I suppose it's inevitable that if one concentrates on plants in one's immediate area, the same will come up over and over.
So it is, with Hart's Tongue Fern - Asplenium scolopendrium. I don't mind. I like it a lot and feel privileged to live somewhere where it grows out of the ground, out of walls and in drains!
This one is within a few feet of the tree we are following.
It's not the most beautiful of specimens - but all the Hart's Tongues in these woods are looking pretty tatty. It's not their 'moment'. But there's more to see than the whole plant.
Move in - a leaf.
Closer - and we see the signs of a Leaf Mining insect - in this case Chromatomyia scolopendri. If you are impressed that I know its name, I'd better make it clear my amateur status is intact. I was guided in this ID by members of Ispot. (A nudge to take a look at it if you haven't already!)
A couple of hundred yards away, we find a clump of Arum maculatum - except these, despite their name - are immaculate; their inky spots are missing. Still beautiful though.
And behind them, a short log with small, round fungi; the largest a little more than an inch across - Auricularia auricula-judae - Jew's Ear Fungus. (Often known as 'Jelly Ear' too.) Looking this up on the internet I find a suggestion that the name is a corruption of 'Judas' Ear'. Apparently there's a tradition that Judas hanged himself from an Elder Tree and this fungus is often found on elders. In this case it's on a piece of dead wood; probably sycamore. The individuals remind me of small, smooth, orange satellite dishes but I've seen others that are more crimped at the base so the inner shape is more ear-like.
The underside. Beautiful, eh?
Another couple of hundred yards and a large log, left here since a tree was felled more than a year ago. And, on it, long, thin ribbons of fungus, protruding about a quarter of an inch (and less . . . but maybe they will grow?) from the log.
And out of the woods, exposed to the winds and sea air (and, incidentally, on an elder tree) - Common Orange Lichen (Xanthoria parietina ).
It's good to walk through the woods - and these are easily accessible. What's more, everything in this post is within a twenty minute walk. It's good to look up and around, of course. And if you are in a hurry, that's what you will automatically do. But the longer you linger, the closer you look, there's much more than twenty minutes in the detail!