Not the most beautiful of plants but fascinating and something of a UK rarity.
Brogenslade is a frost pocket, the cold rolls off the surrounding hillsides and chills the valley. June frosts are not unusual and the Bracken often gets ‘cut’. This young frond was tucked in under the canopy of some thorn and apple trees and chanced it’s luck before the plants in the open dared peek through.
You can find them any time of year but mostly in late Autumn on dead branches and old coppice stumps. They tend to occur on wood that is already well rotted, other fungi having had the first munch. These are less demanding and can get nutrition from wood that is already part decayed. These fruiting bodies are supposed to be slightly bioluminescent but don’t them expect to see them glowing unless it is very dark or you have night vision equipment. Their latin name is Xylaria hypoxylon, they aren’t edible, no surprise there.
Freezing fog and the rising sun conspired to create a magical atmosphere in the wood near to Cuckoo Hill