Time for family tradition!


Coleshed returns after a short break, with a post from one of the wider team….

Team Coleshed has a very important tradition. Well, I suppose we have many traditions, but this one is certainly one of the most entrenched in our day-to-day.

“Fungus of the Day“ is the long-running and, due to its rapid turnover, ever-rewarding competition to spot the most impressive mushroom that you can. Points are awarded based on a huge and varying range of factors: Put simply, the weirder the better. Fungi that look like they’re straight out of a sci-fi film are almost certainly winners. Ditto if they look like they could kill you with one touch. Or if they’re fluorescent. A fluorescent fungus would warrant an immediate win.

This brings us on to our Fungus of the *Week*……

It was the first welly walk of the winter, after being away from the countryside for the past few weeks. It had been a stellar walk so far, begun by watching a herd of beautiful fallow deer, and then hearing an owl very sweetly reply to the choo-choo of a steam train.

What could make this walk any better? I hear you ask. Well, dear reader, I think you know the answer. A Fungus of the Day.

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Nestled against a tree trunk, rising from the carpet of beech leaves, was a majestic sight. A cluster of black domed caps, speckled with white fluff. As always, the more you looked, the more seemed to emerge from the woodland floor.

Our Fungi were Magpie Inkcaps, which can be found in beech woods during the winter. The are highly poisonous, but very handsome, although if you want to see one you must catch them before they melt away.

We spotted a particularly attractive one: a long white stem with an inky-brown cap, decorated with impressively shaggy white patches. My walking companion remarked that it looked almost like a moth wing. And so it did. Although… could it be…?

Sure enough, perched on top of our King Mushroom, was a real moth, brown and speckled, and totally camouflaged against the leaves behind.

Nature really does have a sense of humour sometimes.

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