Thursday, 4 December 2014

Down and Dirty

Hi all, as autumn moves into winter there's a bit of a lull for me usually. Herefordshire does not have so many birding opportunities as other counties, at least not photographically speaking, and at a time when the summer migrants have gone and the passing winter migrants just are not passing very often as yet I like to turn my attention to Fungi.

I have been mostly out and about for the last month or so trying to add shots to my catalogue of fungi. I've mentioned in the past that finding them and identifying them are two completely different things. Finding them has always been reasonably easy. Photographing them occasionally a bit harder. Identifying them can be darn impossible sometimes. This year I have been very lucky in having the help of Jo Weightman from Herefordshires fungi group. Jo has proved invaluable on a number of occasions, helping me with identifications and pointing me in the right direction for how those identifications can sometimes be made easier.

My efforts and Jo's help have pushed my list of identified fungi to over 40. You can see images of all of them on my Smugmug site (see new gallery in my links). However even with Jo's help sometimes I can only get it down to a family group.

This is one such example:

A tiny, tiny, little fungus. I looked and could not identify it, so I sent Jo a copy and bless her she came back to me and said that without a closer examination she too could not positively ID it. The best she could offer was that it was a Mycena.

Half the fun though is finding them in the first place, then getting as low as possible and obtaining a shot. Getting low often means belly to the ground something which is not easy when your over 20st and suffer with back problems. The getting down is often the easy bit it's the getting back up which causes concern. Lighting things that are at ground level isn't always easy either, shadows are sometimes impossible to avoid. but I am becoming better at it now, I think. Off camera flash work can help.

I have done other things. I spent a day in the Forest of Dean earlier this week during which I had a lengthy stint up Crabtree Hill looking for the Great Grey Shrike. It was there briefly, but distant. This is a huge crop shot. probably 10% or less of the original.


I also spent a little time at Cannop Pond feeder station.

But as I said this last month has mostly been about fungi. Please check out the Mycology section of the Smugmug site. Or at least the recent additions for better views of all the fungi I have at this time.