Alex White – Guest Blog

Alex is a young naturalist from Oxfordshire, UK. He regularly takes photos and writes a blog. He is very active on social media and is a role model to many people. Alex has has multiple trail cameras which he sets up to see what wildlife is on his doorstep. He always seems to have badgers appearing on footage which I’m very jealous of. More information can be found on his website and social media platforms.
He even has his own book which is available to buy!

Fungi Forage

As the leaves drop and days get shorter, what better way to spend an autumn afternoon than looking for fantastic fungi in your local wood.

With names like Slippery Jack, Elf cup, Angel’s bonnet, Dead man’s fingers or Amethyst deceiver you would be forgiven for thinking you were looking for something out of a story book.

Angel’s Bonnet (Mycena arcangeliana)

According to the Woodland Trust there are over 15,000 types of fungi in the UK, these also include yeasts, moulds and even human infections such as athlete’s foot, but it is mushrooms or toadstools that come into their own in autumn woodlands or grassland.

With the recent wet weather there are many different species of fungi pushing up from the red, orange and brown leaves on the ground, growing out of dead bark or sprouting out at right angles from tree trunks.

Beefsteak Fungi (Fistulina hepatica)

Mushrooms (or toadstools) is a term given to the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting bodies that certain fungi produce. These are linked underground by mycelia.

Fungi doesn’t use chlorophyll to convert the sun’s energy into food, it uses enzymes to dissolve plant and animal material.

Shaggy Scalycap (Pholiota squarrosa)

Fungi (mushrooms) come in all shapes, colours and sizes. Some are edible, some are poisonous, while the rest are inedible or tasteless.

The best way to learn about fungi is on an organised fungi forage, where an expert can show you where to look, how to identify them and which ones are edible.

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)

Take the time to look closely as many are tiny and difficult to spot, but once you start looking, you’ll notice that fungi pop up everywhere.

Dead man’s fingers (Xylaria polymorpha)

Just remember not to eat any that you are not 100% sure are not poisonous.

Author: Michael Sinclair

My name is Michael Sinclair and I’m a young naturalist from Glasgow although I can be seen all over the place doing crazy things.

2 thoughts

  1. Thank you for introducing us to Alex. Another fine young man, focused and achieving. Very impressed!

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