the morning. I had to go out to buy some new Wellingtons. As it stopped raining for a brief period I popped into my local golf course to see if my stack of Monkey Puzzle branches had produced anything. They had. Looks like more Hohenbuehelia cyphelliformis, though very soggy. I shall wait until the weather picks up and them pick them up. I did not need to see a ring of Lepista Nuda (Wood Blewit) to tell me that winter had arrived.

Thursday 31st October 2013

Inocybe mixtilis © MykoGolfer

Golf today. First find was of Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca (False Chanterelle) under a newly planted pine. Did the fungus come with the tree? The same small pine also produced two Boletus edulis (Penny Bun). But as the pine is planted close to a birch that produced a further four Penny Buns, it is difficult to say which tree they are associated with. The birch has been supporting the Boletes for many years. My surprise was finding another Boletus edulis under a mature Hornbeam with not a Birch within a hundred yards. A total of 1.25 kilos of edible goodies. I do not win that much playing golf. My best find was of Inocybe mixtilis beside some Poplars. Not a common Inocybe and very similar to Inocybe praetervisa but is smaller at only 2 cms and with much smaller spores.

Wednesday 30th October 2013

Having spent most of the morning looking through my microscope at the remnants of Sunday's foray, I popped out for a quick hunt round the grounds of a merchant's house, now a museum. There is a moderate sized lawn which was alive with fungi. Hygrocybe virginea (Snowy Waxcap), Hebeloma leucosarx , Entoloma sericium (Silky Pinkgill), Leratiomyces ceres (Redleg Roundhead), Cystoderma ammianthinum (Earthy Powdercap), and Clavulinopsis helvola (Yellow Club). Collecting was a bit awkward as people kept looking out of the windows to see what I was doing. The beech wood was quieter and I found Flammulaster carpophilus in the litter. I thought they were Marasmius but the gill colour was wrong.

Sunday 27th October 2013

I led my North West Fungus Group foray to Ainsdale Nature Reserve. After an early shower, the weather was perfect if a little windy. We joined with Merseyside Naturalists in a tribute to Ken Jordan, sadly now deceased. It was Ken who encouraged mycology on Merseyside and this was his favourite site. After a couple of days on my microscope, I have identified over ninety species. Most have been recorded before, as one would expect for a site that has so far yielded almost one thousand species. It always produces something new. This time Pholiota flammans (Flaming Scalycap), Mycena hiemalis and Mycena olida (Rancid Bonnet), two very tiny bonnets that grow on mossy bark. Tricholoma scalpturatum (Yellowing Knight) was also identified. Having never seen before, this is the third site I have recorded it for this year.

Friday 25th October 2013

Entoloma longistriatum v sarcitulum © MykoGolfer

I was invited to Knowsley Safari Park to look at their woodland as they have a Woodland Walk for families. They want to add a bit of interest to the experience. I was a tad disappointed. Mixed woodland. Lots of fungi but all the same. The only one of interest, that fooled me at the time, was Entoloma longistriatum var. sarcitulum. Took a bit of sorting out but I got there in the end. The animal keepers are particularly worried about their charges eating poisonous fungi. They remove all Amanita muscaria because of its reputation. I was given a full tour of the Safari Park to see if I could see anything of danger. I have offered to be their consultant on such matters. Is their a Mycena hyena?

Thursday 24th October 2013

At last my golf course has come to life. I came home with a few I had not seen on the site for a couple of years and then not very often. Russula vesca (Baretoothed Brittlegill) appeared for only the second time since I have been interested in fungi. Russula aeruginea (Green Brittlegill) and exalbicans (Bleached Brittlegill), the latter being almost completely white and under, unusually, a recently planted Oak. Neither is common on this site. Also Rugosomyces carneus (Pink Domecap) and Entoloma sericeum (Silky Pinkgill), both in short grass on the tees. Because of the rain, the mowers have not been out so often allowing the fungi to grow in places that are intensively maintained.

Tuesday 22nd October 2013

unknown fungus © MykoGolfer

I did my public foray at The National Wildflower Centre. Quite a number of children turned up and they were all very interested, particularly the girls. Lots of very good questions which I was fortunately able to answer. Not many fungi around but most of the interesting ones, Armillaria mellea (Honey Fungus), Agaricus arvensis (Horse Mushroom), Coprinus comatus (Shaggey Inkcap), Lepiota cristata (Stinking Lepiota). None of the adults could smell the Lepiota but all the kids thought is was awful. One of the girls found a Clavaria crstata (Grey Coral). For a grand finale, Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric). I was limited in what I could say about this in front of the children but they had all read Alice in Wonderland. However, a couple of mature ladies (my age) asked some awkward questions which I had to answer later, over lunch. An excellent morning. However, there was one that interested me. It was not mature so I did not attempt to identify it. I have my suspicions but can not prove it without a spore. Photo attached.

Sunday 20th October 2013

In view of the lack of mycorrhizal fungi at my venue on Tuesday, I decided to add something of interest to what might be a boring foray, especially as it is a family affair. I do not think little children will be too interested in Bjerkandera adusta (Smoky Brackets). I went up to my golf club early this morning and picked some of the numerous Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) and Chalciporus piperatus (Peppery Bolete) that are currently growing. They should keep in the fridge until Tuesday. I shall turn up early on and place them at strategic points. As long as nobody kicks them over we shall have something to talk about. I know it is cheating. But this is Showbiz, Baby.

Saturday 19th October 2013

Pleurotus dryinus © MykoGolfer

I am booked to take a public foray for The Wildflower Centre in Liverpool on Tuesday. I decided to take a look at the site in preparation. I found very little and most of them were brackets or crusts on dead stumps. Not even a Sulphur Tuft. I shall now have to think of something to make it interesting. People think that because they have a few trees then there will be fungi. Not so.

Monday 14th October 2013

I was invited to Clock Face Country Park, St.Helens. Built on an old coal mine, it opened in 1990 and has been extensively planted with young trees. For a site so young one would not expect to find much, especially as most other local sites are producing very little. It was the best site I have visited this autumn. Russulas, Boletes, Inocybes and Cortinarius in numbers and lots of grassland species. It proved to be a good area for Tricholoma, as we found cingulatum, ustale, scalpturatum and another still waiting for a spore print. I have to admit that I failed with some of the Inocybes and Cortinarius. I took too many home and never really got round to them. Certainly worth another visit.

Sunday 13th October 2013

Grifola frondosa © MykoGolfer Amanita citrina © MykoGolfer

Today was National Fungus Day. But I did not have a venue because my usual sponsors decided that they would prefer to hold a foray at school half term - which is next week. Makes sense. So, I had a look at my favourite local woods. Not much in numbers but some finds of quality. My first wood at Hale Hall produced two large Grifola frondosa (Hen of the Woods) and a Leucoagaricus leucothites (White Dapperling), the latter being totally new to me. At Speke Hall, they had obviously mown The Great Lawn but there was no sign of broken fruit bodies. Nothing much in the woods apart from Lactarius quietus (Oak Milkcap) and Russula fragilis (Fragile Brittlestem). The adjoining Stockton's Wood produced a very nice Amanita citrina (False Deathcap). However, my day was saved when I got back to the car park where I found six large Boletus edulis under a beech tree. Sadly they were a bit old but I managed to salvage a boxful of stems for drying.

