Brain teaser

I found this fungus growing on rotten wood at the edge of our garden. A quick search suggested it might be Tremella mesenterica, Yellow Brain Fungus. I am slightly confused as this seems to cover a number of similar fungi. So that’s the teaser, is it or isn’t it?Tremella mesenterica

Whether it is or is not doesn’t really matter photographically but I’d like to satisfy my curiosity.

STOP PRESS: it isn’t Tremella mesenterica but the even more delightful Fuligo septica otherwise known as, and I kid you not, Dog’s Vomit Slime Mold. So it isn’t even a fungus but a Mycetozoa.

April’s out

Tomorrow is May 1st and in honour of my birth most of the world gets a national holiday.   There may be other reasons but I like to think “Labour Day” is when my mother did her bit for Wales and pushed me out into the big wide world of Caerphilly. Today I spent the morning up the road in my new found shore spot. I took a variety of lenses and the 800mm went into the car, just in case.

A quick scan told me the 800 would be needed. It was high tide and only a few rocks were exposed. A group of tattlers were sitting on one and even closer I spied a Red-necked Stint. I was ambivalent about the tattlers but a close up of RNS (not Reuters News Service) was desired. At least the little blighter hung around long enough for me to get the lens but after that it allowed me one shot before it flew. I re-found it with the binoculars later but way out of photography distance. Here is my only frame of RNS.

Red-necked stint

Red-necked stint

Not very impressive but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

The tattlers were a nice group, sometimes 13, sometimes 14 and occasionally with a Common Sandpiper in their midst. The ever changing cloud and sun combinations meant getting an accurate colour balance was tricky. These have been tweaked but I’m not sure how good the WB is.

Grey-tailed Tattler

Grey-tailed Tattler


The bird lying down on the rock, back right, is the interloper.

There were other Common Sandpipers around. The nearest one was really out of distance even for the 800mm but looked nice in habitat.

Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Then I switched to my macro lens. Needless to say as I did so the RNS returned but by that time I was too worn out to walk back to the car again to get the bazooka. I found 3 nice fungi opportunities.

Fungi2 Fungus Fungus3I simply love the deep orange of the decaying fungus. The gills look brilliant even though the upper surface has almost passed over completely and rotted away.

And finally my friend Long Tail was out and about. Here is LT in full glory and then looking me in the eye. The eye shot is full frame.

Longtail LongtailcloseupHow did I get so close without LT skipping away? Well I suspect it was a sympathy shot. It saw me faffing about with the tripod and probably felt so sorry for me trying to get set up right it simply decided to hang around to enjoy the show. One wink and then gone.

And me too. Mrs. Ha called me home for lunch. I bumped into a local birding friend on the way  and we exchanged information. He was looking for Bee-eaters. Now I am ready for a siesta. Age is catching up with me. Until next time.