Cow parsnip

The cow parsley or hogweed, Anthriscus sylvestris, is normally a summer-blooming plant. This specimen, on the edge of Valley Park, still had fine flowers when these pictures were taken on October 1st.

Cow parsnip

Inkcap again


A closer view of inkcaps already posted here. The picture above is of the newest mushroom, which has a surface still covered in fine white hair-like structures.

The other picture shows the second-newest, with the rim of the cap already marked by the ongoing deliquescence.


These are probably coprinus lagopides, a reasonably common inkcap, though one without a vernacular name. Alternatively, it may be the less frequently encountered coprinus lagopus.

Razor strop fungus

Razor strop fungus

This is a common fungus which grows directly from the trunks of birch trees.
The specimen here was one of many fruiting bodies growing from a fallen rotten birch in a former railway cutting in Valley Park. Possibly the rot was caused by this fungus, which is responsible for the loss of many birch trees.

Razor strop fungus

This fungus is also known as the birch polypore. It was pure white when it first appeared a couple of days ago. The visible parts can survive for up to a year, gradually getting more darkly brown.

Piptoporus betulinus was used to sharpen old-fashioned cut-throat razors. Hence the name.

Golden Y Moth

Golden Y moth

Sometimes it is possible to see wildlife without leaving the comforts of home.

This Golden Y moth (or is it one of the other Y species?) had flown into the house overnight.

Picture taken 23rd September.


Inkcaps on wood chippings

There are several species of inkcap mushrooms, all of which deliquesce. They do not drop their spores out of gills at the base of the cap. Instead, the cap disintegrates giving off the black mass of the spores.



This fly, whose species we haven’t been able to further identify, was totally absorbed in cleaning itself and ignored a very close approach.

Comma butterfly


This individual is here opening its wings to display their upper surface and its furry-appearing body.

It is the same individual pictured with its wings closed, showing off its comma, here.



Wood-clipping mulch often serves as a matrix for impressive mushrooms, as here this specimen of pluteus semibulbosus.



Walking along the canal from Broad Street basin in Wolverhampton city centre, the flight of locks down to the meeting with the Staffs and Worc canal at Aldersley Junction heads out towards the countryside.

Heading in the other direction, the Birmingham Main Line canal provides a green corridor right across the industrial and post-industrial desolation of the Black Country.

Much of this stretch of canal is lined by reed beds, here of bullrush or reedmace, which provide the shelter for the nests of coots and moorhens.

Red admiral

Red admiral butterfly

Pollen-loving insects seem to have been particularly attracted to sedums this year.

Here, a red admiral takes some nectar as it warms up in the morning sun.

Little Japanese umbrella


A brief shower yesterday evening was enough to encourage some mushrooms to come up after the recent dry spell.

This Coprinus plicatilis was peeping up through the grass of a somewhat overgrown lawn.
The Little Japanese umbrella is a common mushroom, but easily overlooked because it is so small and delicate.