Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Mycological Dabblings - Or, I Hunted for Toadstools!

I thought I would try something new today, having been inspired by a lot of the pictures of fungi I've seen posted on my reading list. Seeing as we aren't in an Amazon rainforest dripping with arrow poison frogs, these not quite animals, not quite plants potentially combine colour and deadliness in a way rarely found anywhere else in the UK.

It was besides a rotten day, too sore to run, too wet and windy wild to cycle. On foot, in my hiking trousers and trainers, was the method of propulsion today, so I had to pick a hunting ground in reasonable reach.

I decided on Beacon Hill Park, as I figured the stands of trees there might prove a good hunting ground.

Above the favoured copse, a family group of four buzzards were flapping around, finding no air currents to soar on in the mottled grey sky. Within the trees, the sky disappeared, replaced by rustling leaves, damp smells and the snap of twigs underfoot.

The trees were young, and not the sort that looked like they'd harbour big bracket fungi. But every fallen trunk I came across, I inspected, and on virtually everyone I looked at, I found a different species of fungus.

Some were large, some tiny. Some were caps, some were brackets. I recognised perhaps three species, and I'm probably wrong about those. But as an observational exercise, to train my eyes to find the smallest objects lurking in the darkest corners, I think it was an interesting experiment.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 07.10.15

First species

Some sort of bracket or polypore

Bad shot here. Don't think this is orange peel

Amidst the moss

Maybe chicken in the woods?

King Alfred's cakes

Tiny caps on rotted wood

Another bracket

Strange growth

The only species found away from a tree trunk

Jews ear? And maybe witches butter?



  1. Tricky little things to identify.
    but interesting when you get one right.
    nice write up.

  2. I love this time of year....looking for fungus is a favourite pastime of mine. I am useless at identifying them, but none the less enjoy looking.
    Good post........

  3. Fascinating photographs Si - I shall try looking for them round here too.

  4. Thanks for your supportive comments folks, will probably head into Stapleford Woods in the next few days to see if I can find some more colourful specimens!

  5. I am an inveterate mushroom hunter, mostly for cepes and girolles. I don't think I'd want to eat any of the above, even though I know some are edible. Good luck.

  6. Oh I've no intention of eating anything, merely to photograph abnd make wild guesses about the identify of. The moment I eat a mushroom I find is the moment I eat a destroying angel

  7. You have found fascinating fungi, some of them tiny... and some of them looking rather suspicious. :)
    Beautiful description of the woods and of its sounds and smells.

  8. Mycological dabblings - I love that! You got some lovely shots here, searching for mushrooms and fungi is always really interesting I find, I love all of the different shapes and colours you can get. - Tasha

  9. I'm really glad you've enjoyed this post, and one or two of you seem to have found it inspiring!