Mushroom Foraging

IMG_3581The mornings are slow at this time of year. The sun still has some warmth, but burning off the morning haze takes effort and the dew is keeping the grass damp until lunchtime.

It is now that fishing begins to get serious. The sea is at its warmest, and the bigger bass and pollock are prowling closer inshore. Meanwhile, on the rivers anglers cast in hope of a late summer salmon or sea-trout, and as the weed dies back the roach, barbel, and perch come out to play.

And something else is happening in our woods. Beneath the soil, the mycelium is busy pushing up its fruiting bodies – and more and more of us are being lured into the trees by the resulting mushrooms.

Popularised by the likes of John Wright on River Cottage, mushroom foraging is a lot like fishing. One must find the right habitat, pick out the spots where fungi are most likely to appear, and then take advantage of the perfect conditions.

It’s not without its risks of course – there are several species out there that will kill you and many more to make you sick, but there is something rather pleasant about taking a slow woodland stroll.

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