Stormy summer and the first of the fungi.

stormy skies

My partner has had a week’s holiday from work so we had hoped to fit in some outings to interesting places. Unfortunately the weather rather put a dampener on things, with torrential downpours a depressingly regular occurence. We managed to squeeze a walk at Puttenham common in between the showers. The view from the top car park to the south-west showed the rain clouds rolling towards us but it did make for some lovely skies as the sunlit trees and meadow grasses contrasted with the dark skies.

Laccaria amethystina

There are already quite a few fungi around and I’m guessing that if this wet weather continues we’ll be in for a bumper season in a couple of months time. We saw a few russulas, some species of which are fairly nice to eat if you can find ones that don’t have little maggots in (yum!). There was a very bashed and slug eaten bolete, which I think was Boletus luridiformis. Some of the bolete family make very good eating, but the poisonous members of the family all have red pores so it makes sense to me to steer clear of any which have this colouration. If this was B. luridiformisthen it is said to be edible when cooked. It can cause gastric upsets, however, so personally I wouldn’t take the risk.

The little purple beauties are amethyst deceivers, Laccaria amethystea, one of my favourite mushrooms because they’re so pretty. I blogged some nice pictures of them here. I wasn’t expecting to see them so early but there they were, pushing their tiny heads up through the moss and leaf litter. They are edible and taste pleasant but they’re so small and so beautiful that it seems a shame to pick them.

Fungi and foraging disclaimer: Please do not take any comments or pictures on this site as an indication that what you’ve seen or picked is safe to eat!! Get a good book or two – the ones I have are ‘Mushrooms’ by Roger Phillips and Collins’ ‘How to identify edible mushrooms’. The Phillips book has a free to access website here.  Never eat a mushroom that you haven’t positively identified, with spore print confirmation if there is even a shadow of doubt. In fact, if there is even a shadow of a doubt… DON’T EAT IT!!  ;-)  Also, be conservationally aware; please don’t pick things just for the sake of it – take a picture instead!

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