Wigs or Caps?

21st November 2014
Maybe it's because I just have never really looked for them before or maybe the growing conditions have been ideal this year, as in damp and warm. But having found my first Scruffy Inkcap / Lawyers Wig (Coprinus comatus) way back at the end of September it was for me an exciting discovery. This is despite being labelled a common find in most reference books, I was super excited!

Quickly overcoming the disappointment of my first find being unknowingly mown down and then discovering that actually this activity helped spread the spores and encouraged more to sprout, it would seem that Norfolk has had a bounty of them this year or certainly near to where I live.

Vast numbers of Scruffy Inkcaps with seriously bad wig / hair days.. hence the other name for them, Lawyer Wigs, seem to be still coming up roses along the edges of fields, mown lawns and pathways.

Often there have been too many to chose from so clumped together in such numbers that I haven't known how to compose a shot. Their splendour is over in a day or so, rising from the ground torpedo style just like Thunderbird 1 magnificently appearing out of the Tracy Island swimming pool. They quickly open and unfurl themselves inside out, dripping black inky spore on the grass around them that attracts insects and flies.

My attempts to photograph them have been humoured by friendly farmers and garden owners who have generously allowed me to crawl across their grass with my nail scissors and accompanying baggage to capture a little portfolio of toadstool tranquility. As my first serious forage into fungi photography (not easy to say aloud) I look forward to taking even more photo's as the season progresses.

My thanks go to Julie & David, Mitchell, Jonny & Siobhan.

More images are in the Sweating the Small Stuff Portfolio.

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