Of Witches Hats and Blood Red Skies

On day 152 of 365 Days Wild I wandered down to the Natrue Project in search of any signs of the changing season that might be about.

My first spot, in the eastern corner of the meadow, was most definitely that. These orange and black fungi are, I think, called Witches Hats (Hygrocybe conica) and are a perfect find for the Halloween season. They’re also known as Blackening Waxcaps, but I know which name I prefer.

Not far distant from the Witches Hats, I stopped to again photograph some small orange toadstools. I think that these are probably the same species that I’ve previously thought might be either Scurfy Twiglets or Scurfy Deceivers, neither of which identifications I’ve ever been entirely happy with. I now think that they might actually be Turf Bells (Galerina graminea). These are of the same family as Funeral Bells and, whilst apparently not as deadly, they are toxic and inedible.

I couldn’t resist taking off my shoes for a while and walking barefoot through the fallen leaves at the bottom of the meadow and down to the stream. A little time spent earthing is always worthwhile – especially in a space where I know I’m unlikely to encounter thorns, thistles, or anything else that makes me go “ouch!” Further along the path, the brambles are a little too intrusive.

The sun decided to emerge from behind the clouds when I was down near the stream. It wasn’t long before it started to turn the beautiful gold of approaching sunset.

The sun bursting through the trees beside the little ladder was lovely treat. I never can resist a sunburst.

The light on the pond was particularly lovely.

I caught a few shots of sunset as I walked home but I wasn’t overly impressed. I thought this was as good as it was going to get and headed indoors after a quick, disappointed glance over the field behind our house.

I couldn’t have been more wrong! I’d barely been in the house long enough to remove my boots when I looked out the window, only to catch sight of what has got to be the reddest sunset I have ever seen. It wasn’t just pink. It was blood red! It was incredible, and perfect for the Halloween season.

That’s all for today. What signs of the season are there where you are?

5 thoughts on “Of Witches Hats and Blood Red Skies

  1. It was so wet this morning that I decided to do a bit of urban guerrilla gardening. I took a saw on my walk and thinned some of the trunks of trees along a pathway thus remaining in the shelter of the canopy. I lay the trunks along the fence line to enable saplings to grow through and to help maintain a secure field boundary.

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    1. Wonderful! Every little helps. Before the village Nature Project was given permission to care for the pond and woodland there were a few of us who’d occasionally go along and cut back the brambles growing over the path. Thanks for sharing, Peter!

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