Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fungi hunting



Yesterday we went in search of the amethyst deceiver mushroom, pretty blue one and fairly edible so we were told, but could not find it probably too early in the year.  Fungi hunting at Hanningfield reservoir is one of those things we undertake once a year.  Follow the narrow path betwixt fields and woods, and they are to be found nestled deep in old golden-brown leaf litter, twigs crackle underneath your feet, and you slowly become dizzy as leaves turn into mushrooms.  So none of the ones we saw last year,  though there did seem to be an aspiring stinkhorn, and we did find Alfred's Cakes fungi, black, but on the ground so had someone pulled them from the tree?
It was a relief to emerge from the dark atmosphere of the conifer woods into the green of the older parts of the wood, past the pond that is slowly disappearing under a deep vegetation of bulrushes and plants, blue tits darted round making a pretty picture. Have never seen the fly agaric in these woods either, this reserve is the headquarters of the Essex Wildlife Trust as well, slightly run down but with composting loos and hides to watch the birds on the reservoir.







goodness knows what this one was..

rosehips and blackberries dripped from the bushes in profusion.




10 comments:

  1. How intereseting. We often see mushrooms on our woodland walks and I'd love to know what they are.
    I know what you mean about the conifers, no light seems to penetrate or bounce around like it does in the deciduous wood, where dappled sunlight is so pretty.

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    1. Hi Kath, it was a weird effect going dizzy, but I think it was due to concentrating too much and not to intoxicating mushrooms..

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  2. I'm not brave enough to eat the ones they say you can eat because too many look just like the ones you can't eat. I do love fungi hunting and looking.

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    1. Hi Paula, you must know Blake's wood, another old wood, here they have the funny little 'earth balls' in aplenty, though I have never picked one, that puffball you found the other day was huge, obviously you did not eat it....

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  3. I wish I knew more about them as there's a whole kitchen full of stuff out there. I just know I would end up poisoning everyone if I tried!

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    1. Yes we never pick them, read up about the Ameythst Deceiver yesterday, and it said don't eat if near arsenic in the soil, mmmm...

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  4. Amethyst Deceivers are so pretty. The best ones I ever found were under Pine trees along the old Roman road at Thornhill in Southampton. It was a very good bit of woodland for fungi (on the end of a housing estate) and when I was still in Southampton, I used to walk the dogs up there on a Sunday in autumn and bring back bags full of fungi to identify.

    I hope you get to find some eventually - they are such a pretty colour.

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  5. It is a bit like treasure hunting Jennie, always looking for the pretty ones, fly agaric in another wood, the earth balls that appear mysteriously pushing aside the leaves, lots of the mushrooms were nibbled quite badly, so they are not poisonous to some of the fauna....

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  6. I must nip over to Hanningfield and have a look - though I'll need a good ID book and don't feel confident enough to pick any. I would love to have some expertise in foraging for mushrooms; it's something I'm determined to learn about.

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  7. Hi Wendy, there is a 'Fungus Foray' this weekend on saturday, but you have to book.

    http://www.essexwt.org.uk/events/2013/09/28/fungus-foray, copy and paste...

    He normally picks the specimens and then brings them back to the centre for identification, I find books difficult to identify from, best not to eat anything!

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