Cycling past Waxcaps

I’m cycling on Dartmoor when I see a Blackening Waxcap, Hygrocybe conica. It’s always a thrill so spot one, so I dismount and get my phone camera out.

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

It’s a fairly common grassland fungus. They can be red, orange and yellow but eventually turn black.

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

Underneath, the gills are entertaining. As gills are radial, from the stem to the outside of the cap, the distance between the gills increases the further from the stem you go, just like the spokes on my bicycle’s wheels. That’s when other, shorter, gills appear to take up the space. There must be some beautiful mathematics which describes when it’s worth having a gill in the gap to make use of the cap.

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

I’m glad I stopped to marvel at them. I was also going uphill, and needed a rest, but that wasn’t the reason I stopped, honest.

More Waxcaps

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