I’m just loving the fungi. Now that I’ve got my fungi-finding radar fully primed, I’m coming across them everywhere – and lots of different ones too. Here are my favourites from the last week or so.
I think they look like jelly sweets – maybe sugar-dusted fruit leather. They often have an ear-like shape, hence the name. Previously they were known as Jew Ear, a link to the idea that Judas Iscariot hung himself from an elder tree (elder trees or fallen elder wood being what they typically grow on – as they are here in our garden). But that’s obviously pretty racist so I think we can move on from that name and embrace the kinder, and much more descriptive Jelly Ear!
This is called Candle Snuff because their erect black and white bodies look like candle wicks. They’re also known as Stag’s Horn because the fruit often fork like horns. They grow on dead wood and are pretty common in the UK. Here they’re on the same tree stump where the honey fungus had fruited a few weeks ago when I wrote my last fungi post. They’re not edible, but apparently they do have anti-viral properties (could come in handy!).
After my research on ink caps for the last post, I was able to recognise this one straightaway when I found it on the lake path. It really helps that the names are so deliciously humorous and descriptive. This one is called Shaggy Inkcap, or Lawyer’s Wig – perfect! It’s also quite exciting because not only is it edible and pretty tasty apparently, it’s also a good one for beginner foragers, because it’s not easily confused with any poisonous lookalikes. This one was on its own, and so perfect looking that I didn’t pick it – but maybe if I find more of a crop I’ll give it a try.
I recognised this one straightaway too, because, in photos at least, it looks really similar to the Common Inkcap that I talked about it the last post. When you see it for real, there’s no confusing them, because this one is much smaller (see finger for scale). The lovely feature of these are the glistening spots all over the cap. I bet I can get a better photo of them glistening in the right light – hopefully I’ll catch an opportunity soon.
And finally…this is just the same Turkeytail growing in the bark path as I shared in my last post, but I think it’s looking so magnificent now – I just had to share again!
If you missed my previous post on fungi – click here to have a read.