Month of Squares

April Squares: Top of the Toadstool

This is my day three contribution to Becky’s April Squares: Top photo challenge.

Toadstool is simply a nickname for fungi that is often poisonous or at least inedible.


April Squares: Top of the Toadstool

A Fly Agaric fungi cap photographed from above at Bickerton Hill, Cheshire.


Cosmic Photo Challenge

Cosmic Photo Challenge: Macro

The Cosmic Photo Challenge: Macro prompt was rather well timed. I have spent part of the winter digitising my slide archives that include hundreds of macro images.


Cosmic Photo Challenge: Macro

A Ruby-tailed Wasp. Given that the ruby red tail is usually covered by the wings a more appropriate name would be an Emerald-bodied Wasp.


Cosmic Photo Challenge: Macro

Fly Agaric fungi cap detail.


Cosmic Photo Challenge: Macro

A portrait of a Common Quaker Moth.


Cosmic Photo Challenge: Macro

Spines on a Teasel seed head in the autumn.


Photo Challenges

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Trail

This is my contribution to the Tuesday Photo Challenge – Trail.

As my walks around the neighborhood involve a selection of trails I thought I would go with a selection of photos taken when walking them rather than photos of the actual trails.

Some Dandelion clocks taken on a walk after the challenge was posted.

Dandelion seed heads.

A hodgepodge of tree trunks in the autumn.

Autumn tree trunks.

A Maple leaf on snow.

Casting a shadow on the snow.

Looking up at some autumn colour.

Fisheye autumn colour.

Fresh spring greens and old fungi.

Wordless Wednesday.

Autumn leaves and a decaying tree trunk in the autumn.

Worn and Weathered autumn detail.

A bunch of red berries spotted on a walk late in the year.

A group of red berries.

Photo Challenges

Friendly Friday: Twins

This is my contribution to the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Twins.

I started thinking about some of the pairs and doubles I have photographed over the years. After a while I started writing them down as the list was getting quite long and I didn’t want to overlook any when making my selection for the challenge.

Two Maple leaves.

A pair of Maple leaves.

Two Great Crested Grebes.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes.

Two Oxeye Daisies.

A pair of Oxeye Daisies.

Two Sandhill Cranes.

Sandhill Cranes at sunrise.

Two Fly Agaric fungi.

Amanita muscaria.

Two Large White Butterfly caterpillars.

Big and small.

Two pieces of grass sticking out of the snow.


Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: 29th May 2019

Wordless Wednesday.


Amanita muscaria

A second Fly Agaric post, Amanita muscaria is the scientific name for the mushroom.

Although classified as poisonous it hasn’t stopped slugs or snails eating part of the cap of the one on the right. You can just see the edge of eaten section slightly right of centre of the top of the cap.

At the same time, the reason it is called Fly Agaric in English is because in the past the mushroom was powdered into milk to kill flies in parts of Europe. Bug Agaric is an old alternative name for the mushroom for the same reason.

Amanita muscaria.


Fly Agaric

One from the archives taken in Cheshire in the 1990s. Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) are the classic Toadstool beloved by illustrators of children’s stories.

But they’re far more interesting than that. With the red cap and white spots some people assume it’s highly poisonous. It is poisonous but human deaths from ingestion are extremely rare.

It contains psychoactive substances and some cultures have used it for its hallucinogenic properties. The mushroom was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the indigenous peoples of Siberia.

I picked this shot because I like the way the Bracken fronds have wiped the white spots off a section of the cap. The white spots are the remains of a white veil that enclose the mushrooms when they emerge from the soil.

Fly Agaric and Bracken.