Snail

Snail

This snail was using the mortar as a trackway as it inched along the top of a low brick garden wall on 10th October.

Bee

Bee

The amount of pollen in the pollen baskets casts doubt on whether this bee would have been able to carry it all back home, but still she kept gathering more.

Nettle

Nettle flower

Growing almost to eye level in the field behind Compton lock on the Staffs and Worcs canal.

Heron

Heron in reeds

Its watchful position in the middle of a small reed bed gave this heron the confidence to ignore the constant stream of people along the towpath on the opposite bank of the Staffs and Worcs canal.

Mushroom

Wood mushroom

This mushroom was growing on a pile of wood chips which appeared to have been dumped on a grassy verge.

Wood mushroom

Earth Star

Earth Star

Geastrum triplex, to give it its official name, is one fungus which would be missed by someone just on the lookout for the classic toadstool shape.

This one disperses its spores through the hole visible in the centre.

This post, along with the harlequin ladybird and the dead man’s fingers, with thanks to the Wildside Activity Centre Fungi Foray, led by Sue Shanks.

Dead Man’s Fingers

Dead Man's Fingers

Yet another fungus with no resemblence to the stereotype of the toadstool shape.

Xylaria polymorpha can indeed be imagined as long-decayed human fingers. Found on fallen and rotten wood.

Harlequin ladybird

Harlequin ladybird

This north American species is, by some accounts, threatening to displace the various European species.

This one seems to be under attack by the much smaller aphids, which are in reality its prey.

Honey fungus

Honey fungus

Armillaria mellea are very variable in appearance. A common fungus, which lives off trees.

Honey fungus

Once the fungus gets established, it throws out a whole cluster of fruiting bodies near the base of the trunk. It is always fatal for the tree.