There are so many amazing fungi to be seen at the moment in the woods and countryside around my home. I think it has to be one of the best autumn displays of shrooms I can remember. I’m not sure if it’s because of the long, hot summer drought followed by torrential rain and mild temperatures here in the UK.
Anyway, the sudden profusion of many species has led me back once again to exploring the world on my hands and knees with my camera strung around my neck. With more than 15,000 wild mushroom and fungi species in the UK, it’s a huge and fascinating kingdom for nature lovers and photographers to explore.
Be aware though, some of these beauties can make you ill or worse if consumed. So don’t go frying them up as a bacon and eggs accompaniment unless you’re absolutely sure of what they are.
Have I foraged any for food purposes, I hear you ask. No, I haven’t. The reason is very simple – I can never be ABSOLUTELY sure that my identification methods are foolproof, and it makes me wary. My grandmother taught me many moons ago to identify a number of safe species for culinary purposes, however, her lessons have long since faded into the mists of time. These days I’m reliant on the internet and pocket mushroom guides for ID, and it seems to me that some of the species (some edible and some inedible) look the same!
The thought of cooking up a delicious breakfast, and then anxiously waiting around to see if there will be any adverse after-effects rather takes the pleasure out of it.