A FESTIVAL OF FUNGI
Autumn is always stunning here in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, but instead of looking up at the changing leaves I find myself enchanted by all manner of beautiful fungi on tree trunks and stumps, and popping 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.
Here is a red one I certainly don’t like. It smells like rotting flesh…horrible. I have banned my husband from putting wood chips on garden beds, because they thrive in it.
These are quite sweet.
There are some that look just like 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.
This one was growing all alone in the leaf litter, and reaching for the sky in the morning sunshine.
As the daylight faded one day I even experimented using the flash on my little camera.
Some were a bit rain affected when I found them.
The fungi below must be related I think.
Now the fungi in the next pics are edible; well so they say.
On the left and above are pine mushrooms. That’s the common name, because they growunder pine trees. I’ve tried these, but I can’t say I’m impressed. The one on the right looks reassuringly like an ordinary old field mushroom. I might fry this up and have it on toast. If you really want to try some mushrooms, pop up to Govett’s café in the village.
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.
Oh good grief, it’s that gnome again.
Our festival of fungi even rated a mention in the local Blue Mountains Gazette’. We may never see its like again. Mind you, I have been looking more carefully recently, so perhaps we have always had more fungi than I was aware of.
UPDATE – I found even more this morning.
My associate Editor Des has been studying fungi for some time. He likes to work ‘in the field’ so to speak.
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