Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Oyster

No walk today as we had other things to do, so a couple of pictures from a previous ramble.  On the day we trekked up Shipley Hill to view the wonderful Rhododendrons and Azaleas, our route took us through the woodland around the base of the hill.  Here, amid the Pines, Chestnuts, Hawthorn and Ash, there are a several old Beech Trees.  One or two of these have been felled and on one of the hulking carcasses, a cluster of fungi were growing.
Now, fungi are not really my area of expertise (if anything can be described as such), so it took a little searching the Internet to discover that these rather attractive fungi are in fact Branched Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus cornucopiae).  They were rather more common in Britain at the height of the Dutch Elm Disease epidemic, slowly devouring the dead bodies of those stately trees.  since then, they have had to restrict themselves to the rotting bulks of Beech.  they certainly seem to like the fallen Beech trees of Shipley Hill.
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