Sunday, October 11, 2009

Watching Autumn

Last week saw the annual Fungus Foray, Sloe Hunt and Bacon Buttie Bonanza. We had a modest haul of boletus badius, some hygrocybe pratensis, a couple of lactarius deliciosus, a slippery jack and a negligible number of field mushrooms for the pot. I've been surprised how few field mushroons there have been this year. Of the non-edibles, plenty of blushers as always, a fly agaric, and some hygocybe, russula and tricholoma that I wasn't organized enough to pin down. It was blowing a gale on the tops so it was hard enough staying on our feet without faffing around with books, cameras etc. We also gathered a respectable number of sloes, and thanks to the stong wind, I also managed an unusually large number of hazelnuts. So, some of the mushrooms went into an autumn stew with home grown borlotti beans and garlic and some butternut squash, the sloes are percolating nicely in gin, and I'm considering making some hazelnut liqueur.
This week, I fancied a trip out to Old Moor. It was a lovely day so I had a leisurely bus / tram / train / bus ride out there, and a stroll round the hides in the afternoon sun. There was plenty about: cormorant, lapwing, teal, wigeon, tufted duck, heron (of course)  golden plover, mute swans, canada geese, coots, moorhens, a wader (godwit?) siskins, pied wagtail, and lots of other stuff I couldn't identify. Still lots of dragonflies around. I've been watching Autumnwatch and have posted a few photos on the flikr stream.