“Out of this wood do not desire to go:
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no”
from A Midsummer Night’s Dream – W. Shakespeare
What else better on the weekend than a fast incursion into the woods, especially knowing that bad weather is expected this week? Mosses, lichens and various fungi provide so many colours at this time of year and we should appreciate them more.
This is the first time I found a scarlet cup mushroom, Sarcoscypha spp. (I think this one is an immature Scarlet pixie cup – S. occidentalis). It proves to be a most interesting and also ornamental genus with conspicuous fruiting bodies, brightly colored in red or yellow; they grow on dead wood, mostly on damp branches or twigs of hardwood trees, sometimes covered in moss, but not necessarily.
(you can read here the wiki stub if interested: Sarcoscypha)
Because they are considered elf and fairies ‘cups’, although it was very tempting to bring the wood stick home with me, I was afraid of the wood’s queen fairy repercussions. I look fw to see it ‘grown up’ in early spring!
The lack of snow on the steeper hills also allowed for more Hepatica scouting :) and, as always, there is something new to find, like this Hepatica with extra lobed leaves, and nice violet reverse, which fits more into H. americana than H. acutiloba, but I have to do some careful measurements in the spring to tell for sure. As you can see, it has its own little space at the base of an old maple.
More wonderful clumps up the hill, looking as if they have not already been a couple of times under a carpet of snow; just one image with H. acutiloba.
There is indeed a need for more Hepaticas in our northern gardens!
And I couldn’t remain in the woods as it started to snow again; see you next time…