Saturday 12th October 3013

Leaving my allotment, I noticed something orange growing on a piece of timber that had been used as a border of one of the beds of my neighbour's garden. It was at soil level. Being curious, I saw that it was an orange bracket fungus. Not very big, just over an inch. At home, I put some Potassium hydroxide on the cap to test for Hapalopilus nidulans (Cinnamon Bracket). There was no violet reaction. I took a spore print and it was wrong for Hapalopilus. They are right for a Gloeophyllum and the average size of 7 x 4-4.5um is right for Gloeophyllum trabeum. This is an uncommon fungus but it does grown on construction timber. More work needed. I have also been told that new research on Pyronema fungi has decided that the size of the spores is not the deciding factor and that my finds of yesterday were Pyromena omphalodes.

Friday 11th October 2013

Pyromena domesticum © MykoGolfer

A hard afternoon digging on my allotment. I went for a walk to straighten out my back muscles. There is a small piece of waste land on the site where branches and timber from maintenance work is burnt. I have looked at this area for years without success, probabaly because it is in constant use.Today, I got lucky. I saw the orange colour on the ground but thought it might be the rust from a piece of metal. It turned out to be a Pyromena, a small orange cushion Ascomycete. I identified it as Pyromena domesticum from the size of the spores.

Thursday 10th October 3013

Xerula radicata © MykoGolfer

I had to collect a prescription so I popped into my local pharmacist. While I was waiting, I had a look at one of my favourite central reservations. It did not disappoint. Xerula radicata (Rooting Toughshank) under a Sycamore tree. This is the same central reservation area I found Amanita fanchetii. They seem to have a more efficient mowing system now. It is the first time this year that the grass had not been cut.

Sunday 6th October 2013

I joined colleagues for a North West Fungus Group foray at Moore Nature Reserve. Beautiful day. Lots of fungi. I brought lots home to look at under my microscope. Highlights so far are a rare Lepista panaeola, identifiable by the spots on the cap, and Hygrocybe psittacina (Parrot Waxcap).

Hygrocybe psittacina © MykoGolfer Lepista panaeola © MykoGolfer

                                                   

Saturday 5th October 2013

Coprinus comatus © MykoGolfer

A mixed day. As I parked my car to go to my allotment, I saw two Coprinus comatus (Shaggy Inkcap) growing out of the pavement. I took a photo before they got kicked over. I then found lots of Mycena leptocephala (Nitrous Bonnet) growing under my raspberry canes. After an couple of hours digging, I went for a walk in the adjoining park, just to loosen up the rest of my joints. I only saw one fungus, on old woodchip in a shrubbery. It was not in good condition but I picked it anyway. By the time I got it home, the sweet smell was overpowering. The size of the spores, the strong smell and the description of the cap all suggest Lepiota subincarnata. Except for one book, Phillips, all the authors have the cap size of this species as 3.5cms. Mine is 6cms. I can not find any other Lepiota that fits my research.

Thursday 3rd October 2013

Alternaria anagallidis © MykoGolfer Alternaria spores © MykoGolfer

I have been working on my allotment for forty years. In addition to vegetables, I also grow Scarlet Pimpernel. In one small area of the garden the leaves of this plant are infected by a fungus that looks like an Alternaria. This is a circular patch that is very common on cabbages. There is only ONE record for this fungus on the National database. So, for years, I have been scraping away at the leaves, trying to extract a condiophore in order to prove identification. For years, I have failed because the leaves are very soft when fresh and tear. Or they dry so quickly and just crumble. This year, I did it. I got some conidiophores. The fungus is Alternaria anagallidis. I shall ask Kew if they want some.

Wednesday 2nd October 2013

I was waiting for a bus when I noticed some Hebelomas on the grass verge next to the bus stop. Fortunately I was alone so was able to pick some. Not an an easy genus to identify. The had a smell. It was not radishy but not particularly sweet either. These had very long spores, up to 16um and slightly warty. The cystidia were very long and cylindrical.The obvious choice is Hebeloma sacchariolens (Sweet Poisonpie). However, further reading reveals that this species has not been fully resolved so it could be something else. Anyway, it is the best I can do.

Sunday 29th September 2013

North West Fungus Group held a foray at Rostherne Mere today. The day started well with a find of Psathyrella spadicea under a Birch tree. It has distinctive cystidia. Not one I have seen before. A large Grifola frondosa was found on an old stump. Another interesting find was of Ciboria batschiana on an old oak cup. I have no idea how my colleague saw it on the forest floor.

Ciboria batschiana © MykoGolfer Grifola frondosa © MykoGolfer Psathyrella spadicea © MykoGolfer

                                                   

Saturday 28th September 2013

Cystolepiota pulverulenta © MykoGolfer

I led a public foray for English Nature at Ainsdale Sand Dunes Nature Reserve this morning. Fortunately we found some of the more popular fungi such as Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) and rubescens (Blusher), a few Russulas (Brittlegills) and Lactarius (Milkcaps). So everyone was happy. However, there was one that totally bemused me. A white specimen that I could only identify as a Powdercap because it was very woolly and the powder came off on my fingers. I could not find it in my old Courtecuisse. Having brought it home, I have identified it as Cystolepiota pulverulenta. My photo does not do it justice as it was taken after the foray had ended by which time it had lost is former splendour. Said to be a southern species. Ainsdale never fails to surprise.

Thursday 26th September 2013

I went for short walk to the local golf course to see if the recent rain had improved matters. A few small species. Galerina vittiformis (Hairy Leg Bell) in the moss, Mycena leptocephala (nitrous Bonnet) and what looked like a Psathyrella. It was only 1.5 cms with brown gills. However when I looked at it under the microscope the spores were also very small. Although the spore print was brown, the spores appeared to be yellow. I checked with Mycokey which suggested an Agaricus. So I checked further and came across Agaricus comtulus. Not one I had found before but perhaps I have overlooked it in the past. It can be an advantage having only a few to look at.

Wednesday 25th September 2013

My golf course is improving. The first Leccinum scabrum (Brown Birch Bolete) has appeared, together with Paxillus involutus (Brown Rollrim). The most prolific species at the moment is Lacrymaria lacrymabunda (Weeping Widow), which can been seen in several areas. It likes disturbed ground which is why a very large group is clustered round an area left vacant when a dying horse chestnut tree was removed, stump and all, following an attack of bleeding canker.

