Just a quick blog, but a chance to say many thanks to my Sister and Brother-in-law, the BFG (The Bucks Fungus Group, not the big friendly giant), The Woodland Trust. the Natural History Museum staff and international celebrity! Richard Fortey for a super day in the woods yesterday, wummaging awound for fungi.
My sister and husband organise this brilliant foray every year and it's very well attended by many members of the Bucks Fungi Group as well as Natural History Museum scientists. It is the only one my wife and I (and son now) have managed to attend in recent years but it is always superb and yesterday was no different. It is in fact over-subscribed these days, so popular is the day!
Something like 50 people (there'd be A LOT more if there could be, but the Woodland Trust understandably have to keep the numbers down to a "reasonable number") met in the car park of the very pretty Penn Street Church (near Amersham in Buckinghamshire), were briefed by Paul from the Woodland Trust and then headed off (in three separate groups) into the woods and over the cricket pitch (waxcap heaven I hear) to see what we could find.
I know Penn woods very well, having spent nights there in my "yoof", watching woodcock rode around clearings and turtle doves nest deep within this huge wood. That said, I hadn't been back to this very pretty corner of Buckinghamshire in many years so yesterday was a real treat for me.
The famous palaeontologist and a friend of my sister, Richard Fortey was on fine form again yesterday, identifying each sample brought to him and speaking very knowledgeably about fungi in general.
One of the nicest things about this annual foray is the age range of people coming along - from toddlers (including my son Ben) to people in their 70s - all just there to find some fungi and learn about these wonderful "animal plants" (my words).
My sister and husband also throw a brilliant fungi foray party (for all the foragers and even MORE people!) after the walk at their house a few miles away (after a quick cup of tea in the village hall), but we couldn't make it this year (hens and boy had to be put to bed) but I know from past experiences that that party would have gone on well into the night. My brother-in-law is a superb cook and would have used a lot of the edible fungi collected yesterday to make some rustic treats.
A selection of (pretty ropey) photos from yesterday can be found below.
The eagle-eyed amongst you might spot my Uncle Ruary ("Mr.Dragonfly!", who is becoming as famous as Richard Fortey these days!) and the REALLY eagle eyed amongst you might spot a midge taking off in one of the shots (I won't give you more of a clue than that).
All in all a lovely day strolling around a very pretty part of the countryside yesterday with fine company to boot.
Many thanks again to my sister and brother-in-law for inviting us along!