Posted by: Ross Gardner | October 28, 2012

Tiny suprises

More fungi I’m afraid (it is that time of year after all), but a few days ago I happened upon some remarkable mushrooms, which I decided warranted another mycologically inclined post.  I have no I idea what species they were, nor any idea where to start.  Somewhat defeatist words, you might think, from a hardened naturalist.  In my defence though, is the fact that the largest mushrooms in the picture below are no more than 3mm across.  They were scattered about the trunk of an oak tree, issuing from a garden of algae glistening with the moisture of a thick, day-long fog.  Alas, I don’t own the hardware necessary to do their exquisiteness -in-miniature enough justice, but I hope I captured enough to get the point across.

Tiny mushrooms. Ross Gardner 2012

I had never before seen such tiny, yet perfectly formed little mushrooms.  I was quite taken aback by them.  It caused the mind to boggle as I peered up into the crown and ponder what life must be up there, even now, so late in the year and well into the autumn.  A few moments of closer attention to the trunk for other life easily revealed further reason to wonder.  The grazing herds of diminutive slugs and small narrow-shelled snails; glimpses of minute winged insects, zipping momentarily into view before being absorded by the mass of the tree; the oddity of the lichens encrusting the bark.  A big world of little things.

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