A very wet and windy morning gave way to a drier, calmer afternoon just in time for the start of our meeting in this beautiful ancient woodland, but perhaps not in time to encourage any Bath Nats members to join me and Marion as we started out from the Quarry car park at around 1.40 pm.

Instead we were joined by an enthusiastic family of five yet-to-be members and a local bryologist friend as we ventured into an enchanting world of freshly fallen leaves, luxuriant bryophytes, intriguing fungi and an active hornet’s nest that we stood not too close to as we watched arriving and departing flights of these magnificent insects.

Collared Earth Star (Geastrum triplex) © Marion Rayner

Green Elf Cup (Chlorociboria aeruginascens) © Marion Rayner

Inky Mushroom (Agaricus moelleri) © Marion Rayner

Amongst the bryophytes we appreciated was a particularly fine growth of Greater Featherwort (Plagiochila asplenioides) on a bank quite close to the entrance to the wood. Amongst the more notable fungi were White Saddle (Helvella crispa), Collared Earth Star (Geastrum triplex), Crested Coral (Clavulina coralloides), Inky Mushroom (Agaricus moelleri), Oak Bracket (Inonotus dryadeus), Poplar Bracket (Oxyporus populinus), Yellowing Curtain Crust (Stereum subtomentosum), Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus) and Green Elfcup (Chlorociboria aeruginascens).

Alan Rayner