Sunday 22nd September 2013

Geastrum sessile © MykoGolfer Melanoleuca cinereifolia © MykoGolfer

I joined a colleague who was leading a foray at Formby Nature Reserve, where the red squirrels live. This is about two miles south from Ainsdale, where I normally foray on this coast. I was surprised that the fungi species should be so different. The only Earthstar I find at Ainsdale is Geastrum triplex. At Formby it is Geastrum fimbriatum (Sessile Earthstar). We found lots of Chroogomphus rutilus (Copper Spike) and Auriscalpium vulgare (Earpick Fungus), a fungus we struggle to find at Ainsdale. Later in the day we had a look at the sand dunes. We found four species within ten minutes. The star was a Melanoleuca that I eventually identified as Melanoleuca cinereifolia. The one we found was a very light brown. There is a lighter coloured variation named maritima, now incorporated into cinereifolia. The spores, cystidia and substrate are right and no other species fits.

Saturday 21st September 2013

Gymnopilus junonius © MykoGolfer

I had been asked to take a foray at the RSPB reserve at Burton Mere but as I did not know the site and the warden was unable to say if it had any fungi (essential), I declined. As Merseyside Naturalists were meeting there, I joined them. The woodland is very small and dry. I only found 24 fungi in two hours and none of them microrhizzal nor any of the most common species which you need if you are holding a foray for the public. The best find was of Gymnopilus junonius (Spectacular Rustgill). The bird life was more interesting. A Hen Harrier, two Hobbies and a Purple Sandpiper.

Thursday 19th September 2013

The weather has gone cold and wet. Despite this, there were dozens of swallows hunting the fairways of my golf course today. I thought they would have migrated by now. The fungi have certainly migrated from Liverpool. All I found on the golf course today was a small group of Lacrymaria lacyrmabunda (Weeping Widow) and a single Psathyrella pseudogracilis.

Sunday 15th September 2013

A colleague has kindly identified the fungus at Munich Mushroom market as Pleurotus eryngii (King Trumpet or King Oyster Mushroom). Sold at Morrisons.

Saturday 14th September 2013

Boletus radicans (Rooting Bolete) keeps turning up on my walks. On yet another central reservation, being the third time I have found it in such a situation. Does it like exhaust fumes? Checking through our database, it had only been recorded in Lancashire (Warrington) once before in 2003. I have now found it for two years running at four different sites.

Wednesday 11th September 2013

Agrocybe rivulosa © MykoGolfer

Post holiday golf. The golf course is being prepared for the grand finals day so everything has been mown to ground level. A pile of very fresh woodchip produced the usual Coprinopsis lagopus (Haresfoot Inkcap). Also Agrocybe rivulosa, a foreign interloper which seems to be spreading everywhere that new woodchip is used. Golf was abandoned very quickly as it poured with rain. I had collected some branches from my Monkey Puzzle tree in a safe place so I went to see if anything had grown. They were happily supporting some more Hohenbuehelia cyphelliformis. I telephoned Alick Henrici, who, having examined my previous submissions, agrees that the fungus that I found is Hohenbuehelia and not Resupinatus. This is the first record for this fungus a conifer.

Tuesday 10th September 2013

Market Stall © MykoGolfer

Just got back from Munich where the fungi season is in full swing. The market stalls were loaded. Where do they find all those Boletus edulis (Penny Bun) without insects inside them? Lots of Sparassis crispa (Wood Cauliflower) as well, one I have never seen in the wild. I could not work out what the ones marked 'frisch getrocknet in Schreiber' were. The stem was like a bolete but the cap was flat with rudimentary gills. Any suggestions?

Could they be King Oyster as sold in Morrisons over here? - Paul Hamlyn

Monday 2nd September 2013

Melanoleuca verrucipes © MykoGolfer

Before I go on holiday, I popped into Hale Hall Wood to see if the Daldinia that I found on Oak last year had reappeared. It had not but there was an old Beefsteak Fungus by the tree so at least my tree identification seems good. Passing a pile of fairly new woodchip, I saw 2 fungi that I thought were Inocybe geophylla. On closer inspection they were not but were small Melanoleuca verrucipes. If you have any new woodchip near you, it is worth a look.



Sunday 1st September 2013

Lepiota brebissonii © MykoGolfer Tylopilus felleus © MykoGolfer Russula chloroides © MykoGolfer

I joined the North West Fungus Group foray at Styal Woods. TV buffs will recognise this as being part of the same National Trust Estate as Quarry Bank Mill. Although it was dry there were lots of fungi about. Xerocomellus, chrysenteron (Red Cracking Bolete) under Pine, porosporus (Sepia Bolete), cisalpinus and pruinatus (Matt Bolete) under broadleaf in other sections of the woods. A good selection of Russulas, including Russula chloroides (Blue Band Brittlegill), with its distinctive blue ring at the top of the stem. Lepiota brebissonii was found in two areas. I associate this fungus with greenhouses and did not expect to find it outside but it had been found at Styal previously. A new species for me and the site was Tylopilus felleus (Bitter Bolete), in good numbers round a large Beech tree.

Saturday 31st August 2013

There are still some doubts about my Hohenbuehelia cyphelliformis versus Resupinatus alboniger. Alick Henrici telephoned me last night to discuss the issue. Now I have to send all my photographs of the one I found last year, the specimen having been deposited at Kew. I also have to send my latest piece of Monkey Puzzle and the photographs I took of the cystidia. Hopefully the matter will be sorted out once and for all. I went up to the local golf coursed to find some more but the car park was full being Saturday morning. I shall wait until this evening when all the golfers have gone home.

Friday 30th August 2013

Had time for a quick walk around another of my park sites. Again, the Beech trees were the only trees producing fungi. More Russulas. Today it was Russula nigricans (Blackening Russula) and Russula grisea (No English name but is said to be the same as ionochlora - Oilslick Russula). On my way home I saw some large Boletes in the middle of a central reservation of the dual carriageway. I parked and saw that they were Boletus radicans (Rooting Bolete) again under Beech. I wonder what the passing car drivers thought I was doing? Fortunately, I am no longer embarrassed.

Thursday 29th August 2013

This morning I visited The Liverpool Garden Festival site, reopened last year having been closed since 1984. All I found was a couple of Conocybe apala (Milky Conecap) and a Parasola plicatilis (Pleated Inkcap) on a lawn. There are lots of trees but it was very dry and overgrown. I shall look again once the undergrowth has started to die back to see if there has been any fungal colonisation. Better luck when I popped into Sudley House on my way home. The site has a small stand of Beech trees that support fungi which are not common in Liverpool. It did not disappoint. Lacatrius piperatus (Peppery Milkcap) is a new one for me and was only finally identified from the subglobose cells in the cap. Russula fellea (Geranium Milkcap), smelling of apples. Two very interesting species were Amanita franchetii (a yellow coloured Blusher) and Boletus radicans (Rooting Bolete). I have only found these once before, on a dual carriageway, where they grew together as they did today. I wonder if they have some connection other than a liking for Beech?

Wednesday 28th August 2013

I took a late evening walk to one of the larger Liverpool parks at Calderstones. Lots of mature trees which were supporting a range of Russulas (Brittlegills) - parazurea (Powdery), amoenolens (Camembert), ionochlora (Oilsli) and ochroleuca (Ochre) together with Lactarius tabidus (Birch Milkcap). I only had time to survey a small corner of the park so I must go back soon while the fungi are growing well.

