Friday, 7 October 2011

Friday Fungus: A shaggy mushroom tale!

Last Sunday, along with other hardy folk and courtesy of the Friends of St Ives, Kathryn and I went on a fungi forage around St Ives Country Park just outside Bingley.

Conditions weren't ideal for mushrooms - a week of unseasonal hot and dry weather doesn't encourage the fruiting heads to break out - but there were still some great finds (including the shaggy parasols above) under the guidance of local expert, Bob Taylor.

We encountered assorted puffballs including the wonderfully pongy common stinkhorn:

Trust me that you don't want to get downwind of this baby! The stinkhorn - with the unsurprising scientific name of Phallus impudicus - was believed by some (including we're told Charles Darwin's mum) to be the private parts of a devil. We were told that the great man's mum would whack the offending protrusions with a stick!

All in all a pleasant wander - had the weather been better there would have been a fine crop of boletes, mostly the red cracked bolete (Boletus chrysenteron). However, we ended with a decent (if largely inedible or poisonous) collection:


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