Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, May 25, 2007

A new blog link - Gaye in the Hunter Valley

In the last few days, I have stumbled across the blog of a kindred naturalist, armed with a camera.
Birds Nest Fungi
on the forest floor
Gaye, from the Hunter Valley, has been blogging for a little while now, and she has some excellent photos of fungi, and plants and lizards, and insects, and, and, and.

I have posted a permanent link to her blog in the side bar, under my "My Favourite Sites", and also another link to her Hunter Valley Fungi Blog - under the heading of Fungi Reference Sites. Both sites are well worth a look,
and keep them bookmarked for future reference (or save as "favourites").
Close up of the "eggs"

(peridioles) in the "nest"
I came across her Blog while searching for other photos of the Bird's Nest Fungus. I went back with David today to see if we could trigger the tiny little "eggs" (peridioles) to get splashed out of their nests (the way the books say they spread their spores about). However, we could not trigger them.

These particular fungi were fairly old, judging by the fact that nearly all the "nests" were empty. If I find another group of these fungi, I shall have another "go". My friends, Roy and Joan actually have had these fungi come up in pot plants on their back verandah. Easier to experiment with those, (if they come up again this year) than doing what I did today, searching for some time to "re-find" these few Birds Nest Fungi in the bush.
Those tiny fungi (above) are smaller than a thimble to fit my littlest finger.
species ???
They were growing amongst a large area of Fishbone Ferns (possibly Doodia sp) in a section of forest which was "burnt off" last year. Hard to find, even when you know they are there somewhere. Talk about looking for a "needle in a haystack". It makes me wonder how I found them in the first place.

Tips of the frond and
distinctive spore pattern
underneath the fronds
I am not experienced in identifying ferns, but from a quick check of some reference books, these ferns are possibly a Doodia species. Forgive me if I refer to them as "Fishbone Ferns" (an imprecise layman's name), but from the shape of the fronds you can see why I use that name.
Any hints from visitors to the site would be appreciated, as I am always keen to learn.

This patch of ferns is growing strongly in an area which was burnt off last year. They are regrowth from old woody rhizomes which lie flat on the ground.


Gaye from the Hunter said...

hi Denis,

thank you very much for your positive comments about my nature observation blog sites. I try to update them both once a week (or occasionally more frequently with the fungi blog), so that there are regular new entries for viewers to enjoy.

I have had birds nest fungi (Cyathus stercoreus) appearing in my mulched herb garden in April and May of this year. Previously I have found them on old cow pats in the paddock adjoining my yard. The largest would be about 6mm diameter at the top, and possibly 10mm high, so yes, tiny little things to observe. Fascinating.

You have obviously done some reading to determine that your fishbone fern could belong to the Doodia genus. I am also not familiar with identifying ferns, but in my book it says of Doodia: "5 species in Australia, 3 in the Sydney district.....sori in 1 or 2 interrupted rows on each side of the midvein." The positioning of the spores on your specimen matches that description.

I have to travel an hour and half to reach ferny places, unfortunately, so I don't get to visit to often.


Denis Wilson said...

Gosh, an hour and a half from ferns? They cling to trees, rocks and people (if they stand still long enough) around Robbo.