Just a quick update on the weather and fungi conditions.
The last couple of days have seen another generous helping of rain in south-east England, and the first clear evidence that the fungi are back. And in fact the omens are positive, and right now I’d tentatively guess we’re in for a good autumn as far as fungi are concerned. This afternoon I visited a location I’ll be running some new events at this autumn. Details are available via the link at the top of this page, the area is called “Mill Wood”, and it is the site of a woodland pig farm that has been reclaimed by nature for the last four years, plus some adjacent land. We found plenty of Brittlegills (mainly Charcoal Burners), a Blusher, some boletes, a couple of very young Chicken of the Woods, a large flush of Common Puffballs just coming through and a lot of White-laced Shanks (all edible). There were also a few other, inedible bits a pieces. That’s not bad at all for August 13th after an extended spell of extremely hot and dry weather.
Late November 2011, as the mushroom season peaked. Normally it’s earlier, but October 2011 was far too hot and dry for fungi.
These fungi, all of which are edible, were all collected in one afternoon at various locations throughout Sussex. It’s not a normal day’s haul, either in terms of variety or quantity. Days like this only come around once in a couple of years, when the conditions are just right. It also helped that the peak of the season was late in 2011, and I already knew where to go to find a lot of this stuff. I also ought to admit that some of them were picked more for their aesthetic qualities (I wanted a good picture!) than their desirability for eating. I should also assure people that I did not strip the locations concerned of all the edible fungi. No more than 50% of the fruting bodies were taken. There just happened to be fungi all over the place that day, and the situation was also helped by the fact that the peak was late that year, and that many would-be foragers had given up on the mushrooms that year after the worst October for fungi that I can remember.
Roughly left-to-right, and top-to-bottom:
Parasol mushroom (Macrolepiota procera)
Cauliflower fungus (Sparassis crispa)
Trooping funnel (Clitocybe geotropa) Boletus luridiformis
Penny bun (Boletus edulis)
Shaggy inkcap (Coprinus comatus)
Common puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) Macrolepiota konradii
Slippery jack (Suillus luteus)
Jersey cow colete (Suillus bovinus)
Wood blewit (Clitocybe nuda)
Porcelain fungus (Oudemansiella mucida)
Meadow puffball (Lycoperdon pratense)
Amethyst deceiver (Laccaria amethystea)
The miller (Clitopilus prunulus)
Peppery bolete (Chalciporus piperatus)
Brown birch bolete (Leccinum scabrum)
Tawny funnel (Clitocybe flaccida)
Field mushroom (Agaricus campestris) Clitocybe sordida Agaricus lanipes