Tuesday 27th August 2013

The first Leccinum scabrum (Brown Birch Bolete) of the year on my golf course. At home, my wife's patch of Lobelia seems quite productive. In addition to the Laccaria tortilis it now supports a small colony of Inocybe acuta (Fibrecap). Always difficult to identify, this has knobbly spores and a slightly enlarged base to the stem. The telling feature is the size of the cells which make up the cap. These are very broad, some with clamps holding them together.

Monday 26th August 2013

Went for a walk in my local parks this afternoon. Plenty of fungi about, mainly Russula parazurea (Powdery Brtittlegill) under many of the Beech trees. Russula atropurpurea (Purple Brittlegill) and amoenolens (Camembert Brittlegill), both under the same Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip tree) an interesting and very unusual host. A large group of Collybia confluens (Clustered Toughshank) was growing under some Rhododendron very close to some Psathyrella candolleana (Pale Brittlestem). At last, the season is getting started.

Sunday 25th August 2013

Hohenbuehelia cyphelliformis © MykoGolfer

Last year I found a small fungus on a Monkey Puzzle branch. I identified it as Hohenbuehelia cyphelliformis. Soon after, an article appeared in The Field Mycologist that a rare Crepidotus alboniger had been found on Monkey Puzzle. It looks exactly like the H. cyphelliformis but does not have the distinctive Hohenbuehelia cystidia. I have to confess that I did not find any cystidia on my specimens but as I had no information or even heard of the Crepidotus, I plumped for H. cyphelliformis based on the description and the spores. Was I correct? I found some more today from the same tree. This time I found some typical Hohenbuehelia cystidia, so I was right first time. It is H. cyphelliformis. I am beginning to wonder if the people identifying C. alboniger found, as I did, a cyphelliformis without cystidia, or just could not find the cystidia, as I did not. Allantoid spores are not typical of a Crepidotus.

Friday 23rd August 2013

My golf course is producing fungi at last. Lots of Leccinum duriusculum (Slate Bolete). Almost every Aspen tree had a fruit body growing beside it. Suillus grevillei (Larch Bolete) in good numbers in the usual copse. Both of these species are fruiting late this year. I usually find them first in June and July. Lots of Amanita rubescens (Blusher) under the Birch. Also a couple of Agaricus arvensis (Horse Mushroom). Sadly they were full of maggots so not fit for breakfast.

Wednesday 21st August 2013

Laccaria tortilis © MykoGolfer

I went to my allotment this afternoon and found a very nice Agaricus campestris (Field Mushroom) on a grass path. One for breakfast. When I got home, my wife directed me to a large group of Laccaria tortilis (Twisted Deceiver) growing with Lobelia in my small suburban garden. You just never know what will turn up.

Thursday 15th August 2013

At last, my golf course has produced a fungus. Only one Russula ochroleuca (Ochre Brittlegill) but it is a start. I thought it was an early specimen but my records show that this species has regularly appeared in mid July. Lots of Panaeolina foenisecii (Brow Mottlegill) but nothing else.

Tuesday 13th August 2013

Xerocomellus-engelii © MykoGolfer

At last. Some fungi have appeared. The first on bare soil in a shrubbery turned out to be Parasola kuehneri. Looking very much like plicatilis (Pleated Inkcap) but the habitat was wrong and the spores too small. One of a number of Inkcaps that all look the same and can only be identified by recording the shape and size of the spores. Very difficult to split them. The second, another difficult genus, proved to be Xerocomellus engelii. This can be identified by the bright orange spots at the base of the stem. You have to be very careful when collecting specimens to ensure that the base of the stem is intact otherwise there is little point in trying to identify them as the important information is lost.

Monday 12th August 2013

Quaternaria quaternata © MykoGolfer

I have been away enjoying myself so have not been able to pursue fungi for a couple of weeks. I did find Agaricus arvensis on my allotment site but, although new for the site, is.not otherwise unusual. One of my colleagues has found a great abundance of Quaternaria quaternata on cut Beech trunks in Lancashire. In some cases, covering several metres. Not uncommon but only one previous record for Lancashire. Perhaps another example of fungi moving north as the climate warms up.

Wednesday 31st July 2013

On Saturday, as we left the woods, we saw a large, yellowish, resupinate fungus growing on a large cut trunk. My immediate thought was Schizopora. I took a piece off to show my companions and saw that it had rounded pores rather than slots. At, home, I scraped it but nothing much showed under my microscope. I put it on some wet paper to soften it up a bit and then put some on a slide for a spore print. The result was a host of tiny allantoid (sausage shaped) spores. Using Mycokey, I narrowed it down to Skeletocutis and further research on the Internet arrived at Skeletocutis vulgaris, one of the few of this genus that prefers broadleaf trees.

Saturday 27th July 2013

I went out with the Liverpool Botanical Society to the Mersey shore at Hale. I was looking for rusts and mildews as I keep finding them but have difficulty identifying the plants. My cunning plan was that the biologists would identify the plants for me. They did but I did not find many rusts. I have managed to identify Puccinia veronicae on Wood Speedwell, Cercospora apii on Wild Celery and Lentithecium arundinaceum on the dead Reed stems. A couple of Ink Caps on some woodchip and a fresh Chicken of the Woods were the only larger fungi to be seen. Still very little rain and it was a blistering hot day again.

Wednesday 24th July 2013

Flooding in Lancashire and Cumbria, Lightening strikes and rain in Manchester. Liverpool gets one light shower. So everything is still bone dry. The only fungus seen on my golf course was Polyporus squamosus (Dryad's Saddle), notable because I saw it in the same place on the same date last year.

Friday 19th July 2013

Another gilled fungus at my golf course. Panaeolina foenisecii (Brown Mottlegill). Growing in very short grass on the side of one of the tees. I do not know how it has survived the hot weather as the course is bone dry and starting to turn yellow.

Wednesday 17th July 2013

Still very hot but it is golf day. The course is very dry. But, at one hole, they have recently cut down and replaced the old rhododendron bushes with new shrubs. At the same time a lot of locally produced woodchip was introduced. The site lies in the shade of a copse of trees so does not get much sun. Today I counted 24 Volvariella gloiocephala (Stubble Rosegill) growing in the woodchip. And I forgot to take my camera.

Sunday 14th August 2013

Eutypella scoparia © MykoGolfer

I led a North west Fungus Group foray at Carr Mill Dam today. After such a blistering hot July, we expected little. However, the site was selected for a summer foray because a lot of it is flooded during the winter. The ground was still soft and a bit boggy, so the plan worked. The fact that we found a number of Scutellinia scutellata (Common Eyelash) gives an indication of the conditions. Lots of Ascomycetes and crusts under the logs and branches. An interesting find was of Eutypella scoparia, a small Asco with digital outgrowths. I also identified Mycoacia uda, a yellowish toothed crust fungus which was new for me. Some gilled fungi were found. Russula parazurea (Powdery Brittlegill), Conocybe rugosa and Coprinellus micaceus (Glistening Inkcap) and a few Mycenas. Also a number of Polyporus tuberaster (Tuberous Polypore). This is the only site in Merseyside that I find this fungus. We collected over forty specimens so not a bad day in view of the weather.

