Kindly wish me happy 700th posting, please. Thanks for following along for the ride. If it were not for the feedback from the readers, this would not be worth doing.
Last week I took Lena for one of her occasional visits to Mr Darcy. In fact I was visiting my friends Lyndon and Maria, but don't tell Lena that.
The grass was almost unbelievably bright green in the morning light. But the colour is real. Lena loves a romp around on this field of neatly trimmed grass, and checking out the sniffs from the resident Goat, the local Wombats and Wallabies, and occasional Rabbits.
Mr Darcy is very ornamental, statuesque one could say. He is suitably handsome, as any Jane Austen fan would agree. Colin Firth fans - eat your hearts out!
The dogs, Lena and her friend Mr Darcy were not shy. They never are.
And from the sublime to the mundane, I noticed a small, dull, but beautifully shaped fungus growing from a dry piece of wood, at Lyndon and Maria's house. A perfect parasol shape.
Underneath this little brown parasol is a startlingly beautiful structure of widely spaced gills. These gills are interesting in that they alternate between complete gills (going from the stem to the cap), and short, incomplete gills. The gills are also relatively widely spaced, compared to the more familiar "field mushrooms" which many people consume regularly, purchased from Greengrocers (or supermarkets - if you have forgotten that "Greengrocers" still exist).
I have not been able to track down what this fungus is, but it bears some resemblances to this Mycena stipata (from an European website).
And, as with everything I like to do in this Blog, there is a tiny surprise waiting for you. Yes a minute insect (or an "arthropod" if you prefer). I have no idea what class, or order of creature this tiny creature is. I wondered if it might be a "proturan". I do not know. I certainly would welcome any advice from fellow bloggers. If you scroll back up to the image two above, you may now notice this creature, wandering around inside the gills of the fungus, on the top left side.
All I can make out for sure is that it has several dark grey protrusions which I assume are antennae, (on the far right hand side) and what appears to be two pairs of legs towards the front of the body, and other tiny feet, or other structures, but I cannot count how many pairs of legs this little creature has. As often happens, I was not even aware that this creature was present, until I developed the photograph. I might have checked its fine details with a 10x magnifying glass, otherwise.
Distressingly, an extended search of the Internet tonight brought little joy in trying to work out what "insects" (for want of a better word) live within fungi. I have seen these creatures before (several times), but I cannot not track down what they are. The fungi people concentrate on the types of fungi, but it seems that they seldom stray into discussing whatever creatures live on and within fungi. Apart from "Springtails", (Collembola), I have found little mention of creatures which feed on fungi. But they appear not to have a larval stage, and adults have a different body shape to this, with 6 body segments. This creature seems to have more segments than that.
As I have indicated, any help would be welcomed in identifying (above), and also the type of fungus the tiny little creature for which this little fungus is its entire "world".