Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Sunday, 29 November 2009

Fairytales and nightmares

Mushrooms. I don’t like eating them; to me it’s like eating a slug, with that rubbery texture. But I do like to photograph them. So many different species, and even with my new ID book, I’m still struggling to put names to them. One I do recognise though, is this one.

Fly Agaric. Countless fairytales feature this one, usually with a fairy sitting on top. Not to be eaten though, or you might just start seeing the fairies.
Something I didn’t know; heavy rain can sometimes wash off the little white bits, (velum), and make it easily confused with similar looking, edible mushrooms.

Fly Agaric, again. You’ll find these growing under spruces and birches, on acidic soil.

This next one is a ‘bracket fungus’.

Not sure of its name, but it looks like someone has launched a burger into the tree.

And these little things. I must read this book properly!

As I found it; and there it stayed. Unknown; for now.

All these were found on a visit to RSPB Sandy, at the weekend. Walking across one of the heaths, I found a large area of these.

Again, no idea what they are. Very spongy to the touch, and reminded me visually of coral.

Closer view. May or may not be a fungi; but I liked it.

Definitely not a fungus, I’ll finish with this little chap.

A Blue Tit. I liked this, so it’s the new header picture, for now.
If I’ve done it properly.


  1. What a nice collection of fungi, Keith. If I get a fine day this week, I intend to go up the road to a nice woodland I know to see if there are still fungi there to photograph. The blue tit it lovely too.

  2. I'll stick to the 'wacky you know what'!
    The header works for me, well done.
    The last pic is a fungi, Cladonia (cup lichen) but not sure which species.

  3. Well I can't help you with the fungi Keith but they are great pictures :D

    And yes, you did it properly and the Blue Tit is a great complement to your blog. Lovely composition :D

  4. A perfect photo for your new header Keith, beautiful in its own right but absolutely perfect for a header.

    The more I see and hear of fungi the more interesting I find it. You may have just solved a mystery for me, I have always wondered why I have never seen Fly Agaric locally, it is so pretty and as you allude to it featured in so many childhood story books but you mention it favours acidic soil and generally the soil in this area isn't, it seems I wil have to look further afield.

  5. I love the new header!! Its perfect for your page--the shrooms are awesome too--- I think that last bit may be in the moss family we have it here too but I dont know the name!
    I do love to eat mushrooms if properly cooked they can be quite delicious!

  6. Cheers Frank. I've since looked on the net, and you're spot on with the ID. Cladonia portentosa, common name Reindeer lichen.

    Thank you Emma. The first time I've seen the Fly Agaric, so I took loads of pictures lol

    Tricia, thank you for your comment. Glad you like the Blue Tit. I was very pleased how it came out, and thought it'd make a nice header.

    Thank you for your comments Dixxe. Never managed to enjoy mushrooms to eat. Maybe if they were crunchy? lol

    ShySongbird, thank you. Seems the header worked. :)
    This fungi thing is quite interesting. Something else I learnt from my book; certain fungi only grow on or near certain trees.
    Always something new to learn.

  7. I did enjoy this very much - I am so NOT scientific - appreciate the beauty - never look them up for names. (Lazy?)
    another study to do up close is leaves - many colors, variation, growths, I did a label of 'just leaves'
    have a great Sunday.

  8. The Blue Tit out on a limb is perfect as a header. Great photos of the various fungi.

  9. Keith - loving the new header...it's a keeper! And all the fungi, just wonderfully captured. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hi Keith. Beautiful are they, fungi I mean. The Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) is a wonderful plant to look at, but eaten, for hippies used for psychedelic turn ons; not for me....I think that they ought to be left alone so they can give us greater pleasure.
    Oh, I love the Blue Tit as your new header.

  11. Keith,
    Mushrooms on my pizza taste great, but they have never looked so good! The new header is awesome!

  12. Lovely colourful photographs of the fungi... I am not the greatest fan of mushrooms myself and would never eat one I saw in the wild. The new header is great ...definitely one of our more colourful birds.

