While spending the day splitting logs on the yard in South Lincs, the talk of the super moon lead onto talking about the earth stars that have sprung up. Just before I head up to the NBN Conference in Edinburgh for the 16th and 17th, I thought I would do a quick write up of those spectacular looking fungi.
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The Xmas tree yard has had some good fungi over the years, all three earthstars on site have beaten the birds nests fungi Cyathus olla to top spot. The genus Geostrum comes from geo for earth and astrum meaning a star.
The first is Geastrum floriforme, the daisy earthstar (below). It is quite a rare fungus with the yard being one of a handful of sites in Lincolnshire. This species has been recorded on the yard before and has been verified by the county recorder, this specimen was growing in the same area as the previous ones. An old daisy earthstar has persisted on the yard for at least two years now, the fruiting body can be found anytime of the year. We have taken the dried and closed up star and soaked it in water, it didn’t take long before it opened back up.
Geastrum triplax (below) is another earthstar I’ve seen before but well worth including. Like puff balls, the spores from Geastrum species are released from the hole on the top when rain falls on the surrounding dome.
The last and new species on the list is Geastrum pectinatum (below). This has to be the best of them all, look at the way it stands proud albeit a little bit past its best.
As well as the three earthstars, a check of the ponk logs was carried out. Ponk logs are basically the stump of a felled tree with a slither of the felled tree placed on top of it. The usual suspects were recorded like Silpha atrata, Nebria brevicollis, Loricera pilicornis and Pterostichus niger, along with them a single rosy woodlouse Androniscus dentiger. A green sandpiper was heard leaving the drain on the edge of the yard, a woodcock in the Xmas tree fields and an egret sitting in a poplar tree were the bird highlights.
Pan species listing total now closing in on 1,500 with only a few to go before cracking into the last half of 2K. This year has been poor in regards to adding species to the list for one reason or another. Although the end of the year is looming, the sieve kit is primed to hit the grass tussocks before the year is out and into the new year. Next blog post will probably be the yearly summary while I have some free time!
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