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Fungi of Markstakes Common

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Five weeks ago I was invited to give a talk on the fungi of Markstakes Common; not that I'm a mycologist, simply because it is known that I've taken a few nice pictures with my fancy iPhone 11 over the last 9 months. I then sit down to prepare my talk. I'm thinking I'll get to 16 or so mushrooms - the number I estimate I will identify once I start going through the photographs (I have over 2,000 shot on the Common, initially of the 'notable' trees in various stages across the seasons, then what I call 'PosNots' 'Possible Notable' trees which I wish to add to the national register. And then photos (and video) under different weather conditions: drenching rain, frost and snow, as well as high and increasingly low sunshine morning, midday and early evening over the year. Then I get down to pulling out the fungi photos.

Photograph of Upright Coral Fungi which looks like white coral.

I had got to over 60 slides about two weeks ago, and have now pushed it to 87. Even if you take a few off the times I have used two slides that still is far more than I expected, and a morning workshop not a short talk at an AGM. I'll have to pick my favourites. 

Photograph of a Scarlet Elfcup mushroom which looks like a piece of hollowed out orange with a red plastic inside.

That is how scientific it will be: the ones that look the best, so the Oyster Mushrooms I spotted a few weeks ago, the Scarlet Elfcup I was amazed to spot the other day (I thought it was a crushed Coke can someone had pushed under some logs), as well as the extraordinary Candlesnuff, Coral and Porcelain mushrooms, and the tiny bonnets, Puffballs, Common Earthball as well as Polypores, Brackets and Conks. 

A close up photograph of a porcelain mushroom which is white, delicate, like a miniature Starship Enterprise on a stick!

That would do it. I'll leave slimes and moulds for another day and won't even start on lichens. 

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 18 Mar 2023, 17:29)
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Post every day?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 3 Nov 2022, 06:46

Post at all! There was a time, here included, where I posted something every day. I still had this hangup going back decades that a diary, like bedside prayers, is something you do every evening without fail. I must have done if for 20 years on paper and for a decade online until I realise it wasn't getting me anywhere; it didn't achieve anything.

Is reflection supposed to 'get you anywhere'?

The mistake in a way was to ever imagine anyone would read this except for me.

Anyway, from time to time towards the end of a month, or in the first few days of a new month - and especially at New Year, I think (like tens of thousands of others), 'should I keep a daily diary?'

Frankly I am too busy doing, too exhausted to care to. I'd have to give up the end of day ritual of an hour of TV/Streamed drama. I'd have to give up my Scrabble App. And writing down the day wakes you up rather than sends you to sleep - it will impose itself on you and expand like foam of a can.

On verra.

I did a lot yesterday. Up at 5.00am something to create and post social media for someone, a bit more sleep then out early to walk the dog and track down the source of a local stream (for a blog/social media), then to volunteer the morning and early afternoon to a class of primary school children visiting the River Ouse. After which I had two swim coaching sessions to write, then deliver ... which took me to 9:30pm when I got home. I'm enjoying 'The Empress' right now about the Hapsburg Royal Family in Austro-Hungary in the 19th century.

And while here I looked at Free Online Courses on the Environment, and looked at post graduate study too. My time spent with Friends of this, or that or the other, on planning and environment committees with the Town Council (I'm an elected Green Councillor here in Lewes) has me thinking if I can revisit my undergraduate degree (Geography) and build on that. 

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