Autumn is here. Trees are colouring and their leaves beginning to fall, the Fallow deer rut has begun in the Forest, and toadstools are appearing in good numbers. Fly Agarics are splendid if you can find them before the slugs reach them. After heavy rain the white warts on the cap can be washed off making the fungus look like a different species.
Fly Agaric, Bliss Gate, 29 September 2017 ©Rosemary Winnall
Fly Agaric with Arion subfuscus, Drakelow, 26 September 2017 ©Rosemary Winnall
Fly Agaric after heavy rain, Drakelow, 26 September 2017 ©Rosemary Winnall
The Pink Waxcaps (or Ballerina Waxcaps) are up and fruiting this week and it is good to see strong caps appearing in our unimproved meadows after recent rains. This species usually indicates that the meadow is a good one for other waxcaps and fairy clubs too, so if you see this species it is worth checking for other fungi during the autumn months.
Pink Waxcap Hygrocybe calyptriformis, Bliss Gate, 17 September 2017 ©Rosemary Winnall
Autumn is a good time to look for plant galls in Wyre. The ball-shaped Cherry Galls are induced by the gall wasp Cynips quercusfolii and those of the Common Spangle Galls by another gall wasp Neuroterus quercusbaccarum. The adult gall wasps that emerge early the following spring are all females and go on to lay their eggs on the developing oak leaf buds. The galls that result are quite different, and from these the sexual generation of males and females emerge in late spring and early summer.
Common Spangle Galls and Cherry Galls on oak, Postensplain, 6 September 2017 Rosemary Winnall