Lumpy Brackets and boring beetles

There’s a Lumpy Bracket fungus in the woods at Fingle Bridge on Dartmoor. That’s its name; the Lumpy Bracket fungus.

Trametes gibbosa - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It has beautiful growth rings just like the tree stump it has colonised. Lumpy Brackets are colonised by algae which turn their tops green. It looks like Lumpy Brackets grow from the leading edge as that’s still purple and yet to glow that strange earthy algal green.

Its scientific name is Trametes gibbosa. Tram- means thin and gibbosa means like a gibbous – the phase of the moon where there’s a dark crescent missing and it’s not full. I had no idea that phase of the moon was called a gibbous moon until my son came home from school one day and, at dinner, announced that he had a gibbous of chips on his plate.

It’s only when I get home that I read that Trametes gibbosa is often full of boring beetles and I think what a lost opportunity it was to see them, and then laugh.

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