The following photos were all taken at Blackheath, mostly in my garden or on the walk up to the village via Memorial Park or Robertson Lane. The scene that follows appeared in the Blue Mountains Gazette, when Blackheath had a bumper season a few years back. It was taken in Memorial Park during a local festival of fungi.
Autumn is always stunning here in the Blue Mountains, but instead of looking up at the changing leaves I often find myself enchanted by all manner of beautiful fungi. They appear on tree trunks and stumps, and pop up through the leaf litter. I must confess I know very little about fungi, so I can’t identify many.
I think these tiny red ones are my favourite, especially contrasting with the green lichen.
Mind you, there are some red ones I certainly don’t like. They emerge from creepy ‘eggs’;
The ‘blooms’ smell like rotting flesh to attract blowflies and thus spread the spores via the feet of the flies….truly horrible! I have banned my husband from putting wood chips on garden beds, because they thrive in it. I passed this information on to my rather grumpy dentist, who had a big problem with them. He was so grateful he became positively warm and friendly.
However, the smelly ones are in the minority. These have an ethereal beauty;
There are some that look like perfectly cooked pikelets, I haven’t tried them yet though.
These strange brown ‘toasted’ ones popped up in the lawn, which to be honest is mostly moss.
Sometimes I come across a whole bank of fungi in the laneway outside our property.
This one was growing all alone in the leaf litter, reaching for the sky in the morning sunshine.
As the daylight faded one day I even experimented using the flash on my little camera. The tiny red ones are sweet too; like miniature garden lights..
The next image is of scallop shell fungi, well that’s what I call them.
FOR THE PAN
Above and below are pine mushrooms. That’s the common name, because they grow under pine trees. I’ve tried these, but I can’t say I’m impressed. They are also known as saffron milk cups. People pickle them, make pesto from them and fry them up. Maybe I should give them another go.
Look, these are the ‘storybook’ red toadstools with white spots. They were growing under an oak tree. I wonder if this is their preferred location? I managed to capture their entire life cycle in one grouping. The white scales on the immature one will separate and form the white spots. Isn’t that interesting? I even know the correct name for these; Amanita muscaria. Just quietly, I think they are the ‘magic’ mushrooms that play with your mind.
Good grief, it’s that gnome again.
Such a delicate shade of mauve.
And just to show my affection for these curious creations of nature;
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