Autumn is the season for gathering fungi, and we have a lot around in our woods and fields. Peter trained as a mycologist and happily cooks and eats wild fungi as he knows what to eat and what not to eat. Still, I don’t trust eating them, but Peter says the best ones are delicious. CAUTION – never eat a wild mushroom unless you are sure it is not poisonous: some can kill.
Here are a few photos of some of the fungi we’ve had this autumn – most of these are either poisonous or inedible, but they are pretty.
This week, we had a nice crop of the Shaggy Inkcap (Coprinus comatus), very striking.
The giant puffballs (Calvatia gigantea) that came up in August have matured and they now produce their spores in large clouds (7 trillion from one fruiting body). A little known fact is that if every spore from just ONE giant puffball germinated and produced one new fruiting body, the puffball mass would be 800 times that of the earth. Lucky for us that most spores fail to germinate!
We also have lots of the the common Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) growing mycorrhizally with our birch tree. No sign of any Gnomes or Fairies appearing, though!
On our bike rides around the lanes, we spotted loads of small field mushrooms (Agaricus campestris), probably growing on the straw and manure they spread in the fields a few weeks ago, so it really is good for fungus forays at the moment.
Unfortunately, I’ve just found out the Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius) are very rare here in Denmark and we certainly haven’t found any in our wood. My Mum collects them by the bucketload from her wood near Inverness – I think I would eat them as they are so distinctive! She spends a great deal of time cleaning them, as you can see. Her mushroom omelettes are great, too!.