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Ben R

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  1. 😆 You're right! Don't know who this wizened nutter is, but he fancies himself as an orchestra conductor........
  2. May be wrong but i would also go with sandspider's initial impression - rat. Voles are small, vulnerable and on the menu for many. Hence, unlike the hole in lux's photo which is on full, open display, their living quarters are usually discretely situated - hidden among or under something. Lux could search the vicinity for further holes which might turn up better evidence indicating the culprit or even put up a trail cam. Assuming it's still in use, another old trick is dampening the soil around the entrance sometime before dusk and then carefully smoothing it to a 'slick' - with a view to being rewarded with some good, clear footprints. These can then be photographed and compared online. However, if there ARE multiple holes then it will be necessary to repeat the process for all of them. Since the disturbance/human scent may deter a hole being used.
  3. Yes, it's a cave spider. Either Meta menardi (most common so likeliest) or possibly the near identical but rarely recorded M. bourneti. A bit saggy, but another telling feature of your photo is the distinctive teardrop-shaped egg sac which hangs eerily from the ceilings of their dwellings (like something from a horror movie such as 'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers' or 'Alien'). Despite the fearsome appearance, my impression of Meta is that it has a calm, laid back disposition. Whenever i've seen them they mostly remain very still - no unsettling scampering about like the house spiders (Tegenaria) that suddenly race across the carpet in country cottages. There are plenty of pictures of people with a Meta resting on their hand, arm etc which further suggests they don't bite readily. If that helps reassure any arachnophobes!
  4. This quirky young beech apparently signalling someone's initials caught my eye recently. Or maybe it's a broken pair of surgeon's forceps.....
  5. In parts of the Forest of Dean it's not uncommon to see precarious looking trees perched upon huge boulders jutting out of the hillside, but i thought this one stood out from the pack. It almost looks like it's melted over the rock.😀 Spot the human torso in the last pic..
  6. This one on Rodborough Common, Stroud looks a bit like an angry cobra 😨:
  7. Not certain, but suspect Derek's id is right. Withering Dryad's Saddle was my immediate impression when i saw the pic too.
  8. Agree with Paul re the Velvet Shanks and Shaggy Parasol. Last one will probably be Ganoderma. Among the potential candidates, also agree this is the likeliest, owing to the colours, stem surface texture and (initially) quite pointed cap shape. No 3 is a bit far gone.
  9. A tall and undernourished catwalk model in a pair of 1970s loon pants strikes a pose.....
  10. This one's just as 'schoolboy' as the last, but at least i'm addressing the phallocentric gender imbalance.......
  11. Agree with David's id and opinion of the Cauli. It's in perfect condition and just right for the table - if you've got the time to clean it as it'll likely be full of earwigs, woodlice etc.
  12. I'm afraid rather than a face, i'm going to lower the tone for the third (?) time here with another 'wood with wood' knob pic, sorry. But hey, you can't help it if that's what you've found.? Woody's back, crack and sack treatments had lapsed since lockdown........
  13. This and the 'remarkable trees' one must be among my favourite threads anywhere ever. What a fascinating, amazing and hilarious tribute to wood. Thanks all and hope you keep finding them? These two were both spotted this week and i suppose they could equally have gone in 'Fungi pictures'. Not the best of examples here by a long shot, but maybe worth a look : 1. "I wish i'd looked after me teeth...." (dentistry by Agrocybe cylindracea) 2. Anyone lost an Easter Island 'moai'? statue? (poker-faced lips by Gymnopilus junonius)
  14. Hi Golden Bough I'm afraid fungi ids can be very tricky given their often dramatic changes of form through the life stages, the frequency of lookalikes (expertise and a microscope may be necessary to separate), the ephemeral/unpredictable nature of their appearance (which impedes opportunities to get to know them intimately), natural variation within a species and more. Ids from photos are yet more challenging, especially if - as here - they're rather desiccated and past their best. Personally, i can only offer a few thoughts here, rather than confident ids (hopefully someone else can do better or at least give an opinion). Well that's the excuses done! ?. You deserve a reply. Best guesses: Suspect pics 5-7 are less developed examples of the species seen in 1-4. IF so, then judging by the wavy, 'scalloped' look of the brownish brackets' upper surface, the overall general form/'feel', the base-of-the-tree location of the fruiting and what is possibly blackening upon bruising seen on the lower surface in 5-7, first impressions led me to consider that it might be a rather dwarf Giant Polypore (Meripilus giganteus). The apparent gill/slot-like underside was throwing me out though. However, I zoomed the pic and then it did look a bit more like the pore surface i would expect to find - just rather ripped n ragged in places with age. The other, ground dwelling fungi with their whitish caps, dark brown gills and big floppy ring hanging down the stem bear much resemblance to your common-or-garden 'shop' mushrooms and so are likely to be Agaricus. Impossible to name the species from these photos alone though sorry. You'd need a lot of field information around habitat/soil type/tree species in the vicinity etc, plus close up shots detailing every part of the fungus including the inside of one cut in half and preferably a range of specimens from 'button' stage to mature to even stand a chance. Agrocybe would be my 'runner up' id, although the stem ring looks too substantial for that really. Cheers Ben


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