Is this a summer truffle I found in the local woods? Readers’ nature queries

Ethna Viney on summer truffles, painted ladies and wall geckos

Painted lady butterfly

Painted lady butterfly

 

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when this peeked up at me in the local woods. It matched the description of summer truffle, tastes nutty but doesn’t smell of anything. Lynda Jones, Rooskey, Co Leitrim
Yes, it is a summer truffle.

Summer truffle
Summer truffle


I found this mushroom growing in the timber and soil litter beside the floor of our wood store. The colour was the most amazing deep green/blue. – Helen Bourke, Ballinure, Co Tipperary
It’s one of the roundhead species, either Stropharia caerulea or Saeruginisa, says fungal expert Dr Kieran Connolly.

This is one of the roundhead species, either Stropharia caerulea or Saeruginisa
This is one of the roundhead species, either Stropharia caerulea or Saeruginisa


On holidays in the south of France at the end of September we shared our apartment with a little fellow like this one in the photo. Three weeks after coming home we saw this creature on our stairs. Is it possible we brought it home in our luggage? – Marguerite Costelloe Ballina, Co Tipperary
Yes, indeed. It looks like a wall gecko. which is found in houses all over the Mediterranean area.

Wall gecko
Wall gecko


On holidays in the Canaries we saw an extraordinary number of painted lady butterflies on a particular variety of bush. When we walked past they flew up in a cloud and were very active throughout the day. - Paddy Demery, Kilcoole, Co Wicklow

Painted lady butterfly
Painted lady butterfly

We spotted a hoopoe on the grass in Weaver’s Point, Crosshaven, Co Cork. - Rosemary Robertson, Crosshaven, Co Cork
The hoopoe is a scarce but annual visitor to the south coast from southern Europe.

Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28 F978, or by email at viney@anu.ie. Include a postal address, please.

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