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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Mushrooming in Devil's Spittleful [20151005|21:11]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |tired]

On Sunday morning, we headed for the excitingly named Devil's Spittleful nature reserve to meet members of the Worcestershire Fungal Society (and their baskets) and go out mushrooming.

Our curiosity was undampened by the cold, misty weather. We were rewarded when the sun burst through and began warming us just as we entered the chestnut wood. The group scattered under the trees, poking under the leaf litter to locate choice specimens.

Heading into the chestnut wood
Humuhumu on her daddy's shoulders, removing her gloves in preparation for foraging.

It quickly became evident that the walk organiser, Diana, was the Fungal Oracle. Everyone brought her their mushrooms for identification, and for each one she would give the Latin and common names, and describe how its appearance changed from sprouting through to rotting. I didn't get to listen to too many descriptions, sadly, as Keiki was not in a good mood (cutting another tooth) and I had to keep moving to keep him from wailing.

Our oracle, Diana, with a specimen
Diana with a mushroom. I can't remember which one.

We departed the wood after half an hour or so of foraging. Most baskets stayed empty, as there weren't too many edible specimens about. Diana's was the only basket with a substantial quantity, but that was because she was collecting inedible items for her records as well. As we walked toward the open field, it was explained to us that the purpose of the baskets was multifold: to maximise air circulation around the delicate mushroom flesh, to facilitate trading of edible specimens, and to allow the spores to drop through to the ground and thus assist the germination of the next generation of mushrooms.

Glistening ink caps
Glistening ink caps.

Hats and coats were thrown off as we left the shelter of the chestnuts for the open air and warm autumn sunshine. The more experienced mushroomers dove into the long grass, looking for the large white caps of tasty field parasols.

Immature field parasol
Immature field parasol. We only found two, but they were still pretty substantial.

It was nearing midday, and Keiki let us know that he would like to stop and sit down for a snack.

Enjoying a PB & J
He very much enjoyed his PB & J and a crawl around the grass, as did Humuhumu.

Basket full of mushrooms
Our oracle's basket was filling rapidly with all manner of beauties, including the very distinctive fire-engine red of fly agaric.

"Something bit my arm"
Humuhumu and Daddy walking the path. "Something bit my arm!" she said resentfully.

Although the fungus collectors' interest showed no signs of waning, we called time on the outing after about two hours. One final treat lay in store for us: we spotted the steam train that runs from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth pootling along the tracks running past the field. We waved our arms madly at the carriages and lots of the passengers responded enthusiastically, to Humuhumu's delight.

Kidderminster-Bridgnorth steam train

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/991342.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.

[User Picture]From: againstathorn
2015-10-06 00:49 (UTC)
Mushroom hunting! Looks like fun!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-10-08 20:03 (UTC)
It was a great morning out! After that we went to an apple festival and bought lots of cooking apples for pie and crumble. Mmm.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-10-08 20:05 (UTC)
This is going on my list of "seemingly frivolous but actually quite important" reasons for having kids, along with "constantly verbalising one's observations of the world", "dressing them up in adorable costumes" and "tickling".
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[User Picture]From: pax_athena
2015-10-07 03:09 (UTC)
Oooh, mushrooming is so much fun. I only went once on a really organized walk (and tried another time, but we met in one place and then drove to a different one and lost the other cars on the way), but in ended up in me knowing which are certainly edible and several meals of amazing porcini that particular fall. Nomnomnom ...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-10-08 20:06 (UTC)
Hee! I'm not a huge mushroom fan myself, but the bloke loves them and was very pleased about the field parasols. I'd definitely go again. It was brilliant having an oracle along.
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[User Picture]From: mysterysquid
2015-10-07 10:06 (UTC)
That is an AMAZING name!

Yay fungi!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-10-08 20:07 (UTC)
It was funny how we started seeing them (fungi) everywhere, once we had our eyes attuned after observing the enthusiasts!
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