Thursday 11th July 2013

Just got back from Heidelberg. Very hot there. The only mushrooms were on the market stalls, chanterelles and not very many of those. My allotment was a jungle so I have spent the last few days, picking, cutting, weeding and strimming. One weed was rampant, Nipplewort. At least it was sporting a fungus, Puccinia lapsanae. Not very exciting but the best I can do in this weather.

Saturday 29th June 2013

Polyporus tuberaster © MykoGolfer

After two long awaited solid days of rain I decided to take a look at Speke Hall. Being Saturday, it was packed. So I went into the adjoining Stockton's Wood, which was empty and peaceful. As soon as I entered the wood, I could smell the Stinkhorns (Phallus impudicus) and soon found some. A fungus with a gill and stem but only Hypholoma fasciculare (Sulphur Tuft). Well it is a start. A very nice Polyporus tuberaster (Tuberous Polypore) was growing from a stump, softer and whiter flesh than the similar but much tougher Polyporus squamosus (Dryad's Saddle). And it was growing from a central stem. Resupinatus applicatus (Smoked Oysterling) on rotten wood and a few crust fungi but not much else of interest.

Thursday 27th June 2013

Astrosphaeriella-stellata © MykoGolfer

Last month, I was sowing some seeds, using pieces of bamboo cane to mark the rows. One piece of bamboo had a fungus growing on it. I could not identify it so I consulted my colleague in Oban. He could not identify it so it was sent to Kew. It has now been identified as Astrosphaeriella stellata. I have to admit that this is beyond my literature and capability. It now resides at Kew Herbarium and has an official number K(M)187041. I have checked with the National Database and it is not recorded. So how did this fungus finish up on a tiny piece of bamboo cane in Liverpool? As every one says - Its amazing!

Wednesday 26th June 2013

As a member of the Seniors golf team, I played at Huyton Golf Course. Still no rain so it was no better than my own course. The only fungus I found was Kretzschmaria deusta (Brittle Cinder), which seems to be common at the moment. Most of my recent finds have been of Ascomycetes on branches and twigs. Even though I have Peter Thompson's book on Ascomycetes, I am still struggling to identify them.

Wednesday 19th June 2013

Golf today. Still no rain. But I found a gilled fungus at last. The first this year for this site. Volvariella gloiocephala (Stubble Rosegill) growing with woodchip in an ornamental shrubbery.

Monday 17th June 2013

Epichloe typhina © MykoGolfer

I was at my allotment garden and decide to pull up some overlong grass on my paths surrounding my onion bed. Guess what? I found a patch of Epichloe typhina (Choke) growing on Agrostis solanifera (Creeping Bent Grass). Now must be the time to look for the white collars on grass stems. What a coincidence.



Thursday 13th June 2013

Epichloe typhina © MykoGolfer Pleurotus pulmonarius © MykoGolfer

I was invited to join Professor Tom Bultman of Hope College, Michigan, to assist in looking for Epichloe (Choke) fungi at Court Hey Park. It is a fungus that grows on grass and chokes it so that the seeds are not viable. We managed to find a couple of patches of Epichloe typhina. It was a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. The interesting thing is that the spores are carried from plant to plant by a fly that also lays eggs on and eats the fungus. This fungus is host specific which means I shall have to be able to identify the grass it grows on. I also made a very good find of Pleurotus pulmonarius (Pale Oyster) on a fallen Beech.

Sunday 9th June 2013

Agaricus bitorquis © MykoGolfer

At last. I took an early morning walk in the park and found some gilled fungi. First was a group of Agaricus bitorquis (Pavement Mushroom) under a Cupressus. Second Parasola plicatilis (Pleated Inkcap) in a flower bed. Then a third growing under a log but it was too far gone to identify. I also found a couple of Ascomycetes but even after studying the latest book, I still struggle. Rain is forecast so things should improve.

Saturday 8th June 2013

Herpotrichia macrotricha © MykoGolfer

I was sowing some seeds on my allotment, using bits of bamboo cane to mark the rows when I noticed that one piece of bamboo was displaying lots of tiny black Ascomycetes (spore shooters). Under my microscope I saw that they were papillate. The usual species of this shape are in the families of Rosellinia or Lophiostoma. However, the spores were the wrong shape being very long at 41um and 2 septate (two sections). After a lot of research I have reached a conclusion that they are Herpotrichia macrotricha. Unfortunately, I can not find a decent picture of this species to compare with my find. As Ascos on Bamboo are unusual, my friend in Oban wishes to see them. So they are off to Scotland.

Tuesday 4th June 2013

Exidiopsis effusa spores © MykoGolfer

I am still finishing off my collection from last week. One I picked up on a fallen stick in a beech wood. It looks like Hyphdontia sambuci (Elder Whitewash), which is what I thought it was. I decided to check it anyway and surprise, surprise it was not. I have identified it as Exidiopsis effusa. It has large sausage shaped spores, up to 17microns. But some of them have extensions (handles). This is because it forms secondary spores by repetition. (I don't know how that works either). It was difficult to get a sample without the wood and as soon as the slide was prepared, the spores seemed to fall apart very quickly. By by the time I got my oil immersion prepared they had gone. Very strange. Just because something looks like Elder Whitewash, it is worth checking because it might not be. You just never know.

Sunday 2nd June 2013

Mollisi cinerea © MykoGolfer

I went for a walk at my local golf course. Still nothing with gills and a stem. I have not yet seen St. Georges Mushroom or Spring Cavalier. I came back with another collection of crusts and spots. Underneath one log I found some discomycetes that were surrounded by an orangy coloured fluffy substance. The discos turned out to be Mollisi cinerea (Grey Disco). The fluffy stuff had very interesting microscopic features that I eventually tracked down as being conidiophores of Botryobasidium aureum. Not one I have identified before. It is similar to Botryobasidium conspersum but the conidiophores are larger and more irregularly shaped.

Thursday 30th May 2013

Just got back from Normandy and had to sort out my allotment and pot up the tomatoes. A piece of fallen branch from a neighbour's tree caught my eye. Some tiny fungi were growing underneath. They turned out to be Resupinatus applicatus (Smoked Oysterling). Not unusual but this year I have found this fungus on every foray so far. Perhaps the particular weather conditions are to its liking.

Sunday 19th May 2013

Coprinus micaceus © MykoGolfer Lachnum bicolor © MykoGolfer

I helped out at a Bioblitz at the request of a colleague. The venue was Beacon Hill Country Park at Skelmersdale. A new site for me. Very varied woodland with lots of different tree species and lots of fallen wood. Not much in the way of gilled fungi yet, Coprinus micaceus (Glistening Inkcap), Resupinatus applicatus (Smoked Oysterling) and Strobilurus tenacellus (Pinecone Cap). Lots of brackets, Inonotus radiatus (Alder Bracket) and Trichaptum abietinum (Purplepore Bracket). Prettiest is Lachnum bicolor, a small disco Ascomycete (spore shooter) on oak twigs. Nice site, nice day. Must put it down for a full foray as it has large car parks and a ladies loo.

