I was out early on a gorgeous autumn morning, with spells of warm sunshine. The recent heavy rain made it very damp underfoot though! My main objective was to visit the location of a rare fungus growing on a huge decaying White Willow trunk at Woodwalton Fen (see extra). The intensely orange caps of Flame Shield Pluteus aurantirugosus had faded a little since Chris and Pete saw them earlier in the week, but the wrinkled texture of the cap had developed. The specific name 'aurantirugosus' means orange and wrinkled - a very well named species! This is a threatened species of very decayed hardwood, especially poplar in alluvial forests.
Having found the Flame Shield very quickly, I went on to Raveley Wood NR, which has a great deal of dead elm that supports an interesting mycoflora. I spent a happy couple of hours alone in the wood, pottering among the rotting trunks, and recorded two other species of Shield, both of which are very local. But once again it was the sheer abundance of Wrinkled Peach fungus that took my breath away - I think that these will always be my favourite species!