Holly berries

Holly berries

Holly has bright red berries as winter comes, and deep green leaves all year long. It’s easy to see why it should be taken as a mid-winter decoration symbolising continuing life.

Holly berries

Cortinarius

Honey fungus, possibly

The stem is hard to see, hidden even in this short grass.

The cap is covered in a what looks like a made to measure yellow hairnet.

CORRECTION: identified by Lukas Large as probably a honey fungus

Gulls

Gulls

On the left is a lesser black backed gull. Next come two black headed gulls. Then on the right another lesser black backed gull, this time an adult bird.

All are surveying a playing field – a likely spot to find a roost of gulls in the city.

Puffball

Puffball

These fungi release their spores when hit by drops of rain, the escaping pores looking like puffs of smoke.

Two different puffball species for the price of one today.

Puffball

Hazel catkins

Hazel catkins

Already by early December the first signs of spring, even though it’s unlikely we have seen the worst of the winter.

Until recent years, the expectation would be that these hazel catkins would not come out before January.

Birch bolete

Birch bolete

Another common bolete species, this one found in association with (surprise!) birch trees

Mosses

Moss

Seem to be able to grow just about anywhere, even directly out of stone or brick walls, so long as they can get enough moisture.

The example above was growing from a dead bough of a rose bush, the one below on a stone bird bath.

Moss

Parrot waxcap

Parrot waxcap

Before it begins to fade, this toadstool is coloured a peculiar shade of green.

The specimen above was already beginning to get washed out and faded. Somewhat nearer the original shade is this one hiding in the grass.

Parrot waxcap

And someone had helpfully kicked this one over, giving a clear view of the stem and the gills.

Parrot waxcap

Tettenhall ridge – autumn

Tettenhall ridge - autumn

The strong winds brought down most of the leaves before really gaudy autumn colours developed this year.

Here the more distant trees, oaks, are still holding on to their leaves, which have mainly been stripped from the nearer trees.

First frost

First frost

Lichen encrusted with the first frost of the winter: above on a branch brought down by some of the recent heavy winds. Below on one still on a bush.

First frost

Mild milkcap

Mild milkcap

Milkcaps are a group of toadstool species which produce a fluid when the cap is injured in any way. In some species, such as this, the fluid is white, and looks very like milk.

I had just lightly brushed this specimen while clearing away a bit of debris to get a clearer view. The result: a copious amount of “milk”.