|18/09/2008 - New Foray - Denne Hill|
Great day for mushrooms, found a load of parasols and horse mushrooms View foray
Parasols are delicious and often found in large numbers when the weathers right. They are quite a delicate mushroom for their size and need to be used quite quickly or they degrade. They are often served like cutlet, fried in breadcrumbs
|12/09/2008 - New Foray - St Leonards|
Lots of colourful species out today including Orange Peel Fungus. View foray
The Orange Peel Fungus (Aleuria Aurantia) is a pretty sight and is meant to be a good edible. Often used in salads probably more for its colour than its flavour.
|11/09/2008 - New Foray - St Leonards|
Several species found today including the beautiful Porcelain Fungus View foray
The porcelain fungus is supposed to be edible if the slime is removed but I've never made the effort. Makes for great photos though.
|04/09/2008 - Jack O' Lanterns Found|
A friend of mine, Melissa brought round a couple of specimens of this rare fungus. View
Omphalotus Olearius, sometimes called Jack O' Lanterns are very rare in Britain, more common on the continent. They also have the unusual property of glowing in the dark from the gills when the spores mature. The 2 specimens I have kept have yet to start glowing but I am constantly checking and if this occurs I will photograph and post on the site. They are very poisonous and although they probably won't kill you you may wish they had done as they cause very bad gastro-interinal upsets. They are large fleshy mushrooms with a pleasant smell and have fooled many people.
|01/09/2008 - New Foray - Sedgwick Lane|
Quick walk with my friend Darius. Found several specimens of the dangerous Death Cap View foray
The Death Cap is one of the most poisonous mushrooms there is and has killed many people. It progressively destroys the liver and often the only answer is a liver transplant. The Amatoxins are the main poisons involved and they can kill within a few days. Needless to say we were extremely careful about handling them. This is one mushroom to avoid.
|23/08/2008 - New foray - Sedgewick Lane|
Great walk with a couple of good friends just outside horsham View foray
This was a new area for me. A few days before a friend - Darius Assassi - found a Cep there so I was immediately interested. There were lots of species around, some not shown here but all in all we had a very successful foray. Also on the walk was Mike Frater, another good friend with an interest in edible mushrooms. He favours the parasol mushroom and spotted the unknown one but some parasols are very poisonous species so we left this one.
|21/08/2008 - New foray - St Leonards Forest|
Lots of species on this 2 hour walk. Couldn’t record all of them but the mushroom season is well under way. View foray
This looks to be a good year for mushrooms. Lots of species are appearing early with this weather we are having. I am getting a lot of emails regarding identification of species from all over the country, even abroad.
|19/08/2008 - New foray - Denne hill|
Quite a few species out today including a parasol and some yellow staining poisonous agarics… View foray
The Yellow Stainer (Agaricus Xanthodermus) is one of the few poisonous agarics and can be confused with the Horse Mushroom (Agaricus Arvensis). The chrome yellow staining and faint ink smell (rather than aniseed) gives the clues to distinguish it. There were also Weeping Widow, a Parasol, Amanitas and a Russula.
|15/08/2008 - New Foray - St Leonards Forest|
Another foray with lots of species found. Looks like it will be a good year for mushrooms. Many are appearing early. View foray
This is the earliest I've seen species such as the Miller (Clitopilus Prunulus) and as it is often an indicator of Ceps nearby I kept my eyes peeled but I think it is still a little early for the king of boletes. Nice to see hedgehogs (Hydnum Repandum) too but only a couple of solitary ones.
|14/08/2008 - New Foray - Ranmore, Dorking|
Many species are coming out with this warm damp weather. We even found Magic mushooms! View foray
Me and a friend - Daniel Hewitt had a great walk in the Ranmore area of Dorking. Its looking like a bumper year for mushrooms and many species are coming out far earlier than normal. We found plenty more oysters but unfortunately they were destroyed by the rain. Also we found the miller (Clitopilus Prunulus) which is supposed to be a great edible but because of possible confusion with dangerous clitocybes I've never had the courage to try it.
|13/08/2008 - White truffles found!|
Unidentified white truffles found on the South Downs by Melissa View foray
Friends of mine Melissa and Ian found these white truffles whilie out searching for the summer truffle (Tuber Aestivum). They are yet to be identified. Watch this space for updates.
|10/08/2008 - New Foray in woods out back of Kuoni in Dorking.|
Several species found in this wild woodland. View foray.
