It's getting late in the season now for mushroom forays but there are still a few species to find out there. The weather has been a bit milder here recently and so great for some late mushroom hunts.
Every year I visit a local woodland in the hope of seeing the fungal fantasia that I found in October 2010. Everywhere I looked were the velvet caps of Boletus calopus with their beautiful red netted stipes and primrose yellow pores. But it was not to be this year again, maybe next year will be good for them, fungi are sometimes so elusive.
I've found lots of all the usual suspects like Fly Agarics, Russulas and Wood Blewitts but one of the most plentiful mushrooms for me this year has been the Chanterelle. Their apricot to egg yolk colour stands out from the moss and leaves and they grow with most trees. They are very tasty to eat obviously that great french delicacy; it's lovely to see them in such abundance but then it's been a great year for most flowers and fruits. I've found a few false chanterelles too so you have to be very careful if picking mushrooms to eat. The false ones have a more orange colour and slightly different shape.
I also found some poisonous 'yellow-stainers' the other day; these are the edible field mushroom look a likes,so similar but they stain yellow when cut while field mushrooms do not. They have a nasty smell of ink too.
I love that some mushrooms have these strong odours,it's a great characteristic. Some smell pleasant like stewed apples, marzipan or honey while others pong like rotting fish, raw potatoes or TCP! The smell of 'stinkhorns' is so pungent that it can be smelt upon the air without ever seeing the actual mushroom itself. They are one species that I wouldn't cut and take home to draw!!