Sunday 24 October 2010

My own Fungus Foray

My intention of participating in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Nature Society's Fungus Foray earlier in the month was thwarted by adverse weather conditions, but today I carried out my own foray. I went for a walk on nearby Velmead Common, an area of mixed heathland and woods, which is open for public access.

Sunlight streaming through the trees on Velmead Common

This is a view of one of the more open areas

Heathland on Velmead Common

The vegetation on the Common is kept in check by a small herd of rare breed cattle (not sure which breed -- could it be the Hampshire Black do you think??)

One of the Velmead Common cows

The Common is an ideal place to look for fungi. It has a wide variety of habitats -- some of them in full sunlight, some of them in shade. And October is the best time of the year to find fungi, because they seem to thrive in the damp but still relatively mild conditions. So, I had a walk round the Common to see what I could find. There were LOADS of different types. In fact I had to come home before I really wanted to, because the memory card in my camera was full! I offer you then just a selection of my best photos...

 I have practically no expertise in fungus-recognition, so I am not going to caption most of the following pictures, though I have been having a browse through the River Cottage Handbook No.1 - Mushrooms, by John Wright.  Maybe some of you will be able to enlighten me as to which varieties I saw.

This one is definitely Sparassis Crispa - the Cauliflower fungus

Coriolus Versicolor - Many-zoned Polypore

Piptoporus Betulinus - Birch Polypore

I reckon this one is a Boletus (or Cep) of some sort

Jane says this one must be the "Meringue" fungus...

Just for good measure (nothing whatsoever to do with fungi), I offer these last two photos of things I saw on my walk, simply because I like the photos!


A Mallard drake on the Basingstoke canal

[Sunday afternoon walks will never be the same now that I am hooked on photography!]


  1. Mark, I love the photo of the Mallard. I could make a wonderful painting from that----hint, hint.I take lots of photos and paint from many of them, not trying to copy them exactly or anything, but taking artistic liscense to do my own way. One of my older posts is a painting of 3 Mallards. I think it was posted either last of March or early April, called "Springtime Mallards". Please have a look.
    By the way, I got a chuckle from Jane's Meringue

  2. I was going to comment on the mallard pic as well; I've been beaten to it! Superb pic. The cow looks ill tempered, I like him.

  3. Re Cow: HER , not HIM! Actually they all seemed pretty docile. They certainly didn't look bothered when I started photographing them. Actually I tried to get a pic of a Magpie sitting on the back of a cow (which they were all doing until I got close) but the birds all flew off before I could record the scene...

  4. Mark, hi,
    the boletus are identified by checking the underneath of their cap. It looks like a sponge with pores and it doesn't have gills like most of the other mushrooms. Check the photo here Not to be confused though with the suillus which has a thinner stem and a glistening, sticky cap. Boletus is also a much more substantial mushroom in weight than the suillus.

    Greetings from Greece.

  5. Hi Mariza; thanks for visiting my blog, and the comments you left me here and elsewhere. You are obviously knowledgeable about fungi -- which I am most definitely NOT! I would really love to find a local source of wild Boletus, but I would not dare to harvest them without some expert advice on-hand.


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