After the meeting ended, Graeme kindly agreed to show some of us the wax caps and other interesting fungi that he'd recently seen at Ebernoe. I've never previously identified any wax caps, which I guess are the orchids of the fungus world, so I was dead keen to see some.
|Golden Waxcap Hygrocybe chlorophana|
|Meadow Waxcap Hygrocybe pratensis|
|Parrot Waxcap Hygrocybe psittacina|
|Scarlet Waxcap Hygrocybe coccinea|
|Pink Waxcap or Ballerina Hygrocybe calyptriformis|
and the Liberty Cap (or Magic Mushroom) Psilocybe semilanceata. We were looking at some individuals and discussing whether they were this species but weren't convinced as they didn't have much of a 'nipple' on top, some others nearby were much more convincing and provoked the comment which forms the title of this blog.
On foreign birding trips, a 'bird of the day' is often chosen. Having seen the sort of number of new species that I would normally expect only on a foreign birding trip, it seems appropriate to pick a fungus of the day. The Beechmast Candlesnuff and Pink Waxcap were strong contenders but in the end the title is won by the amazing ecology of the Scarlet Caterpillar Club Cordyceps militaris which grows out of a buried moth caterpillar.