Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Things I saw in the woods today, part 98

All of these mushrooms were within a stretch of 300 yards or so in the woods. There are hundreds of different types of mushrooms growing wild in British woods- perhaps as many as 400! Our current spell of mild weather during the day has resulted in prolific growth. If you are an avid mushroom hunter, please be sure that you know what you are doing. Just identifying these mushrooms- all of which are poisonous- took me over an hour clutching my Mushrooms of Europe Guide (Collins). I've been foolish enough to eat mushrooms I found in the woods without knowing whether they were poisonous of not- I did that once but will pass on tempting fate again. By the grace of God go I, that's for sure. So please don't follow my silly example!!!

One of my favourite memories involves hunting for cèpes (boletus) every October in France. How I loved finding a cèpe, bringing it home and sautéeing it in butter with loads of garlic and sprinkled generously with chopped parsley. The tradition in Bordeaux, where I lived, is to eat the cèpes with an entrecôte- a massive piece of beef also cooked in butter. My dear friend, Madame Bué, taught me how to find mushrooms and I will love her always for that. She died almost 30 years ago, and after a long and unhappy life some of which was spent in occupied Paris where she watched her husband killed by the Nazis and where the only food she could find was abandoned cats. We do not realise how lucky we are.
 Mycena fagetorum- poisonous
Clitocybe dealbata- poisonous (these two mushrooms clutching each other are rather sweet- but deadly)
Clitocybe gibba- poisonous - these were growing in a semi circle
Clitocybe gibba- poisonous - close up

Heterobadision annosum- poisonous - note how the mushroom has grown into the groove of the wood and looks like a mouth
Photos copyright SvD.

No comments:

Post a Comment