The Small of the Wild (Part 1)

I had a microscopic adventure this week: a foray into the world of Ascomycetes fungi. Ascos (That’s what the cool kids call them – and I’m down with the kids, as you know!) are a type of small fungi that live on dead wood (or sometimes other fungi) and proliferate by expelling spores into the air (they are known as the ‘Spore Shooters’).

To study them, you really need a hand lens (although there are some large ascos like Scarlet Elf Cup and Witches Butter which are large – Elf Cups will feature in another blog post very soon!).  Delighted that I remembered to pack my hand lens and my camera with macro lens, I managed a few cool pics.  (Not all of these are Ascos, as some are fungi from different groups, and at least one is a slime mould (Which is apparently part fungi / part animal!!!).  It was an enthralling experience looking for organisms on a microscopic level – and of course I digressed into looking at beetles, slugs, snails, etc (below) I had my eyes opened to a completeley new taxonomic group!

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