Thursday 16th May 2013

Polyporus squamosus © MykoGolfer

I popped up to my local golf course to see if anything had started to grow. That little Polyporus squamosus (Dryad's Saddle) that I reported last month has really developed, living on a fallen tree trunk with some Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster Mushroom). Dryad's saddle is one of my favourite finds.









Tuesday 14th May 2013

Scopuloides rimosa © MykoGolfer

I have been going through my collection from Sunday. One, I thought was a Peniophora, with encrusted cystidia, had spores that were far too small. I was stuck, so I tried MycoKey. It came up with Scopuloides. That was it. Unfortunately there are two Scopuloides, rimosa and hydnoides. The differences are very subtle. I have plumped for rimosa.

Sunday 12th May 2013

Resupinatus trichotis © MykoGolfer

I joined The North west Fungus Group at Rivington Country Park for our monthly foray. Not a lot around. Even looking under logs produced very little. Had it been too dry, too cold or even too wet after recent heavy rain. Anyway, the fungi were in hiding. Lots of Peniophora quercina on fallen oakbranches. A Fuscoporia ferreus (Cinnamon Porecrust) on the underside of a branch. The only gilled fungi were two Oysterlings, Crepidotus cesatii and Resupinatus trichotis, which has a mass of hairs on the top of the cap. Nice find. We had lunch. Then it poured down yet again. I went home.

Saturday 11th May 2013

The Merseyside Naturalists held a meet at Carr Mill Dam today. They usually bird watch but I decided to join them as it gave me the opportunity to check out the area before I lead a foray later in the year. It is very old woodland and always produces a good selection of interesting species. Although it has and did rain, the temperature has dropped so not much was to be found. I collected a few rusts and crusts but only one gilled fungus, Mycena acicula (Orange Bonnet).

Friday 10th May 2013

Morchella elata © MykoGolfer

The Reserve Manager has sent me a photo of Morchella elata, at Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve. It was not at their usual spot, at which we found nothing this year. This was a mile further north near one of the slacks that we do not include in our usual route. At least we know they are still there, somewhere. I must pop up and investigate to see if it is worth including in our next foray there.

Thursday 9th May 2013

Although I have been inactive, some of my colleagues have been foraying. Liverpool has dried up but not all of the north west has missed the rain. One of my colleagues follows the blogs on the Wild About Britain website. Prompted by a recent post he set about looking for a smut that grows on the leaves of Persicaria bistorta. (Bistort). The smut, Bauhinus marginalis is described on The National Database as 'Extinct 1921 (Red Data List). Off he went into he depths of Lancashire and found it straight away, at three sites so far. Bistort grows on my allotment. I shall be extra vigilant this year.

Wednesday 8th May 3013

I have had nothing to report since we went to Ainsdale on the 14th April for the very good reason that it has not rained since then. Everywhere is dry and not a fungus to be seen I have not yet seen any Calocybe gambosa (St Georges Mushroom) which has never failed me at my golf course. So I have been updating my records, making sure I have the current names. Checking my Ainsdale Sand Dunes nature Reserve, SSSI, I now have 922 different species recorded. And that is from the collections I know about. If you then add Ainsdale & Birkdale Hills Reserve, Ravenmeols and Freshfield Dune Heath, this is a very productive coastline.

Thursday 25th April 2013

Aleurodiscus aurantius © MykoGolfer

I have finally finished my last specimen from Ainsdale, now ten days old. I kept it moist in a box. It is a pinkish-brown crust fungus on a piece of blackberry twig. Should be easy. I identified all the necessary bits but could not match it to anything in any of my books. I turned to MycoKey, the internet identification guide. I ticked all the boxes and it suggested Aleurodiscus. A quick check on other internet sites turned up Aleurodiscus aurantius. Job completed. Not one I had seen before but seemingly common enough on Rubus and rosae families.

Wednesday 24th April 2013

Since my trip to Ainsdale I have found very little locally. The start of a Polyporus squamosus (Dryad's Saddle). Diatrype stigma (Common Tarcrust) in a pile of twigs. Most of my time has been spent trying to identify the finds from Ainsdale. It is annoying when you seem to have all the necessary bits but still can not identify the species. One of our forayers had an interest in lichen and identified a number of species about which I would not have a clue. Lichenised fungi are included in the National Database but some of the stuff he identified are not. Not sure what to do with them.

Sunday 14th April 2013

Monilinia johnsonii © MykoGolfer

Today, I led my foray at Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve. Fortunately a beautiful spring day if breezy. At least the flooding had receded and we were treated to a multitude of mating toads. We even found a Great Crested Newt under a logpile, still drowsy but warming up. Not a great deal about as it has been so dry. But we reached thirty quite easily and I have a number of ascomycetes to still sort out. Highlight was the discovery of numerous Monilinia johnsonii on hawthorn berries. They were well hidden in the undergrowth but some dedicated scraping revealed them.

Monday 8th April 2013

I recently identified Hohenbuehelia cyphelliformis that I found growing on a fallen branch from a Monkey Puzzle Tree. I dried it and sent it to Kew Herbarium. I have just received the latest Field Mycology magazine. It has an interesting article about Resupinatus alboniger. This not a fungus I have heard of and it is not in any of books. Unfortunately, it looks like Hohenbuehelia cyphelliformis and has exactly the same spores. And there have been two records on Monkey Puzzle trees. The only difference is in the cystidia. Whoops. I have suggested to Kew that someone re-examines them. Still a good find, whatever it is.

Thursday 4th April 2013

I went to Ainsdale Nature Reserve to check on the situation before I lead my foray next Sunday. Last month part of it was flooded due to a blocked drainage system. It has gone down but some of it is still boggy. I did not spend any time foraying as I was more intent on working out a safe route. All I found were some Bovista plumbea (Grey Puffball), but I am sure more eyes will produce more results. It is very noticeable how dry the surface has become. The top soil of nearby fields was being blown across the main road by the strong wind. Rain is forecast for next week. I hope they are right.

Sunday 31st March 2013

Rosellinia aquila © MykoGolfer

Still very frosty so I have not been able to sow or plant anything on my allotment. I checked a pile of prunings and twigs on a neighbour's site and found a some Rosellinia aquila. It was fairly easy to identify as the spores have appendages. One is very clear on the largest spore. I found a good number of sites on the Internet which showed photos of the fruitbodies and spores for this species. I found this very helpful as it is not pictured in any of my literature, although I probably would have sorted it out using my old version of Ellis & Ellis.

Thursday 28th March 2013

Merismodes anomala © MykoGolfer

One good thing about the snow and high winds is that a large number of dead wood has fallen from the trees. These branches and twigs must have had something wrong with them and therefore worth looking at. A thin branch that dropped off a beech tree had a brown hard crust-like fungus. I put it onto some soaked paper to soften it up and make it easier to extract some spores.. It then showed itself to be Merismodes anomala, so no further examination was necessary.

