Saturday, October 4, 2014


Even the recently coppiced chestnuts are producing crops

I have been in love with this many branched family of the woodland floor for years, so excitement creeps into my soul in Autumn.  The fungi family are nearer to animals on the evolutionary tree of life than plants, one can hardly say a near relative but one who took a different branch line.  What is it about them, they have soft colours, not always necessarily so, Schroomworks blog from America came in  this morning rejoicing about their appearance, a great cluster whose local name is 'strawberries and cream' were pictured.  She dyes with mushrooms creating soft shades of pink, blues and greens, though what colour she gets from these monsters, I am not sure.
Hydnellum peckii  rather grotesque; Wiki entry

Yesterday we set off for Blakes Wood to find sweet chestnuts, and there is a great collection of them, this year's bounty in wild fruits and nuts has been spectacular.  LS spent more time picking them than me, stamping on the prickly outer covers to get to the nuts snuggled so neatly inside but my nose was to the ground looking for mushrooms. 
There is a mathematical perfection about the gills, and as I don't pick, my only way of getting underneath the cap is to lay the camera on the ground.  Puffballs galore, the slightly brown capped ones, we have never picked them I fancy the larger whiter one, which I think grows out in the open. According to the book, you have to be careful of not confusing puffballs with earthballs.  Well I can identify the stinkhorn (hopefully), and we found two small blue ameythst deceivers, very pretty, and a rose coloured  russula .  No fly agaric where it normally grows.

Down the lane and into the woods

Little assemblies of mushrooms just like a settlement 

Old lichened wood



tiny cap emerging

ameythst deceiver

Alfred's cakes?, this particular fungus likes a different tree.

Emerging Stinkhorn

And just to finish off Beatrix Potter wrote a book on mycology, illustrated with her drawings, of which you can find many on the web......


  1. Those fungi which look as though they are covered in beads are incredible - but I do like the idea of dying material with fungi.
    My favourite is fly agaric - I must see if they are in their usual spot on the farm - haven't looked yet.

    1. Think you need a magnifying glass for some of them Pat, they are so intriguing. As for fly agaric it was out by the beck last time we were down, quite a lot, I am surprised people had not trodden them down. Some people think mushrooms are dangerous and destroy them which annoys me intensely...

  2. It has been so dry here that I think many of the fungi locally will be lte in appearing. Mind you, today's rain is helping them along!

    Lovely photos - I've always had a soft spot for Fungi too and can still remember finding my first Amethyst Deceiver - so pretty and who'd have thought you could get lilac fungi?! The strawberries and cream one looks intrigueing, and I never knew you could dye with fungi either.

  3. Well I suppose as you can dye with lichen, and plants of course, fungi would produce some colours, not sure what the mordants would be. Amethyst deceivers are so pretty and edible of course, though I never pick them seems such a shame, fungi are intergral to the ecosystem.