At this time of year I often go up to nearby Velmead Common to photograph fungi. On Sunday afternoon I spent a couple of hours strolling round the common with my camera poised.
I'm no expert on fungus-identification, but even I recognize this one. It's Amanita Muscaria, "Fly Agaric", isn't it? A mushroom, or a toadstool? The latter, I think. Definitely not edible.
The Common was much drier than it normally is at this time of year, and it was easier to get round. Sometimes it is very boggy. Nevertheless there are still a few pretty big puddles:
There are lots of patches of big Pine trees, under which there is little undergrowth.
Little undergrowth, maybe, but loads of fir-cones:
Many species of fungus seem to enjoy this as a habitat, and you will notice that many of my photos show fungi pushing up through the litter of pine twigs and cones.
But there are also areas with thick vegetation - young Pine trees, Birch saplings, heather, gorse and bracken.
The Heather is mostly "over":
But the Gorse flowers almost all year round:
There were lots of Blackberries - and I noticed several people picking them. No problem: there's enough for everyone!
The little herd of Highland cattle were looking very healthy, their coats long and shaggy:
But my interest was primarily in the fungi, so let me show you some of the photos I took. Don't ask me what type they are though. [Warning - there are lots of them!]
OK, get the message? There were lots of different fungi to be seen! One day I'll get round to fixing a proper "Fungus Foray" with a real expert, because I reckon there must be lots of edible types out there. If only I knew which was which...