18 October 2014

Joint Foray with Clyde & Argyll Fungus Group at Fearnoch

Photos by Jan Hamilton and Carl Farmer.  Mouse over the photos for photo credits and other info.

No less than 18 eager forayers turned out for our tour of this famous fungal hotspot.  It was very warm for the time of year, and a lot drier than was forecast.  The occasional showers were over very quickly.

Fungi were not as prolific as on our 2011 visit, but with so many pairs of eyes we kept foray leader Dick Peebles busy with our finds, most of which he was able not only to name but tell us a good deal about, including which to avoid, which to eat, and even how to cook them.

Boletus calopus

The Bitter Beech Bolete, which as its name suggests is not edible.  It is identified by the red stem which is yellow at the top and covered all over with a ridged network, together with the whitish to pale buff cap and yellow pores (not visible here).

Craterellus tubaeformis   Cantharellus cibarius

Seven species of chanterelle are known from Fearnoch but most of them are pretty elusive, and the way this year's fungal season is stuttering along we were never likely to find more than the Winter Chanterelle (left) and the Common Chanterelle (right).

Hydnum repandum

Almost as good eating as the chanterelles is the Hedgehog Mushroom, whose underside looks like this.

Pleurocybella porrigens   Lycoperdon nigrescens

Angel Wings, which grows on dead conifer wood, is very common in Argyll forestry plantations.  It used to be regarded as edible but is now considered suspect.  The Dusky Puffball is also fond of conifer plantations.  Unlike the Common Puffball it is regarded as inedible.

Clavulina rugosa   Clavulina rugosa, contorted fruitbody

Enough of this culinary commentary, I'm a naturalist not a foodie.  This is Clavulina rugosa, the Wrinkled Club, found by Tina.  It is normally straight as in the left-hand picture, but the one on the right must have felt inspired to try something different.

Clavulina coralloides   Mycena epipterygia

Closely related to the Wrinkled Club is Crested Coral, which is shorter and densely branched with crested tips.  It is very common on the forestry floor.  On the right is Jan's photo of a young Yellowleg Bonnet, with debris already attaching to the unopened slimy cap.

Lactarius camphoratus   Cortinarius integerrimus

The Curry Milkcap, which smells strongly of curry when dried, and the Purple Stocking Webcap (Cortinarius integerrimus; the English name covers a group of species) which has a honey smell.

Cortinarius flexipes var. flabellus, contorted gills

Distorted gills of Cortinarius flexipes var. flabellus, the Pelargonium Webcap.  It has ordinary gills normally; this is an aberration.  I can never detect any pelargonium smell from fungi and don't even know what they're meant to smell like.  Must remember to nip into the garden centre and sniff a pelargonium, then at least I'll know what I'm missing.

  Gymnopus androsaceus

The Horsehair Parachute, Gymnopus androsaceus, found growing on a fallen spruce needle.  Lack of a rotting cabbage smell (which even I can detect) distinguishes it from G perforans, which is the common one on spruce needles and is what we all thought it was at first.

Formica aquilonia on nest   Formica aquilonia

Fearnoch Forest is famous for its numerous large nests of the Scottish Wood Ant.  Jan's photo on the right shows one of them on the other thing Fearnoch is famous for.

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This project is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage

All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated.  Some photos on this page are Jan Hamilton.