I visited Brandon Woods today in search of fungi. As in most years they were plentiful, though not as prolific as last year. I also searched in vain for any Fly Agaric which I saw last year. The Fly Agaric is not that rare, but it is one fungus which I could have identified positively. No doubt more knowledgeable friends will sort out some ids for me. The only one that I can identify positively is the stag's horn fungus in the last but one shot. In the final shot I had spotted the slug gorging on mycelium, but I didn't see the tiny snail until I looked at the images at home.
First, two views of the same colony on rotting timber:
on the forest floor:
This (on a well rotted tree stump) had a cap which is half the size of my little finger nail
On the floor:
The next 3 images were on the rotting end of a sawn off tree. The Stag's horn may be seen in the first image to give some idea of scale:
Five of us from Cambridge Camera Club went to the Lee Valley White Water Centre on Friday. We were on the lookout for competitors practising for the British Canoe Slalom Championships which were happening over the weekend. Since I last visited, there are now ropes down both sides of the course to keep us away from the action! It seems that we must have safety training before being allowed inside the ropes.
The weather varied from bright sunshine to dark grey clouds in a matter of minutes and then back again. The water takes on the colour of the sky, so varies considerably amongst these shots. At midday all of the gates on the course were removed and it was the turn of the so called "rafts" - actually large inflatable boats - which seemed to be chartered by groups (corporate team building exercises perhaps?) which were rather less photogenic.
The early summer flowers are changing the face of our garden every day. Beyond our garden most of the cherry blossom is now past, but there are plenty of other trees which reward closer inspection. These photos were taken on the village recreation ground and in our garden except for the Chestnut and the May which were in the gardens of Anglesey Abbey
I spotted a white-tailed bumble bee on the earth in a flower bed which seemed to be unable or unwilling to fly. She started to climb a tulip, but the surface of the leaves was very slippery and she kept falling back so I picked her up on a stick and put it down near some flowers where she began eagerly nectaring. I fear that she may have had some damage which prevented her flying as I never saw her take off. To take the photos I was using high speed off camera flash, a technique which is new to me and was recently described by an expert at a Cambridge Camera Club meeting. I also used it to take some flower pictures which I will post soon.
Pasque flowers (pulsatilla) are a rare wild flower which grow in profusion on a chalk outcrop beside Royston Heath Golf Course. As their name implies they flower at Easter time and this year is one of the best shows in memory. This afternoon, there was a strong breeze blowing as illustrated by the second shot and it is also fair to say that many of the flowers are now past their prime and bearing seed heads, but the final shot of a small part of the overall area shows just how profuse they are. Thank you to Ann Miles who guided me to them. For those interested, I took these shots with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 with a 60mm macro lens.
It is always a pleasure to realise that the days are lengthening and the light is improving for those of us who spend winter Saturdays on the touch line photographing Rugby. Yesterday was such a day. I didn't need to resort to high ISO shooting until close to the end of the game when the light and the game (from the perspective of a Cambridge supporter) became increasingly gloomy.