Bluebells And The Birch

Bluebells

Another of my encounters on my walk through the local wood this morning. Along a narrow dirt path on the edge of the wood were carpets of bluebells. Passing one of my favourite trees, an established Silver Birch, I thought the sunlight was so beautiful through the trees as it illuminated hundreds of tiny bell-shaped blue petals.

May 2018, local wood, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Birch Polypore

Piptoporus betulinus

Birch Polypore – Piptoporus betulinus

This is a fairly large bracket fungi which I have seen singularly on Birch tree trunks or in tiers going quite high up the tree.

Sometimes called the ‘Razorstrop Fungus’ (so named for in the past it has been used as a strap to sharpen razors), it has a smooth leathery upper surface which is pale brown, whilst the rounded margin and underside is white. The underside is soft and spongy, and full of minute spores. Fruit body up to 25cm across.

Birch Polypore – Piptoporus betulinus

Seen all year round in birch woods, and is the cause of death of many of these trees. Common and widespread.

Birch Polypore – Piptoporus betulinus

Photographs of Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus) taken October 2011, local wood, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.