Slime-mould fruiting bodies

The skies returned to grey, and at first sight Thorpe Wood appeared dark and devoid of interest. But a meander through the unmanaged centre of the wood, peering into dark corners, revealed a variety of wood-rotting fungi and slime-moulds, with subtle variations of colour, shape and form.

These tiny fruiting bodies were growing on an oak leaf, among the dense carpet of leaf litter. They looked like tiny white dots, about 1mm across, and it was only when I saw them on the computer screen that I realised they were shaped like tiny goblets with a cap, which dehisced to reveal a the spores. It took me quite a long time to track down their identity, but eventually I confirmed they're the fruiting bodies of the slime-mould Craterium minutum, a widespread species of rotting leaves and mosses, easily overlooked!

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