Chicken of the actual woods

Having found some chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) in the urban setting just the other day, I thought I’d try my luck in a nearby woodland that is, in parts, comprised of lapsed sweet chestnut coppice and oak standards. Usually, such woodlands are pretty good for finding this fungus (as well as others, such as Fistulina hepatica), and despite it being early in the season I thought it’d be a good opportunity to see some chicken in its earlier growth stages. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed, as can be seen below.

On this trip, I also found plenty of Trametes versicolor (mainly on ash and birch), a fair bit of Daldinia concentrica (on ash), a tier of very degraded Ganoderma resinaceum (upon oak), the ever-present Piptopirus betulinus (on birch), a solitary Enteridium lycoperdon (on a fallen oak stem), and a few Daedaleopsis confragosa (all upon a single coppice stool of a sweet chestnut) – excluding all the previous blushing brackets I have seen in the woodland upon birch and goat willow.

Laetiporus sulphureus Castanea sativa chestnut woodland 1
A sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) coppice stool host to a young chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus).
Laetiporus sulphureus Castanea sativa chestnut woodland 2
A closer look reveals how decayed the wood already is, though that isn’t bothering this fungus.
Laetiporus sulphureus Castanea sativa chestnut woodland 3
From this angle, it looks a bit like an ice cream cone! Where’s the chocolate flake?
Laetiporus sulphureus Castanea sativa chestnut woodland 4
Closer still, and an ant alongside to compare sizes.
Laetiporus sulphureus Castanea sativa chestnut woodland 5
A downed sweet chestnut log was also host to chicken of the woods.
Laetiporus sulphureus Castanea sativa chestnut woodland 6
Again, we can see the sporophores are quite young, and that the wood is already significantly decayed (lacking bark).
Laetiporus sulphureus Castanea sativa chestnut woodland 7
A fuller colour, in this image (had the flash on).
Laetiporus sulphureus Quercus oak woodland 1
Here, we have an extensively damaged oak (Quercus robur) with both new and old sporophores.
Laetiporus sulphureus Quercus oak woodland 2
Half way up on the right are last year’s chicken tier, and this year’s are further up on the left. Interesting how the location of fruiting is very different.
Laetiporus sulphureus Quercus oak woodland 3
Again, the wood is very markedly decayed.
Laetiporus sulphureus Quercus oak woodland 4
In fact, we can see these chicken are popping up from behind the bark.
Laetiporus sulphureus Quercus oak woodland 5
A little closer, complete with the zooming-in haze.
Laetiporus sulphureus Quercus oak woodland 6
Can you still see the sporophores amongst the haze? Of course! How can anyone miss these things? They’re so obvious!
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Chicken of the actual woods

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