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A mossy Elder by the woodland path has sprouted a new crop of Ear Fungus. It is soft and rubbery, described by Roger Phillips as 'edible'. In America it grows on a variety of trees, but in Britain it is almost entirely restricted to elder, although I once photographed some on the stump of an old telegraph pole.
It has a more reddish cast than I've shown in the sketch.
The fungus is also known as Jew's Ear;
'So unlucky is the elder,' writes Robert Graves in The White Goddess, 'that in Langland's Piers Plowman, Judas is made to hang himself on an elder tree.'