Bush Truffle Under A Totara

I've been back in Dennistoun Bush this afternoon, hunting more fungi and enjoying the peace and quiet now that all the Easter daytrippers have gone home.

It's nice living in a place that people love to visit, as it makes one realise just how special it is here. At the same time, it's nice when all the cars disappear and you can sit on the paths in the bush and not worrying about getting in anyone's way!

Today I definitely would have been in the way as I was down on ground level with the tripod and remote release. I was on the look out for different kinds of fungi that I'd yet to photograph, and it was good that my search was fruitful.

This gorgeous red truffle is a Paurocotylis pila, a bush fungus that pops out of the ground underneath podocarps. The truffle is about 15-20mm across, and its colour mimics the berry of both the totara and kahikatea. It's thought that as New Zealand doesn't have native mammals - apart from bats, that is - the fungi have evolved to attract birds; in truffles (sequestrate fungi to be exact) the spores are internal and thus require animals to spread them.

With such an amazing selection of fauna and flora literally on our doorstep, I'm learning more each day about what's out in the bush.

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