The Equinox is passed and days are getting shorter, but nature is still very active - in fact in many ways creatures go into overdrive feeding up before the stark hunger times of winter.
For me October is mushrooming time.
Fungi (for many the term fungi and mushroom are interchangeable) are neither plant nor animal but in a kingdom of their own. Popping up in the fields or through the fallen autumn leaves. They add colour and excitement to dull autumn days. They form an essential part of nature’s recycling process breaking down plant material from leaves to fallen trees to minerals for next year’s growing plants. Many trees have an even closer ‘symbiotic’ relationship, with particular fungi providing chemical defences and breaking down cellulose, which enables them to absorb nutrients.
Fungi can also be a feast
A hat full! - Picked from a local field this September.
I have eaten about 30 different sorts since coming back to Somerset in 1990 - but I never give advice on edibility, even experts can make mistakes, and I don’t claim to be an expert! The same applies to the internet – please don’t rely on the internet for positive identification -mistakes can be unpleasant! That said, fungus foraying in our local woods can be a great day out.
I am leading three forays in October, the nearest is at Stock Hill Woods on the Mendips. Meeting in the Stockhill Car Park at ST550512.
8th Oct. Start at 2.00pm. Cost £2.50 under 16s free. It is arranged by the Polden Hills Group of the Somerset Wildlife Trust – so for further information contact Anne Lees on email