Sunday, 2 November 2014

A day in the life of a Magpie Ink Cap

When I was looking up Magpie Ink Caps in my I-spy book of all things fungi, I read that they fruit and die back incredibly quickly, often within one day. I'd found such lovely examples up by the car park at Whiteleaf Hill yesterday that I was intrigued to go and take a look at what had happened to them in the last 24 hours.

The eggs had grown in size and sprouted their stalks. The larger one had a stalk about 10cm long - not bad going for 24 hours! They still had their egg shape and hadn't opened out into the dome shape yet.
Yesterday the new Magpie Ink Caps looked like eggs in the leaves
Today they've grown stalks
The perfect example from yesterday was looking a bit sorry for itself today. It was literally 'dripping' away and looking well past its best.

Yesterday, a perfect Magpie Ink Cap

Today, dripping away and looking quite sad
And as for the Magpie Ink Cap that was just starting to go over yesterday ... it had fallen flat on it's side and was unrecognizable.

Yesterday it was just starting to lose some it's cap

Today it had fallen over on its side and the cap had almost gone
So I have to agree that they do last for a very short time. That's possibly why they're listed as uncommon, because they're just not around for very long when they do fruit. I feel very lucky to have seen them yesterday, when they were all looking so good!

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