A plethora of fungi and a gratuitous night sky view

With our wet, cool winter we still have an abundance of fungal fruiting bodies popping out of the earth and trees to spread their spores far and wide. I am unsure of the precise identification of these little beauties and welcome any clarifications.

Many of the photos show tiny invertebrates feeding on the fruiting bodies – tiny creatures that I had no idea where there until I processed the shots.

Funnel Cup fungi with a Springtail on top

Springtails have six legs, but are not insects and have internal mouth parts. They live in the leaf litter and eat decaying plant matter and microbes. They also eat fungal hyphae (the strands that make up the bulk of the fungus) and spores.

The delicate gills and rich colours of the fungi look stunning against the mosses.

Galerina sp. – careful inspection of the one on the right reveals another springtail.

Galerina sp. with Fungus Gnat.

Fungus Gnats are tiny flies that are very important pollinators and spreaders of fungal spores. The adult forms can be seen flying around in large groups in still air even in winter as they meet up to mate.

At first, I thought this was a Puff Ball Fungus, but on closer inspection, I think it has a stem which has yet to rise above the moss.
Mycena sp in a niche in an old Grey Box stump. Fungi are important in the recycling of wood.
Galerina sp. and Scented Sundews.
Lichenomphalia sp. – there are so many of these beautiful tiny fruiting bodies on the woodland floor at the moment.

And – quite off topic – a gratuitous night sky shot that I took the other night from the old rail crossing now submerged in Cairn Curran at Joyce’s Creek.

The centre of the Milky Way rises over Cairn Curran. The dark patches are cold clouds of dust and gas from which future stars will form. The bright patches are clouds of gas ionised by the clusters of newborn stars that they surround.

4 responses to “A plethora of fungi and a gratuitous night sky view

  1. Galena Debney

    I’ve just read a2 book called “Finding the Mother Tree”, by world renowned Suzanne Simard Prof of Forest Ecology, who made the most remarkable ecological discovery of our time, (despite initially being ridiculed), that forest trees and fungi communicate/have kinship with each other learning resilience. There’s more to these fungi than meets the eye. Thanks for the great photos.

  2. carolbarker2014

    Magnificent, Patrick! Please keep on with your wonderful observations. I have learnt so much about subjects that I was not familiar with.

  3. Thanks. Really lovely photos!

    Sent from my iPad


  4. equus66optusnetcomau

    what a glorious representation of the grandeur of our world and the beauty of its miniature forms of life. Thanks Patrick. Rod

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