For yesterday afternoon's walkies I thought we would try a route we haven't used for a couple of months. As the earth footpath is low lying it soon gets waterlogged but yesterday it was just a bit on the squelchy side but easily passable. Along this path are tall stumps of old Ash Trees which were cut down a few years ago and I noticed one was now being colonised by fungi. (Photos are not brilliant as I only had the mobile phone and even though it was a dull afternoon the highlights were over exposed)
After much searching through Google I am pretty sure the dark finger like growths are Dead Man's Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha)but I am not at all sure about the orange growths. To me they could well be one of the many variations I found called Jack O'Lantern but which variety is still a mystery to me. There was also a clump of these growing on top of the stump.
Continuing through to the back of the churchyard there was a lovely patch of Snowdrops under a group of ancient trees,
There I stood for a while with Bobby patiently waiting as I scoured the branches and trunks for any signs of bird or animal life to no avail. The only creatures about were some fancy chickens which had escaped from the neighbouring house and a lone rabbit hopping about the grass.
As we walked through the churchyard we passed one of my favourite spots this time of year. Here a large group of Winter Aconite were showing their bright yellow flower buds which will be opening over the next week or so.
Twice in the past I have gathered seed from these plants. Each time they have germinated but as soon as they reached about an inch in height they wilted and died. I see it is possible to buy the bulbs of cultivated Winter Aconite so I must try that way to get my own display of one of my favourite late Winter / early Spring flowers.
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