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As I walked through a local woodland yesterday, in light sleet and a biting wind, I was seduced by these gorgeous elfcups, punctuating the dull greens and dirty browns with their glorious pops of bright red.

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And there were lots of them: tucked under draping fern fronds, nestled amongst lush mosses, almost every rotting log and every broken branch had its cup of scarlet (or ruby) red.

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I’m not sure if anyone has ever checked, microscopically, to determine whether the elfcups in these woodlands are Scarlet (Sarcoscypha austriaca) or Ruby (Sarcoscypha coccinea).

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And, though it would certainly be good to add them to the local biodiversity records, it was enough yesterday to simply feast my eyes on their magical elvish beauty.

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