  13. Thanks everyone for all the positive feedback on the new header. I wasn’t sure whether to change it or not.

    Thanks for your comment John. The good thing about fungi is it doesn’t move; even in the wind lol

    Bob, thanks for your comments. The Fly Agaric used to be a cheap ‘high’ years ago. Apparently.
    So I’m told. ;)

    Thank you Ginger. I’m terrible for looking things up too lol
    I might have a go at some leaves; there’s plenty on the ground at the moment.

    Lenora, thank you. I guess the header stays for a while then. :)

    Thanks Trevor. Good to know I’m not alone about eating mushrooms :)

    David, thank you. Think I prefer my mushrooms growing lol

  14. Hi Keith, glad to see someones had a good weekend. I like the new header. Not as dramatic as the old but very effective. Try the fungi with garlic and butter, taste just like snails then.
    Winter is here!

  15. Cheers for your comment Adrian.
    I'll stick with chips lol
    And yea, I think you're right, winter has arrived. A bit cold here tonight.

  16. Beautiful set of pictures Keith... I love your new banner and the last shot. It's a wonderful one!

  17. Thank you for your comment Chris. :)

  18. I like raw and cooked mushrooms on steak, etc. the white kind we buy here in the stores.

    cute new header shot!!

  19. What a good collection of fungi. I had a garden gnome sitting on a red mushroom and you are right about the spots. even the painted ones come off in the rain.

  20. ...that's sort of scary--the rain may wash the spots off the poisonous mushroom and then it looks like an edible one! I never harvest any of them, because I'm sure I'd pick a poisonous one! Lovely photos. I've never seen a little red mushroom like that in person, just in paintings. I wonder if they exist here.

  21. Thanks for your comments Kelly. I believe they do grow in your country, so you might get to see some.

    Doreen, thank you. I’ve never tried them raw. One day maybe……

    Tony, thank you. That must have been some heavy rain you had.

  22. The bracket fungus on the Birch is Piptoporus betulinus. The upside down one is a Boletus - probably the Xerocomus subtomentosus. The brown one below the Fly agarics looks like Leccinum scabrum. The 'little ones' could be Sulphur Tuft but it's hard to tell.

  23. Scriptor, thank you for your comment, and clearing up the ID's. Much appreciated.

  24. Darling banner shot! What a cutie (the Tit, not you! ha ha!). The fungus shots are gorgeous. What are you using for a field guide?

  25. Nice shots, i enjoyed them :) I recently posted some mushroom photos on a wet day up in Washington!

  26. Hi Keith,

    Superb captures, great autumn colour.

  27. Best left to photograph especially the bright red ones Keith. A really brilliant new header.

  28. Thanks for your comment Bob.

    Thanks Roy.

    Thank you Robin. The guide book I've recently got is 'Mushrooms & Toadstools'. One of Black's Nature Guides. Fascinating book.

    Hillary, thank you for stopping by, following, and commenting. I'll take a look at your blog soon. Having some connection problems here at the moment.

  29. You have a very nice photographs. Congratulations! Jorge Sousa, from Portugal. www.ibernatur.blogspot.com

  30. I enjoyed your mushrooms so much. I seemed to get slowed down a bit looking them over. I could almost see the fairies flitting about.

  31. Thank you for stopping by Jorge, and commenting. Appreciate it.

    Thanks Andrea. I'm sure they are there, somewhere ;)

  32. A really wonderfull Blog! Your view on nature and the littel birds is so sensitive and full of positive feelings. Greetings from Germany, Luzia.

  33. All you shot seem to be poisonous, though the bracket fungus could be comestible.
    Also, the red one with a little skirt (Snake`s Hat) is definitively very dangerous, though it`s quite similar with a good one, named Deer`s Foot.
    Great picture.

  34. Thank you for your comments Luzia. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit.

    Marius, thank you. I'm still struggling with the ID's on a lot of mushrooms. I'm rather glad in a way I don't like to eat them. Knowing my luck I'd probably eat the wrong ones.

  35. nice shots of the fungus! i should really get a guide book for them...i saw a bunch (including the fly agaric) a few days ago on a hike http://nutcase007.blogspot.com/2009/12/mushrooms-and-seals-and-stuff.html
    great shots all around, love your birds!

  36. Thanks for stopping by, and commenting Jill, appreciate it.
    Had a look at your link, and really enjoyed your fungi shots. I've got an ID book, but still struggle to identify them. lol