The last day of paid fieldwork for Pete and Chris today (we think - there's always a bit of doubt!). I dropped them off at Woodwalton Fen where they were sampling two structurally different areas of Purple Moor-grass and then headed onto Holme Fen, which is one of my favourite sites at any time of year, but is perhaps at its best in autumn.
I photographed plenty of fungi, which are always abundant in this damp site on acid soil - crowds of deep orange Deceiver poked up above the gold of fallen birch leaves, accompanied by a scatter of Ochre Brittlegill, Yellow Swamp Brittlegill, Birch Milkcap, Bearded Milkcap and Brown Roll-rim. Tree stumps were festooned with crowds of Shining Inkcap, and a host of smaller species that I couldn't identify, while many trunks supported fine examples of Hoof Fungus, Birch Polypore and Birch Maze-gill.
Although I spent much of my time looking at and photographing the small details of the site, I remembered to take time to just appreciate the totality of the woodland, with its complex layers of vegetation, which all adopt different, complimentary hues at this time of year. I scarcely saw another person, and the whole site felt quite other-worldly - a place where it would be easy to believe in dryads and other mythological woodland creatures.