Wednesday 27th March 2013

unknown fungus © MykoGolfer

It has stopped raining. It is snowing instead. I have not been able to get out at all, so I have been looking at some of my mysteries. The ones I can not identify. One little specimen that I found on a dead blackberry stem has had me fooled for months. I put a picture on to one of the forums to see if anyone else could help. That was three weeks ago. Until yesterday, I had no response. I have now had one suggestion, a species of Volutella. Never heard of it. The spores seem wrong but there is very little information available to me. I shall probably never know what it was.

Sunday 17th March 2013

Clypeosphaeria-mamillana © MykoGolfer

Clearing up at my allotment this morning, I noticed some small lesions on a dead blackberry stem. I managed to get some spores out of them using a very sharp razor blade and a lot of patience so as not to get any of the woody material. Otherwise the slides just break. With the help of Messrs. Ellis & Ellis, I have identified them as Clypeosphaeria mamillana. Said to be common but you need good eyesight to find them.

Thursday 14th March 2013

After the bitter weather at the weekend it was nice to get out for a quick walk to my local golf course. We did not get much snow here and the ground is still very dry. So not much around yet. I found the slime mould, Trichia scabra, hiding in hollows under fallen branches. I find it impossible to tell this from Trichia varia without looking at it under a microscope. It depends on the pattern of the elaters, spiral strand features inside the fruit body. Also the spores are very yellow. Another find that might confuse was the tiny cuplike Tapesia fusca. In the field it could be mistaken for Mollisia cinerea (Common Grey Disco) but the spores are longer and thinner.

Friday 8th March 2013

Parking at the supermarket, I noticed that the bark of some dead branches was loose. Suspecting a fungus,I snapped a bit off and took it home. Close inspection showed that the exposed wood clearly had a pale covering of some sort. A few scrapes on to a slide and under my microscope. I found a number of quite large sausage shaped spores which fit the description for Vuilleminia comedens (Waxy Crust).

Tuesday 5th March 2013

Managed to get out for a quick visit to my fallen tree on the local nature reserve. It is rotting away very quickly. Not much around as it has not rained for two weeks. A few brackets and crust fungi but they are also dry and difficult to extract the necessary microscopic information. I managed to identify Fomitiporia punctata (Elbowpatch Crust) and Polyporus brumalis (Winter Polypore). Not too difficult as it is orange coloured. I was surprised that some more mature trees had fallen, their anchorage to the ground probably weakened by flooding. The area was littered with fallen branches. Looks promising for the fungi but I would not like to visit when it is windy.

Saturday 2nd March 2013

Out came the micrometer, first thing this morning. Having calibrated the eyepiece, I went for a wander to find something to look at. Of course, after months of torrential rain, it has not rained for over a week and everything has gone dry. I wonder if we are going to have another dry spring, which is not good for my allotment as it is difficult to get seeds to germinate. Fortunately, I knew where to find some Geastrum triplex, so I was able to test my measurements out on the spores. Spot on.

Friday 1st March 2013

Today, I took delivery of my brand new microscope, an SP100. My old Pryor has been gradually deteriorating and I have had problems with the illumination that I am unable to fix. It still works but an update is long overdue. Now I must go out and find something to look at.

Saturday 23rd February 2013

Today we held the AGM of the North West Fungus Group at Risley Moss. I had to give my annual foray and recording report to an entranced audience. We were then treated to a talk by our President, Professor Bruce Ing. His subject was Powdery Mildews of which I have some knowledge as my allotment vegetables and resident weeds are frequently attacked by these fungi. It is with some satisfaction that, up to now, using my copies of Ellis & Ellis and Dennis, I have been able to identify most of them and their host plants. We have now been told that, following DNA research, the number of such Mildews has increased from 60 or so to over 130. Not only that, but similar DNA on the associated plants has resulted in major reclassification of those as well. The conclusion is that, not only do I no longer know the identity of the Mildews I have examined but that I do do not know the identity of the host plants either. My daisies may not now be daisies.

Sunday 17th February 2013

Trametes versicolor © MykoGolfer

A beautiful spring morning. So I went to Ainsdale Nature Reserve for a look round and to see if any morels had gown. I was very disappointed. Our usual productive sites were flooded due to a collapsed drainage ditch. Heavy machinery had ploughed up a large area in order to build fire breaks. The usually dry slacks were also flooded. Good news for the natterjack toads but not for the morels. Never mind. It was a good healthy walk before foray season begins. A couple of Tubarias (Twiglets) and some as yet unidentified crusts were all I had to show for my effort. One of our members has found some Mitrula paudosa (Bog Beacon) up in the Pennines so I hope to pay a visit and see those very soon.

Thursday 14th February 2013

The snow and rain of the last two days had stopped and the sun came out. So I went for a walk to my local park. Nothing much around. Just mud and puddles. I did manage to find some Panellus stipticus on the cut end of a fallen beech tree but that was all.

Wednesday 13th February 2013

I received an message from Kew that they do not need my Schizophyllum amplum because they have the ones I sent last year. If I find some in Cheshire or on wood other that poplar, then they would be interested. They tell me that they have sample of this species from all seasons except summer. When I found my branch, I put it in my golf bag to take home. Four hours later the fungi had dried up and were invisible. I had to put my branch in a bucket of water to rehydrate them before I could examine them. This may explain why they are not found in summer. With all the rain we have had recently, now is probably a good time to look for them.

Tuesday 12th February 2013

 © MykoGolfer

One of my colleagues spotted a fungus growing on a fence post but could not identify it. Having read his directions I set off along the Mersey Way, a very muddy public footpath along the banks of the Mersey Estuary. Although next to Liverpool Airport and a housing estate, this piece of countryside must be one of the bleakest places in England. Fabulous for birds, as I saw Shelduck, Pinkfoot Geese, Curlew and Sparrow Hawk but it was bitterly cold with the wind blowing in from the river. I found the said fungus which turned out to be Gloeophyllum sepiarum, a species that likes fence posts. Known as Conifer Mazegill, I found this species a couple of years ago but growing on willow. I sent it and a piece of the wood as proof, to Kew Herbarium where it now resides.

Friday 8th February 2013

Schizophyllum amplum © MykoGolfer

I played golf today. My ball landed beside a fallen branch of which there are many after the recent weather. I picked the branch up to move it so that I could hit my ball. I saw what I thought were Crepidotus but they had no gills. I put the branch in my golf bag to look at later. Now that I have looked at the fungi, they have no gills. Because they are Schizophyllum amplum. They are not very big, 0.5 cm max. so the photos are not as good as I would like. The interesting thing is that the branch fell off a Manchester Poplar, which is a hybridised Black Poplar. Last year I found this species at Speke Hall, on Poplar, on the 17th February. This may be the time to look for this uncommon fungus.