This was more of a crawl than a walk. This woods are totally untended. They are owned by Kuoni and have not been used for a long time. They used to be stately gardens but have fallen into ruin. There are strange underground offices which have been blocked due to asbestos, an old chapel and also dragons teeth which are concrete blocks to counter tanks during world war 2.
|10/08/2008 - Summer truffles found!|
These summer truffles were found by Melissa in a foray across the South Downs. View foray
The summer truffle used to be hunted extensively in this country, particularly around the North Downs but this is no longer the case. We have a few commercial truffle farms in the UK using the inoculated tree roots method but they are out there growing wild in our countryside. Melissa uses a dog especially trained for the purpose to find these.
|06/08/2008 - Oysters everywhere!|
The weather conditions this year have been ideal for Oyster Mushrooms a delicious edible mushroom. View Species
The mild winter and spring and warm damp summer has meant ideal conditions for Oyster Mushrooms and I have never seen so many. All my regular spots have been producing them in the hundreds and I have similar reports from friends who hunt for this mushroom. As it is a delicious and abundant wild mushroom we have all had plenty for the kitchen and it has found its way into stews, stroganoffs, fry-ups and stir-frys. One consolation for the generally poor summer.
|02/08/2008 - Early Hedgehogs|
First find of the year of Hydnum Repandum - The Wood Hedgehog or Wood Urchin. View Foray
This is the earliest I've found this mushroom. Is one of the great edibles, its very popular in France and is known as Pied a Mouton (Sheeps foot) Chefs here also call it this, I have tried it many times and it is delicious as long as its cooked slowly to remove a slight bitterness.
|01/08/2008 - Strange red truffle found|
Friends of mine Melissa and Ian found this strange truffle on the South Downs and it may be very rare. View Foray
Melissa is in the process of becoming a professional truffle hunter and has a dog in intensive training for this purpose. Whilst out on a foray across the South Downs searching for the Summer Truffle she and her friend Ian found these strange looking fungi. They are marbled like a truffle but a bit harder. They are being investigated now but they may be very rare or even unheard of in this country. Watch this space.
|22/04/2008 - Early St Georges Mushrooms|
This great edible usually turns up on St Georges Day (23rd April) and is one of the few edibles found in Spring. View foray
This is a very good edible and is especially popular in France who voted it one of their favourite edible mushrooms. Usually over here it appears a week or two after St Georges Day but these were found the day before. This is another species which is abundant this year and myself and friends cooked and ate kilos of them this spring.
|01/10/2006 - Field mushrooms everywhere.|
I took home about half a kilo of these delicious mushrooms and there were still plenty left growing. View Foray
I have seen these growing everywhere this year. Particularly on roundabouts. Most of them are ignored but they are a delicious edible and fairly easy to identify. These ones went into a mushroom stroganoff with a couple of parasols.
|23/09/2006 - New species (new to me)|
Marasmius Oreades is a well know edible mushroom, much esteemed on the continent. View Species
Its Always nice to find a new species, its becoming a rare event these days. These were growing in a fairy ring characteristic of the species.
|23/09/2006 - New Foray - Denne Hill|
Lots of field mushrooms and horse mushrooms on this 2 hour foray. Plus another good edible. View Foray
I found a large ring of Marasmius Oreades. I didn’t recognise it at first so I only took a couple home to identify. Next time I will pick for the kitchen.
|17/09/2006 - Red Cage Fungus found in Devon|
I recently had an email asking about a strange, bright red, cage shaped fungus growing in a garden in Devon.
This was the description in the email: "We have found in one area a fungus growing that are like dirty off white balls about 3-4inch circumference. They open up to spread out a pink, coral like ,very smelly sticky membrane that is miles larger than the fungus from which it has emerged. The balls do not have stalk, just a few short, fine roots.
I opened a closed one up and the pink membrane is beautifully contained all furled up within and is a pale ,shell pink and odourless- the stench is when the coral like membrane is exposed to the air and then becomes a darker, literally, coral pink- the shape is hooped with the coral like branches within the frame of the hoop.
I have concluded it is Clathrus Ruber (Red Cage Fungus) which is becoming more common in Southern England and I think came from New Zealand originally. Spores would have been brought in on shipments of various materials.
|17/09/2006 - New Foray - St Leonards Forests|
First foray after my holiday in Portugal. A couple of good edibles showed up. View Foray
Its good to be back in the UK, the Algarve is very dry and dusty with little fungi at this time of the year. St Leonards was damp and cool and there were mushrooms everywhere. I found a few specimens of Hydnum Repandum which although a good edible is protected now.
|05/09/2006 - Ceps are appearing|
The delicious Cep or Penny Bun (or Porcini in Italy) has finally started appearing View Species
Still no abundance of them, just the odd isolated speciment. I'm hoping for a good year. Usually I dry a load to be used throughout the rest of the year.
|30/08/2006 - New Species (new to me)|
Amanita Vaginata - The Grisette, found this species today for the first time on a foray in St Leonards Forest. View Foray
It is said to be edible if cooked but I didn’t really fancy it. Amanitas make me nervous.