Monday, 24 August 2009

Batman & Mushrooms

As I said in my last post I am really keen to start investigating mushrooms for a variety of reasons. Firstly I think mushrooms are or can be real soul food when properly cooked or combined within appropriate recipes. I am constantly staggered by the sheer amount and multitude of varieties that can be found in abundance all around us.
I relish the array of shapes, forms, textures and colours. You can be walking along in a woodland when it’s shady and usually damp and all of a sudden your eyes just fall upon a shape or a colour and you want to explore. It’s the same kind of fascination that you have when beachcombing. A natural curiosity that compels you to take a further look – well what have we here? What have we discovered today?
I don’t know if there is an optimum time of year to explore mushrooms and fungi but, given the wet summer we’ve had here in Scotland, I suspect around about now might be the best time.
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Here is a mushroom that I found which I believe to be – Hygrocybe calyptraeformis.
Please note that I am in no way an expert – in fact I still have my ‘L’ plates on. I could be completely wrong in my amateur identification. If you are interested in wild mushrooms and fungi please consult an expert source rather than my haphazard beginners trial and error methodology.
Good sources include http://www.wildmushroomsonline.co.uk/ and http://www.mushroomfinder.com/ For a comprehensive insight into the etiquette of picking wild mushrooms please consult the mushroom picker’ Code of Conduct which can be found at www.britmycolsoc.org.uk/files/pickers_code.pdf
170-7047_IMGWhat a very unusual shaggy texture this mushroom has. It reminds me of a multiplicity of things and at the same time could be used for inspiration in many fibre crafts. 170-7050_IMG
This one I thought was a Clouded Agaric – Clitocybe nebularis Looking again though the colour is more orangey in my mind so maybe it’s a Tawny Funnel Cap – Clitocybe flaccida
Perhaps there is a crocheting mushroom expert out there who can put me right.
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These mushrooms I found nestled under a conifer tree. As you can see it is fairly dank and very shaded.
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I have no idea what this orangey one is – I haven’t managed to find it in the mushroom identification book yet. The colour is just sublime and although it looks almost varnished it had in fact just finished raining.
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Here’s another fungi which I found clinging to the ground. Interesting texture again it looks slimey but I’m putting that down to the rainfall.
170-7077_IMGThis one I suspect is Mycena polgramma.
So as I said in my last post the children did arrive back from school excruciatingly tired and out of sync. I finally got them into bed and fast asleep. I went to check lights were out, curtains were shut and any electronics were off. So far so good – peace at last. I went into the bathroom and upon my exit was thrust into an Alfred Hitchcock film. Yes as I proceeded into the upper landing I was being circled by a frenzied bat. Now I do love bats but there is a time and place and confined indoors isn’t the place.
A couple of minutes later and given my dramatic hysterics needless to say the children were wide awake once again.
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And so here is the wee fella doing circuits in one of the bedrooms. We had opened the window really wide to let him make an escape but he just kept circling. Finally Batman arrived and caught the bat and helped him on his way to the great outdoors.

It was only the next day when I was researching ‘bats in the house’ that I learned that you are not meant to touch bats. So do not try this one at home. We have had bats in the house before but that was a couple of years ago. We were sat downstairs watching all the bats darting around at dusk when all of a sudden we had two in the room with us circling our heads. We look back on it now and laugh but it can be quite panic inducing at the time.
I am now at a loss as to where the bat came from – we had windows open but nothing more than an inch. Having said that if bats are anything like cats they’ll get through the tiniest of spaces.
pipipipimain
For further information please visit The Bat Conservation Trust http://www.bats.org.uk/ or www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/facts-about-bats
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I really must get on now a 1000 things to do and the devil makes work for idle hands. I am currently working on a new crochet rag rug but am having ‘technology issues’ with my camera software. I can’t even get any new photos onto flickr. You can find all my photos here http://www.flickr.com/photos/39523051@N05/
I will update you soon with musings on my new creations and hopefully all technology issues will be resolved by then. Please feel free to leave comments on this or any other post, it’s so nice to get some feedback.
Be positive and be creative.

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