Wandering around Trentham Woods, we often pass by an old tree with an enormous bracket Fungus on it. It was about time I had a picture of this monster, so I had Rosie take one for me. It is a whopper! This is an extremely large specimen of a type of bracket fungus called Ganoderma. I have not seen one this size anywhere else.
Some bracket Fungi can grow and stand for years on the trunks of trees. They are the reproductive organs of organisms that decompose the trunk from the inside. This tree must be virtually hollow and spongy inside with all of these brackets on the outside. This big one has been there for at least 6 years to my knowledge. Some of the larger branches of this tree have broken and are lying on the forest floor.
The squirrels have been very active this week. This one was seen at Greenway Bank Park. These and the Trentham squirrels are feeding and storing nuts to see them through the winter. The little blighters in my garden are also very active - so I have collected the hazel nuts - the squirrels are not having them this year.