Great! Which one do you want to be?
Okay but you don’t get the ball till you tickle my tummy.
This 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.
I 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.
I 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.
The 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.
The first results were not great but pretty soon they were leaving muddy paw prints all over the kitchen and Fizz was happy.
Shaggy Scalycap, Pholiota squarrosa.
The same mushrooms one week later.
It 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).
It 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.
Now 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.
She 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
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.”
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.
The leaves are oval and pointed.
Yellow Pimpernel flowers from May until the end of August.
Species: Lysimachia nemorum