The ambiguous weather conditions continued, a test of the human patience and the lives of the bugs, birds and blooms.
On the 2nd Travellers Joy (Clematis vitalba) and Russian Vine (Fallopia baldschuanica) were both clambering over vegetation growing alongside the river whilst a few Brown Roll Rims (Paxillus involutus) were growing in the low cut grass. A small gathering of Long Tailed Tits (Aegithalos caudatus) flitted about in the trees too – delightful little birds these and as the cooler months come, more visible they will be.
On the 3rd a Speckled Wood (Parage aegeria) fluttered into the wind, some delicious looking yellow and orange bloomed Common Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) were swaying in the breeze and under a log I found a rich sandy brown Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris).
On the 4th a female Goosander (Mergus merganser) was on the river and on the 5th a female Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) was in the same area. Eristalis horticola; Rhingia campestris and Syrphus ribesii were 3 hoverflies hanging around the orchard too.
The 10th produced a few fungi with 398 individual fruit-bodies of Wrinkled Fieldcap (Agrocybe rivulosa) growing alongside the path beside the motorway, with 4 clumps of Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare) feeding on a pathside sleeper and a troop of Deceivers (Laccaria laccata) popping up in an array of fruiting styles beneath a Rowan Tree (Sorbus sp). Melampsoridium betulinum was an orange rust growing beneath the leaves of Silver Birch (Betula pendula) where I also noted, appropriately enough, a Birch Shield Bug (Elasmostethus intersinctus). It was nice to see a lone Common Vetch (Vicia sativa) flower holding on too – it added a lovely splash of colour to a now fading area.
The 17th was notable as I found 6 new specimens of the Common Earthstar (Geastrum triplex), some still in their onion stage and some fully opened showing the inner puffball.
These are always a nice find and not something you see every day.
It will be interesting to see how long the colony lasts and where it will spread to.
I took a break ‘darn sarf’ mid-month but returned on the 26th to see the weather still in a state of uncertainty and all the apples having disappeared from the trees in the orchard. The rain was falling yet again, a brave Sun-Fly (Helophilus pendulus) had a quick feed before a real downpour was had.
What a trial this year has been – the rest of the month was spent trying to keep dry and catching up.
We are very grateful to Fungal Punk for taking the time to record and send us his nature notes. He’ll send us his monthly log every couple of months so keep an eye out for them on the website.