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Friday, November 13, 2015

Fungi Hunting

Hello My Friends,

I am joining Amy's "Five on Friday" today.

If you are new to my blog I would like to explain that in a recent post about My Favourite Pouch I mentioned that Darling Hubbie, our neighbour, and I went on a "Fungi Hunt" with a fungi expert, a City of London Commons Ranger, and a like-minded group of people a few weeks ago.

On that earlier post I showed a couple of photographs of the fungi we saw on that walk, and today I would like to share some more!

Shaggy Parasol
I think this was a Shaggy Parasol!
One

This is where our walk began! 

We gathered at this entrance to the Common, and, as I doubted the people on the walk would want their photographs displayed on my blog, this photo, taken a few days later, shows our meeting place and start of our walk. And, no the sweet little cat did not join us on the walk!

There were plenty of fungi to see, and these pictures are just a few of the more unusual ones. I can't promise I have the right names, I jotted them all down as we all walked and talked, but things moved fast, and there were many fungi to be seen, and lots of people chatting at the same time.

At the end of the walk our expert estimated that we had seen approximately 50 different fungi - don't worry I'm not thinking of showing all of them here, even though some were really quite lovely!

Two - Fungi that kill trees

The fungi in the following two photographs are killing the tree they are growing under or upon, respectively.

Unknown fungi


Tree killer!

Dying tree
The dying tree.

Dying tree
The dying tree from another direction.
This tree is being killed by fungi! The tree is right on the edge of a bridleway and we were told it has to be regularly monitored, by the Rangers, for the safety of the Common's users. The fungi is attacking the tree's root system, but as the track which passes the tree has low usage this means the treatment of the tree is low priority as the chances of people being injured are slim. In the future the canopy of the tree will be thinned to take weight away, and hence reduce the chances of the tree being blown down in a storm.

Three - Waxcaps

I investigated Waxcaps on the web and found a very interesting link which informed me that  all these Waxcaps are sensitive to pollution and nutrients and  would disappear if the land is treated with chemicals.

Pink Waxcap
This is a Pink Waxcap which our guide told us was really rare!
Yellow Waxcap
Yellow Waxcap
Red waxcap
Young Red Waxcap
Four - Some miscellaneous Fungi!

Fairy club fungus
Fairy club fungus, also known as Apricot Club.

Sploge fungus
This is a very unusual lichen which is only found where
 there is very clean air, called a sploge fungus.

Birch polypore
Birch Polypore
Unknown fungus
Not sure of the name of this fungi - it could 
have been a relation of Snapping Bonnet
You will need to click on the above photograph to see it better, it is not just a mass of leaves, there are tiny white stalk-like growths - which are fungi!

King Alfred's Cakes
Apparently this has a nickname of "King Alfred's Cakes"
or "Cramp Balls"
This inedible fungus has many intriguing names, such as King Alfred's Cakes or Cramp Balls or coal fungus (Daldinia concentrica), lives on dead and decaying wood, and especially on fallen ash trees, and indeed we found the fungus in a recently cut back clearing within the woods.

Woodpecker damage?
A discussion ensued as to whether the damage
to this tree was caused by Woodpeckers or not?

This next fungi is without a doubt the prettiest!

Crepidotus
crepidotus
Our guide named these fungi at the time of our walk but as she didn't spell the names out I jotted them down quickly and have since spent a very pleasant  evening looking them up on the web!


Five - Teachers Homework!

When quizzed our guide would tell us whether the fungi were edible or not!

Teacher's Homework!
And this is our guide's basket of homework!  She said she
 was taking them home to read up on these further.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing the fungi we found on our walk in the countryside!

We used to eat certain fungi that we were confident were edible, but recently we have become more nervous, and now we only eat the mushrooms we buy in the shop, but I'd much rather be able to grow mushrooms in our own garden!

Do you or would you eat fungi you found growing in the wilds?

Hugs,

Barbara xx


25 comments:

  1. Wonderful to see more from your fungi hunt and to learn some more! Thank you for joining Five On Friday. I hope that you have a great weekend! xx

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Amy, and thank you for organising your Five on Friday. It's such fun visiting the other blogs! Hope you are having a great weekend! xx

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  2. Such interesting fungi. Love the beautiful trees. What a nice walk!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Marie. Hope you are having a great weekend! xx

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  3. There are some really amazing things in nature and it's incredible how many different types of one 'thing' there are. I don't feel comfortable eating much out of the wild, mainly because I don't know enough about them. However...if I'm lucky enough to find a puff ball it's definitely going on the dinner table. My husband grew up eating morells, but they are very hard to find.

