Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Shaggy Inkcaps

I once dabbled in a bit of mushroom identification and even joined in a few fungal forays. In fact for a couple of years I could regularly be found of an autumn weekend rummaging around in the leaf litter of Oxleas Woods in South-East London.

Mushrooms (or toadstools if you prefer) really are amazing organisms, coming in a range of colours, shapes, sizes and even smells. Not to mention their armoury of chemical and neurological warfare, which is what stops me eating them, however much I think I know what they are.

Here on the farm mushrooms are not too common and it lifts my heart when I find even the smallest tucked away in the grass.
So when I noticed a small group of Shaggy Inkcaps in the goose paddock I really was very pleased.

Shaggy Inkcap
IF I've got the identification correct and IF I remember correctly, these are not only edible but actually quite tasty, with a nutty flavour. But you need to catch them quickly, otherwise they quickly turn to an inky mess. They change shape too, resembling a tall black parasol.

Spurred on to look more closely, I also found these couple of fine specimens.
I really must search out a local fungal foray group to join. It's fascinating and amazing stuff.


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