Sunday, 7 February 2010

Kirkstall Abbey

After reading about the emerging snowdrops in Pam's garden I spotted my first flowering crocus of the year on the bank overlooking Kirkstall Abbey.

Near the entrance to the walled garden there are a number of deciduous trees, predominantly Horse Chestnut and a couple of Prunus species. Five of the Chestnuts look in poor shape with extensive deep fissures in the bark. On closer inspection there were abundant clusters of Velvet Shank, Flammulina velutipes. Stimulated to fruit in cold frosty weather it has a smooth sticky orange brown cap, domed & inrolled margin, the stem black & velvet like at the base & creamy orange gills that are clear in this shot.

Here's the host tree & there's another in a similar state to the right. Part of this tree had already been removed by the groundsteam presumably due to its weakened structure.

I have to admit that its pretty eye catching on an overcast and drizzle bound day.

On the trunk of the same tree this less attractive slime mould.
A nearby Prunus was dotted with a different species of fungi, Jelly Ear Auricula auricularia-judae. Elder is its more familiar host and its the first time Ive seen growing on another tree species.

If the hills have eyes then the trees most definitely have ears.

I'll be interested to see how the rest of the surrounding trees fare. For the past few years Ive enjoyed photographing the autumn foliage of these Horse Chestnuts & they've become a familiar sight. Nothing much else around the Abbey today other than Jackdaw's & pigeons roosting on the Abbey, a couple of pairs of Mallards on the River Aire & a charm of chattering Goldfinch on Morris Lane.


  1. I'm surprised to see the fungi fruiting so well, considering the weather.

  2. Great photos of the various fungi, especially the lighting through the Jelly Ear.

  3. Thank you both, I was surprised to see so many fruitbodies. Its a south facing bank so perhaps that has contributed to the abundance of fungi. Linda


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