A Wildlife Cameo!
Autumn is traditionally the season associated with the appearance of fungi and it was therefore a pleasant surprise to stumble upon the beautiful example featured in the accompanying photograph in the heat of the Summer, in early August.
I can't be 100% certain of the exact species but I think it is probably Polyporus sulphureus, a bracket fungus that also has the weird and wonderful name of "Chicken of the Woods"! Whoever thinks of these names! It infects wounds of trees, and in the example shown (which is in my garden in Avalon Road) the dead tree stump does straddle the entrance to a foxes' earth; maybe it is used by them for sharpening their claws, or maybe they damage it in some other way? Note also the pretty silvery pastel green lichen growing on the trunk and the moss around the base. A robin nested in the ivy on the other side last year. As if that wasn't enough, the picture was taken at some risk to myself by the Common Wasps that are currently nesting in an another hole under the stump and were very active at the time! A good example (or excuse!) of the benefits to wildlife of not keeping a garden too tidy!
Thanks to Alan Broodbank for this article and pictures.