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The Botanical Society want you to come and watch James Cameron’s AVATAR with us, on Wed. 16th Nov. at 6pm in the JM Synge Theatre in the Arts Block.

We may not be mad about the script, the acting etc but we sure love the plants. Bring a pencil, paper and a few brain cells and see what you can recognise in this groundbreaking movie. This will be a proper 2d version, alas the 3d version is still beyond the scope of the college but if pay €2 on the night we will enroll you in the Botany Society and you can enjoy real 3d plants on our field trips. Way ahead of Cameron we are……………

mmm.....I hope this is not standard field clothing for Botanists on Pandora.

Paul Dowding shares his skills with eager society members.

Paul Dowding shares his skills with eager society members.

Another successful hunt this year although as usual it is difficult to organise a date in advance and hope the abundance of different fungi corresponds with the day. This year we may have been a little late for the main flush as the season was early. However certain fungi were in low numbers and have probably not reached their peak yet so it is worth watching out until the first frosts appear.

We managed to find some edible fungi including some very tasty Boletus edulis (Penny Buns), Russula densifolia (I think!) which were promptly fried up and shared around.

Russula sp.

Beautiful yellow capped Russula

There were many other species  identified including Hypholoma sublateritium pictured below

Hypholoma sublateritium

Hypholoma sublateritium growing at the base of Tsuga. Beautiful but nicely described in the books as "suspect"!


Then there were all the tiny fungi, beautiful in their own rights. This Galerina sp. is only 1cm across but deadly.

Galerina sp.

Galerina sp.

To top it all off we found a slime mold. Are these weird or not? They are amoeba like lifeforms which feed on bacteria, congregate and change shape according to what they find and need to do. Colonies of single-celled animals which group together to form super cells are not something from a sci-fi movie but are found worldwide. Read more about them here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slime_mold

This one seemed to be reaching towards me as I took the photo 🙂

Slime mold

Strange alien creatures.............just another amazing example of the diversity of life on Earth.

Time to go.

A fun day yet again and thanks to Paul Dowding for his advice and expertise and all those who took part, especially the new members of the society who came along and made new friends.