August 2011 - Chicken of the Woods
It might sound like I've gone off at a bit of a tangent with my bird photography, but I haven't. Chicken of the Woods is in actual fact a bracket fungi. I usually take most of my fungi photos in autumn, the more traditional time for spotting and photographing fungi. However, a lot of fungi grow throughout the year, often obsured by the thick vegetation that grows in summer.
You don't have this problem with Chicken of the Woods. Growing between late spring and early autumn, it can be found on tree trunks, often well off the ground. It can be quite a spectacular fungi but it is not good news for its host, as it causes the tree to rot and decay.
This particular specimen was found during a family visit to the grounds of Sudbury Hall, a National Trust property in Derbyshire. Unlike most of my fungi photos, which are taken with a macro lens, tripod and long shutter speed, these shots are taken hand held with my 100-400 mm lens in bright sunlight. I did get my dad to hold a reflector under the fungi to lighten the shadows, but apart from that this was a distinctly different approach to fungi photography for me.
For more fungi images please click here