This is a glimpse into the microcosmic world of lichen, moss and fungi. There is an old willow on the bank of my local river, with large boughs covered in a thick coat of this twisting moss called Cypress-leaved Plait-moss (Hypnum cupressiforme). From across a field you can see the moss clinging to the fissured bark of the old willow, but it is not until you get closer, right up close and personal that you see there is more there than meets the eye.
The delightfully named Trumpet Lichen (Cladonia fimbriata) is just poking through the twisting blanket of moss, and standing proudly above the moss and the lichen is a tiny, delicate and rather beautiful mushroom I believe is called the Iodine Bonnet (Mycena filopes), which is just opening up to the dappled light of the world.
Photograph taken November 2011, by local river, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.