Cellar cup fungi grow in a variety of places, usually where it is damp. In cellars, of course. But also in mortar, in the gaps between paving stones, on rotting sandbags, on vegetation or on manure. These were on one of the fallen tree trunks in Himley Plantation.
Fly agaric mushrooms, bright red caps with white warts, are usually easy to find growing near birch trees in late autumn. I’ve been on the look out in lots of places they usually pop up round here, and no sign this year.
The only exeption was this lone toadstool growing in an area of short grass (with birch trees) by the Wombourne bypass.
The heavy rains have washed the bright red of the cap to a glossy tan colour and removed most of the white spots. Something has found the cap a tasty treat, removing chunks which give a view of the gills.
Dover’s Hill is one of the high points on the scarp slope of the Cotswolds. After a mile walk uphill from the small market town of Chipping Campden, the view opens out across the Severn and Avon valleys, otherwise known as the Vale of Evesham. The hundred and eighty degree panorama is bracketed by Cotswold outliers, Bredon Hill to the south and Meon Hill to the north. The long ridge of the Malverns marks the other edge of the Vale.
For anyone unwilling or unable to walk the perhaps a mile or a little more from Chipping Campden, there is even a National Trust car park, a hundred yards or so from the highest point on the hill.
A small group of shovellers seem to have settled in for the winter on West Park lake. This drake was a little nearer than the rest of the group, shovelling water from just below the surface through its bill to extract food.
The iridescent feathers of its head changed colour from green to blue and black as it caught the mid-day sunlight at different angles.