Wednesday 6th February 2013

My golf course was closed, even though it was sunny, so I went for a look round two of my favourite woods at Hale. The woods are on the banks of the Mersey Estuary. The wind was bitingly cold. After the heavy snow all the vegetation was flattened. There were lots of fallen branches and I quickly put together a dozen specimens of various crusts, brackets and slime moulds. Back home under the microscope, I managed to identify all but one. They all produced spores. Sadly nothing unusual. The ones I thought were promising turned out to be common species, Phellinus ferreus (Cinnamon porecrust), Penniophora limitata, Byssomerulius corium (Netted Crust). Even the slime moulds, Trichia varia and Didymium squamulosum, are probabaly the two most common in the UK.

Sunday 3rd February 2013

My neighboring allotment is cultivated by a lady who works abroad a lot. I noticed that the stems on her broad beans, which have been unharvested since August, were now displaying rows of a tiny black fungus. As it was another rainy day, I picked a stem. I thought it would be a Diaporthe or something similar. However, when I looked at it under my microscope I saw that the spores had tails, like tadpoles. The fungus is a rust, Uromyces viciae-fabae. This is very common and can cover a plant with orange pustules. I did not realise that it totally changed form as it aged.

Friday 1st February 2013

Badhamia urticularis © MykoGolferBadhamia urticularis © MykoGolfer

I found a myxomycete on a beech trunk just before Christmas. A spectacular orange colour. As the weather was a bit kinder today, I went to see what it had developed into. The transformation is startling. I have provisionally identified it as Badhamia urticularis. Not my best subject but I can now see why people get so interested in Myxos.

Tuesday 29th January 2013

Leratiomyces ceres © MykoGolfer

At last the snow has gone. We got quite a battering and it has brought down a few branches for future examination. Also the vegetation has been squashed flat, revealing a lot of fallen trunks and stumps that I had not seen before. I was surprised to find Leratiomyces ceres (Redleg Roundhead), not on woodchip but on a fallen tree in natural woodland. Another find was Sarcoscypha austriaca (Ruby Elfcup). Although this a very common early spring fungus, not so in Liverpool. This is only the second time I have found it on my patch in twenty five years. I wonder why not?

Tuesday 15th January 2013

Just got back from snowy Northumberland. A colleague asked if I could identify a white bracket that had started to grow from a snapped trunk, so I went to take a look. It was a white Trametes, with just a faint hint of a yellow zone on the edge. A difficult one because the genus is very common and seems to have an infinite variety of colours. Fortunately it produced some spores which enabled me to identify it as Trametes pubescens. Not one I identify often but I rarely collect specimens as even the light coloured ones almost always turn out to be the very common Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail).

Friday 11th January 2013

Radulomyces molaris © MykoGolfer

Played golf this morning. It had rained all night and the ground conditions were atrocious. Surprised it was not closed. Still things about. Agaricus langei (Scaly Wood Mushroom), sheltered under some Cupressus, Aleuria aurantia (Orange Peel Fungus) making its usual early winter appearance, lots of Laccaria laccata (Deceiver) clustered around a newly planted ornamental conifer and a fallen oak branch supporting both Exidia glandulosa (Witches Butter) and Radulomyces molaris. Not bad considering that the aim of the exercise was to hit a golf ball, not foraying.

Pluteus phlebophorus © MykoGolfer

Sunday 6th January 2013

No rain again. I did a couple of hours digging on my allotment. To unloosen my back muscles, I went for a walk to my local golf course which is just across the road. I was surprised to find Clitocybe phyllophila (Frosty Funnel) attached to a pine twig. Another find was of Phellinus ferreus (Cinnamon Porecrust), which can only be identified by its cylindrical spores. What I thought was a Mycena on a holly leaf turned out to be the slime mould, Didymium squamulosum. But the star of the day is Pluteus phlebophorus (Wrinkled Shield). New to me but not rare.

Friday 4th January 2013

I went to Frodsham Hill, a wooded, sandstone outcrop that I thought might be a possible foray site. I was wrong. The very muddy path, along the side of a cliff was only suitable for a mountain goat with webbed feet. In the three hours I was there, all I saw were Laetiporus sulphuareus (Chicken of the Woods) and a few Crepidotus cesatii (Oysterling), a Phellinus and a Mycena (Bonnet). So I shall not return to look for fungi but the view over The Mersey Estuary is magnificent.

Tuesday 1st January 2013

Scutellinia scutellata © MykoGolfer

Well. The sun came out so I could not stay at home doing nothing. I had one local park I had not been to LAST year. The first fungus I found was Bjerkandera fumosa (Big Smoky Bracket), then Resupinatus trichotis (an oysterling with black hairs on top of the cap). I saw a man looking very carefully at a fallen tree, trying to figure out what were the fungi growing on it. So I enlightened him. They were Flammulina velutipes (Velvet Shank) which he happily photographed. I was also able to point out some Scutellinia scutellata (Common Eyelash) growing on the same trunk. He went on his way very happy. Mycena speirea (bark Bonnet) and stylobates (Bulbous Bonnet) in the litter. And a few crusts to look at at home - when it rains.

 

FORAY LISTS for 2017

Ainsdale - spring foray

Risley Moss

Rostherne

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FORAY LISTS for 2016

Ainsdale and Freshfield - spring foray

Ainsdale - autumn foray

Cliburn Moss

Clock Face C.P.

Delamere Forest

Dovestones

Great Wood

Hay Bridge

Keswick (misc sites)

Lytham Hall

Maes-Y-Pant

Moore Nature Reserve

Pennington Flash

Roddleswoth

Rostherne Mere

Turn Slack Clough

Whinlatter



FORAY LISTS for 2015

Freshfield and Ainsdale

Beacon Park CP

Spring Wood, Whalley

Goyt Valley

Clock Face Country Park

Moor Piece

Moore Nature Reserve

Rostherne

Ravenmeols LNR

Turn Slack Clough

KESWICK WEEKEND FORAY RECORDS

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FORAY LISTS for 2014

Risley Moss

Spring Wood

Ainsdale - spring foray

Carr Mill Dam

Tandle Hill

Beacon Park CP

Dibbinsdale

Ainsdale - autumn foray

Clock Face Country Park

Moor Piece

Moore Nature Reserve

Duxbury

Rostherne Mere

Turn Slack Clough



FORAY LISTS for 2013

Risley Moss

Duxbury Woods

Ainsdale - spring foray

Rivington

Moor Piece

Carr Mill

Woodnook Vale, Accrington

Rostherne Mere

Moore Nature Reserve

Bowderstone

Ainsdale - autumn foray

Gaitbarrows

Blencathra

Latrigg Fell

Turn Slack Clough

Styal Woods

 

USEFUL LINKS

NWFG (North West Fungus Group)

For the Foray Programme, Membership Subscription Form and Newsletter articles please use the links in the navigation bar at the top of this page.

History of the NWFG

Drawings of Fungi by Bess Harthan

Isle of Man stamps depicting fungi


BMS (British Mycological Society)

BMS Home Page

English Names for Fungi

Guide to Collecting and Recording Fungi

Wild Mushroom Pickers' Code of Conduct


ABFG (Association of British Fungus Groups)

ABFG Home Page


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