Earth stars

Earth star

When they are fully out, earth stars look like some kind of alien flower.

Earth star

At an earlier stage, their relationshop to puffballs is more obvious.

Earth star

Milk cap

Milk cap

Milk caps are a group of mushroom species which exude a fluid when damaged. In some of these species the fluid resembles milk in colour and consistency. In other species the colour is different, or changes gradually on exposure to air.

Milk cap

Small flock of gulls

Black headed gulls

This small flock of gulls frequent the playing fields of Compton Park when there is little human disturbance. Most are black headed gulls, but the juvenile, with what looks like mainly grey feathers, is a different species, probably lesser black backed.

Blackening waxcap

Blackening waxcap

The cap of this mushroom is a more or less gelatinous cinnamon yellow-brown when it first emerges, with somewhat paler stem and gills. It then turns black.

Blackening waxcap

The rim of the cap of this one gives some hint of the richness of the original colour.

Panther cap

Panther cap

Autumn is the peak time for fungi, so that’s why they are dominating the posts at the moment.

Panther cap

The panther cap is not a particularly common mushroom, but this one was growing right by a canal bank near Compton.

Panther cap

This specimen seems to have proved a reliable food source for something small in the way of the local wildlife. All pictures are of the same individual. The top two are views from the side and top; the lowest picture was taken a couple of days earlier as the toadstool emerged, already nibbled at.

The Prince

The Prince

This series of pictures are of two fruiting bodies of the same fungus.

The Prince

The top two pictures show the toadstools directly from above.

The Prince

These next two show the same toadstools from the side, in the same order.

The Prince

These two pictures show the so-called ring, the structure around the stem.

The Prince

This final picture shows how the two were located in relation to each other.

Female spiders

Female spider

These cross spiders are huge, and have grown very rapidly – presumably the female of the species.

Female spider

The top two pictures are of the same individual, as seen first from above and then below.

Female spider