Shaggy Scalycap and The Lemondrop Kid

Great! Which one do you want to be?

Shut up!

FizzOkay but you don’t get the ball till you tickle my tummy.

FizzThis is going to be a post about fungi and flowers.

Fizz and I went out with the intention of shooting some vines. I want to write about Clematis vitalba, Wild Clematis, Old Man’s Beard, Travellers Joy, you know the one.

I want pictures of the stems. They hang like vines in the trees and their sheer weight can bring a tree down. Old vines are as thick as your wrist. It is an important aspect of the species that nobody ever mentions and , you know me, I have got to show this if I am going to write about the plant. I need the pictures but no luck yet, I have not really found good examples and it is too dark.

The first picture of the Robin in my last post, the bird is sitting on just such a vine.

So I was looking and I found some mushrooms.

Shaggy ScalycapI don’t know this species. That is a good thing, I love to find things that I don’t know, that is the only way to learn.

I think that it looks like a Honey Fungus but if it is, it is one that I do not know.

Shaggy Scalycap

Shaggy ScalycapI looked on the internet and all of the images that I saw suggested that this was Dark Honey Fungus but that is baloney, I know that species well.

I went out to collect samples and on the way back I met the local mushroom expert.

When I say expert, he is in his eighties and his knowledge comes from…… well he just makes it up. He told me that these were Parasol Mushrooms and that they were very good to eat. They are not.

I know the Parasol very well and it is nothing like this but I like the old fellow.

A few weeks ago he called me over and asked me if I could recognise a Chanterelle, I can but I was hesitant because I knew what was coming.

“You don’t sound very sure.” he said, “Come over here and I’ll show you.”

He has been eating these mushrooms for years and I am not sure what they are (not Chanterelles) but they haven’t killed him. These mushrooms had gills, Chanterelles don’t. He asked me to look out for them on my travels, “worth a fortune. Let me know where you find them.”

The thing that slightly alarmed me was that he told me that he had taken his wife to one of the best local restaurants and while he was there he had sold a small bag of his “Chanterelles” to the chef for twenty pounds.

I really like this man but his knowledge comes from a different place than mine.

Hardly any UK mushrooms are actually dangerous and anyway he has made it to eighty five.

Going back to my mushrooms, I had to seek expert help and I sent off these pictures asking if this was a Honey Fungus.

Shaggy Scalycap

Shaggy Scalycap

Shaggy Scalycap

Shaggy Scalycap

Shaggy ScalycapThe answer that came back was, “No, it’s a Shaggy Scalycap but you can check this. The Honey fungi all have a white spore print,  Pholiota squarrosa has a cinnamon brown spore print.”

Well, this is how we learn things.

Muddy Paw Prints (spore prints)

I am only tickling you to keep you happy, I have got another ball.

More anyway!


Shaggy Scalycap spore printThe first results were not great but pretty soon they were leaving muddy paw prints all over the kitchen and Fizz was happy.

Shaggy Scalycap spore print

Shaggy Scalycap spore print

Shaggy Scalycap spore print

FizzShaggy Scalycap, Pholiota squarrosa.

Shaggy ScalycapThe same mushrooms one week later.

Shaggy ScalycapIt used to be classed as edible but it is now recognised as poisonous. Poisonings have only been recorded when this fungus is consumed with alcohol and then the symptoms occurred about ten hours later and included vomiting and diarrhoea (not a killer).

Shaggy ScalycapIt is a saprobic fungus, feeding on dead wood but also an opportunistic parasite. It can only attack a live tree if another fungi  has weakened it first.

Shaggy ScalycapNow then, just recently Fizz has been exhibiting some unusual behaviour, possibly something to do with her celebrity status. When she gets hold of the ball she rolls over on her back and won’t give it back until she gets tickled.

FizzShe does this every time that we go out and it has become a feature of our walks. I don’t think that this is normal behaviour for a dog.

And The Lemondrop Kid, well I don’t know but this is definitely not The Scarlet Pimpernel…

Lysimachia nemorum, The Yellow Pimpernel

Yellow Pimpernel flower (Lysimachia nemorum)Like it’s cousin the Scarlet Pimpernel the Yellow Pimpernel belongs to the Primrose family but that is about all that they have in common.

The Yellow Pimpernel is a shade tolerant woodland plant. In fact the second part of it’s scientific name, nemorum, comes from the Latin word nemorus and means “of the woods.”

Yellow Pimpernel flower (Lysimachia nemorum)It has five stamens around a single style and it has five petals.

Note the pointed shape of the petals this helps to distinguish it from it’s close relative L. nummularia, Creeping Jenny whose yellow petals are much more rounded and also closer together.

Yellow Pimpernel flower (Lysimachia nemorum)The leaves are oval and pointed.

Yellow Pimpernel pant (Lysimachia nemorum)Yellow Pimpernel flowers from May until the end of August.

Yellow Pimpernel flower (Lysimachia nemorum) Yellow Pimpernel flower (Lysimachia nemorum)   Yellow Pimpernel flower (Lysimachia nemorum)   Yellow Pimpernel flower (Lysimachia nemorum)


Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Ericales

Family: Primulaceae

Genus: Lysimachia

Species: Lysimachia nemorum

Yellow Pimpernel flower (Lysimachia nemorum)

Yellow Pimpernel plant (Lysimachia nemorum)Wildflowers in winter.