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    1. Thank you for your comment, and funny you should say about morels as my husband recalls when he was young, his dad would take him out collecting "field mushrooms" which the family thoroughly enjoyed.

      Unfortunately we no longer have the nerve to do the same, other than the occasional Jelly Ear, which cannot be mistaken.

      Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

      Barbara xx

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  4. I am so envious, and a little jealous - even though I live near a forest, they don't do these kind of activities and I'd love to learn more about mushroom, but foraging in general. Seem like you had a most excellent day. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Shaheen,

      I have seen Fungi Walks advertised in an area further into London, but can't remember where it was - if it comes to me later I will let you know. I saw it on the web, somewhere.

      We really did have great fun on the walk!

      Barbara xx

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  5. Lovely details of all the fungi you found Barbara. When we lived in Switzerland we used to find fungi in the wild and at each police station there is an 'expert' who will verify whether they are safe to eat. I never did eat them but my husband did. However, he did have a couple of occasions when he was quite poorly afterwards!! You do have to be very careful especially if you collect them all in one basket as some of the poisonous ones only have to touch the good ones to cause a problem! It is nice to see them though and the walk through the woods must have been lovely! Christine x

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    1. How lovely! If only we had the 'experts' in the police stations here - we would probably be able to eat a lot more fungi!

      It was a lovely walk, and it was surprising how many fungi were found and where they were hidden! I would never have seen them if we had been walking on our own! Barbara xx

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  6. Hi Barbara. Interesting post! We have some fungi here in our yard but I don't know anything about them. I am always amazed at what grows out of a dead elm tree in the back yard!!
    xx, Carol

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    1. Hi Carol, Thanks for your lovely comment! Fungi certainly like to grow on trees, don't they!

      Come to think of it we get some interesting fungi in our garden occasionally, but not for a while now. We probably pulled them out wrong - because you do have to be careful not to take them out from the roots, I believe.

      Thank you for the cat mention! Yes, kitty will have to be on show again next year!

      Have a great week! Barbara xx

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  7. Oh, I forgot to mention that I LOVE that first pic with the kitty!! Save that one for Halloween!!

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  8. How interesting. I bet it was a great walk, and I never realised that fungi can kill a tree - it looks so innocent (although we know it isn't always!)

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    1. Hi Stephanie, Nice of you to drop by! We certainly learnt a lot about fungi that day!

      I tried to comment on your blog, but the set up was new to me and it didn't work! I will try again tomorrow.

      Have a great week!

      Barbara xx

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  9. Hi Barbara! Thanks for coming over earlier & for your sweet comment
    Your walk looks to have been so much fun & very informative!
    I'm afraid I'm not a mushroom fan but I do remember foraging for them as a child over the fields & that I did enjoy!
    There are some pretty varieties as you found & some strange alien ones too!
    Have a lovely day!
    Christine

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    1. Hi Christine,
      Thank you for visiting, and for your kind comment!
      I think sometimes half the fun is in searching for fungi - they don't all have great flavour - and you can't enjoy eating them if you are worried that they might be poisonous! Have a great week!
      Barbara xx

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  10. That sounds like a very interesting walk, we have the same sort of guided walks here but I've never been on them - perhaps I shall now!

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    1. Thanks Chris! It was a great walk - certainly recommend it - we found it fun, and most informative.
      Hope you are having a great week.
      Barbara xx

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  11. Very interesting. I don't think I'd eat any fungi I found. I'd have to be very sure it was alright to eat first!

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    1. Thank you, Gillian. Yup! I quite agree, we used to enjoy finding mushrooms to eat, but I guess the get older you get... hopefully ... the wiser we get! xx

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  12. This looks like fun Barbara! My favorites have always been lichens. I be like'n that lichen!
    The names of some of them, like Cramp Balls are especially evocative, LOL.
    Have you ever seen those mushroom growing kits that you can set up in your own basement? Supposedly they produce over and over again.

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    1. Thanks Lara.

      I can't remember if we have tried growing this kits or if it was someone we knew, but they didn't grow very well, didn't keep producing unfortunately. I think it's all to do with the way they are cut away from the stalk.

      Barbara xx

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  13. Oh, what fun, Barbara. And so many different kinds that I've never seen before.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Amalia. It was great fun finding out about fungi from an expert, much more reliable than searching a book trying to identifying them!
      Hugs, Barbara xx

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