Sunday 13th October 2013
Some bread out of the oven cooling in the early morning sunshine. The one in the front is in reality very small but because of the way the camera works it looks quite big. Thanks to the kefir and whatever yeast (fungus) we use we have bread and can make our own as human beings have been doing for a very long time now.
Fungi and bacteria work with the building blocks of the living world to create and destroy. The more we learn about how they work the more amazing they turn out to be. Maybe we should have a National Bacteria Day too?
Here are some of this autumn’s crop of fungi photographs, taken at Westonbirt, Glos and in the Forest of Dean, which is on the other side of the Severn Bridge, but on this side of the border with Wales. It is a good year for fungi in the UK, so have a go at seeing what you can see, or go to an organized walk or a talk, lots around ! This is the first UK Fungus Day and I think it is a great idea!
I have had a stab at identifying some of them but as ever warn people not to go by my identification as I am not a mycologist. I used to be quite reasonable at identifying about a dozen or so of the edible fungi, but as the years pass I have got out of practice. If you go on a fungi foray with a group or a self-styled forager be sure to ask them how they learnt their trade and ask lots of questions. In these straitened economic times, people turn to all sorts of ways to earn a living and foraging and ‘teaching’ foraging is one of them.
For most of us, wild fungi are not an essential part of our diet, but rather a treat, a flavour, an aroma, something maybe that one wouldn’t desire if not driven by media hype and an urge for different experiences.
I am not saying don’t or that it is wrong to want to taste and touch new things, just be extremely careful. There are cases of poisoning each year, usually well-documented in the press, of people who eat the wrong fungi, or the wrong berries or plants.
What is fun and completely safe however, is to go out and take photographs and look for them. We are sticking to that this year unless we see the ones that I know I can id positively.
And not to create any confusion, we didn’t bring any of the fungi depicted here home with us, only took their photos. Please do not ask me to identify your fungi finds!
I am pretty sure this is the larch boletus, with its spongy underside.
and I think this is Yellow Stagshorn( Calocera viscosa) – because it was growing on wood but it’s not one we see very often, it is very small and delicate but has this outstanding glowing colour.
Haven’t looked this one up yet…
…and finally the most glamorous one we have seen this autumn which I think is a magpie inkcap but I haven’t found an image exactly like it so who knows?
One of the hardest things is keeping the dogs out of the field of shot, as anything that interests us, interests them and we don’t want them to eat the fungi either!
So for those of you who miss him, here is your small friend Zeb, following an exciting jump into a mud bath on the edge of a small pool which contained a stick of desire that he had to have, (just had to). We are taking him and his sister to the beach this coming week. I forsee many early evening baths.