37 thoughts on “Shaggy Scalycap and The Lemondrop Kid”

  1. The flowers and the mushrooms were great. I don’t know that I have seen any pimpernels in any gardens around here. I will have to take a closer look next spring. Nice to see Fizz having a good time too. We have a Chihuahua that always carries a ball around and wants us to throw it so he can chase it and bring it back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dennis 🙂 That’s a nice pack of dogs that you have there. Chico sounds like a bit of a handful. Lola and Bandit make perfect sense to me but if you start writing more about them, I bet it will be Heidi who wins the most hearts, she is adorable.


  2. ‘I don’t think that this is normal behaviour for a dog.’ :- ) Ah….. :- )
    Perhaps not… Maybe Fizz is becoming Robin Hood or somebody historical…
    Well, a great story all round. & Now the eccentric nature of the fellow in his 80s to contend with! I love this series and will endeavor to remember facts about mushrooms and flowers!


    1. Thank you Steven 🙂 I like the old mushroom expert because I am so overly careful and correct and he just makes stuff up and gets on with it. It is a good attitude. Fizz just doesn’t think like a dog ought to think.


      1. Pardon me for disagreeing, but it seems to me that Fizz is doing what all dogs do – training humans to do what they want! In this case tickling her tummy … they just like us to think we have the upper hand 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I just love the Shaggy Scalycap! They scream “Fantasy Forest” in a few digital designs I have in mind. I’m going to be really busy at the first of the year. Hope I don’t forget what my plans are by then! Happy Trails!


  4. I am now worried about going to restaurants and eating things with mushrooms in, in case some old chap has sold a few toadstools to the chef who also has no knowledge about edible fungi! The Shaggy Scalycap and the Yellow Pimpernel are both very attractive. I don’t believe I’ve seen either of these. In case I don’t manage to get on-line very much in the next week I would like to wish you and Fizz a very happy Christmas and a lovely new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Clare 🙂 What is really crazy is that you can buy a tray of Chanterelles from any decent supermarket for £2. Everybody knows what they look like and they are not very expensive. I think that he makes a lot of his stuff up 🙂 but I know that he eats them because his wife has told me that it worries her.

      You have a very busy and wonderful Christmas holiday, I am going to have a lazy one. Fizz can take me for a walk (for a change) Margaret is going to cook my dinner and I shall spend the afternoon quietly watching a movie with a glass of whisky in hand. Take care 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank-you, Colin. I am pleased you are sharing a Christmas meal with someone – there’s nothing better! I will raise a glass of sparkling elderflower to you! Once the Christmas meal is cooked and served I am then free to enjoy a quiet afternoon too – heaven!


  5. You could frame those spore prints and sell them for a fortune. Way better than a pile of bricks or an unmade bedroom. I hope you didn’t throw them away, they look fabulous.


    1. Thank you Stephen 🙂 I didn’t throw them away, they are on a cork board by my door to remind me to do this more often. I think that I could make more money framing paw prints than spore prints but don’t tell her that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fizz sure has you trained, but that’s not entirely a bad thing, seems like a mutually symbiotic relationship! I think you need to protect your fungi from that expert, keep your eyes on him I would, he is the poisonous one 😉 A villian in the Forest of Dean! A curious title that did not disappoint ~ the plot thickens!


    1. Thank you so much Aquileana 🙂 I also thought that your blog was very beautiful. I used to read a lot and when I was a child I knew Robert Graves very well, I love mythology and that is probably why I get on with Faeries so well. Bless you 🙂


  7. 🙂 I must smile now. When I began reading I was so amazed and exited – “who’s writing or perhaps what the text is about whom?” I’m a man of imagination (not that big one) so no wonder I saw Mr Ben Weatherstuff from the beloved book The Secret Garden, but soon I realized you have to be a person having a lot from “Mistress Mary, quite contrary” as well, so lovely went your narration. 🙂

    The vines “thick as one’s wrist” what meant they were old enough, were like those old wild rose veins creeping on the walls and trees’ boughs and limbs within the same secret garden and hanging around in every possible places. I read the book several times, I am not able to get rid of the pictures when reading something about the Nature nearly in the same language used by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Even your pictures were not needed, apart from fungi, to have your vicinity before my eyes, despite it was written with so few words. 🙂

    It was pleasure, it was very nice pleasure Sir, despite I’m, or just due to that, 58 years old. 🙂 Sometimes the kids, “hidden” in your readers’ souls, did never leave them through all their lives. 😉

    Thanks a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Przemysław 🙂 For somebody to whom English is not the first language you write it in a beautiful and lyrical style and your comment is much appreciated. Of course there is much of the “Mistress Mary, quite contrary” about me. Thank you for enjoying this post I did my best to write it for you 🙂


  8. Late but sincere. Thank you for the nice support. Writing “correctly” is not as easy, as it looked so in the near past. That’s why I work hard and try to polish my Polglish. 🙂 Sometimes I can’t name it otherwise – writing in English demands thinking in that language but such level is not within arm’s distance for many, for me too. 😦

    Anyway, every “thumb up” expressed in free but verbal/written way is like pressing the famous button “Like (it)”. But is more precious as it’s more personal and expressing a state of communicating Men, not a Man with a soulless machine through, e.g. Facebook, buttons and flickering lamps on control dashboard. 🙂

    Happy New Year Sir!

    P.S. I’m not accustomed to address people in this “leftist” way. 🙂 I’m not at ease to name You Colin (it is name, not a surname?), Mr. Colin or Mr. Fodrambler are preposterous, but Przemysław in return is OK. 🙂


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