I owe the nifty title for this blog to my friend and colleague in fungi and biological recording, Amy, who works at SEWBReC, the South East Wales Biological Records Centre, and who can not only spin a good line but is extremely handy with a microscope. She checked the tiny aspects of my peel to confirm it really was Orange Peel fungus, despite this being entirely the wrong time of year.
Orange peel fungus (Aleuria aurantia) usually appears in the autumn, fruiting between August and November, though anyone who observes the natural world on a regular basis will know that many things have been well out of sequence this year. The fungus starts out as a cup shape but often splits and contorts as it grows, making it appear even more like the discarded skin of an orange. Its bright orange colour makes it easy to spot in its preferred location, the disturbed soil alongside woodland paths, which is exactly where I found these specimens, in Cardiff’s Bute Park.