Well, we told you not to miss the Fantastic Fungi Foray event which was held at Harthill Cookery School over the weekend; fantastic it certainly was!!
The enthusiastic, passionate, all-knowing, 'Fungalpunk Dave', together with his partner Gill, led a group of absolute beginners (myself included) around Harthill to identify and record the fungi of the area. Whilst Dave was hoping to identify at least 50 species, this member of the Webteam was simply marvelling in awe and wonder at the encyclopedic knowledge of our Wigan-born guide who had started his love affair with fungi back in 2003 and who has now clocked up a mere 294 guided walks.
Whilst Dave was rattling off the Latin names for quite literally all manner of structures, suffice it to say that the group were enthusing over the fact that most of what we see above ground level are the 'fruiting bodies' of the species which then release the spores. Everyone who attended is now sufficiently empowered to identify all manner of 'gills', whether they be fine-gills, cross-threaded gills, brittle gills or wide gills, and whether the fungi were 'spore shooters' or 'spore droppers'. A new language was learned by all!
And as for the species – collective giggles there were many – 'Dead Moll's Fingers', 'Dog Vomit Fungus', 'Cramp Balls', 'Stinkhorns', 'Shaggy Parasols', 'Poison Pies', 'Caps' galore whether they be 'Parrot Waxcaps', 'Milkcaps', 'Tawny Funnel Caps', 'Butter Caps', 'Yellow Field Caps', 'Common Ink Caps' and more; many more!
Firm favourites for all were the 'Verdigris Agaric', a slimy blue-green fungus, which was spotted by Roger at the end of the walk (see image) and the 'Fly Agaric', known for its distinctive bright red appearance with white spots (see image).
'Fungalpunk Dave' has run sessions at The Harthill Cookery School on at least 5 occasions and following the morning jaunt, Brian Mellor created a delicious mushroom soup and mushroom risotto for everyone to bring the session to its close.
And, for information – 69 species were actually recorded in three hours!! Amazing.
Look out for more incredible courses/sessions at The Harthill Cookery School (CLICK HERE)
Contact 'Fungal Punk Dave' direct – firstname.lastname@example.org
My thanks to Mary Hill to whom we owe all these terrific images.
Click on each image to enlarge.