Monday, 24 August 2015

Mushroom tale

On Wednesday after a couple of days of rain a large cluster of these three inch high mushrooms appeared growing on the leaf litter. They appeared behind the cabin, growing in a sunny spot where the ground is kept damp from the pipe which takes the rainwater away from the gutter.  The ground around the cabin became very disturbed during the build last year, which might also be connected to their appearance this year. Wet, dark and shining they had tightly packed white gills, a simple stem and looked  like - well - droppings.

I couldn't find them in the mushroom book so posted them on the SWOG Facebook group. The advice came back that they were too immature to identify and to wait a few days. 

Here are the same fungi four days later. They are now five inches tall and six inches wide - an amazing growth spurt. The gills are now fawnish pink, which make them easily identifiable as Pluteus cervinius. My Collins guide describes it as follows:

'... common British species. It has a striated, bell-shaped, but usually dark brown cap that later flattens and is easily separated from the whitish brown-streaked stem. The gills are free, white, becoming pinkish and the fungus is found in woods of all types growing on piles of woody debris.. ' 

I'd say as a description that's absolutely accurate. They are supposed to be edible, but Collins says sniffily: 'it has nothing to commend it greatly'. Think I'll take their word for it. 

NB see also Note that when dry the colours are quite different. 

Monday, 10 August 2015

Summer Time

                                                         'Summertime, and the living is easy 

                                                         Fish are jumping  

                                                        And the cotton is high '

This song came into my head while dozing in the sunshine looking up into the tree canopy at a flock of tits flying in and out of the pines.  The fish were certainly jumping in June, and the bracken is very high.

Carp spawning in June 

Most forestry work happens in the Winter and slows right down during the Summer, so August is a time to down tools and simply enjoy the wood, and the cabin.