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Autumn not quite here yet, but can you spot the Fatsia?


SP1986

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Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    Still green around here, a few leaves turning but thats to be expected, but nothing golden, red like others have been reporting.

    Thought you'd be interested to see what crept into the natural vegetation... it's definitely grown from dispersed seed!

    Naturalised Fatsia japonica in woodland

    2869523659_e24e6d94ac_b.jpg

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    Posted
  • Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire
  • Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

    Hi Stephen,

    Well Autumn has defo started here in my part of the world. I went out with Paramendies 3 a week ago last Saturday to the woods over the hill - mushrooming basket at the ready - Nothing (well edible anyway). Went the following day with a neighbour to the same area but different parts, without the basket (sigh), and came back with:

    >3kg of Chanterelles (current retail price £6.95 - £7.95 for 150g delivered - you can do the maths!)

    6 enormous but very young Orange Birch Boletes (beloved by E. Europeans but turn black when cooked)

    7 Ceps of various sizes from tiny to tennis ball size

    A very large handful of Ameythst Deceivers (so plentiful we got fed up picking them but they look good when cooked with the chanterelles)

    We definitely hit the jackpot with the chanterelles but they were growing on an island in the middle of a lake which involved Paul and I having to carefully and precariously inch our way across the water on a fallen tree - but worth it. When we got home it took hours for P3, Paul and I to brush them clean...We should have sold them to the local restaurants but we were too greedy. We served them pan fried with organic free range scrambled eggs and then made a massive potato and chaterelle dauphinoise the next evening which fed three of us generously for two nights (and Paul & P3 are real trenchermen). Yummy! I did however, in a fit of generosity, give a big bowl to my neighbour to cook....she loved their peppery taste.

    The trees are just beginning to show signs of turning here in my part of Hampshire....I love this time of year. But what has happened to the Horse Chestnuts? Is it just me or are they looking particualry manky at the moment.....?

    And yes I can spot the Fatsia - it must love that spot to grow so big from seed. I planted one in our old garden and it turned into a bit of a botanical thug...

    If I can work out how to upload a picture I'll take some this weekend of our mycological finds...if you are interested

    Kind regards

    Chili

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    Thats awesome, that quite alot of mushrooms/fungus. I've never eaten Chantarelle before as I don't eat mushrooms alot, but the great thing is there are so few animals that feast on mushrooms they're there for the taking. 3kg would have been a nice earner I guess if you quite £7 that's close to £140 (maybe a bit more). It does pay to have a wet summer sometimes! We struggle to grow fungus here, due to our forest floors sandy nature which is a bit of a bummer for people wanted to go looking for edible mushrooms (or halucinogenic in the case of some of my former university friends!) our woodland are very dry and filled with laurel :D

    I think the horse chestnuts still have canker (sp?) disease as they have black spots on them, but so do the maple, it seems quite a common disease in the broadleaf trees. Sub tropical introductions like Chinese Willow and warm loving oak, seem to be very healthy this year and are still green. Thing around here are still green, there are one or two trees turning, but nothing remarkable so to speak.

    There is another naturalised Fatsia japonica nearby so it seems they are just becoming a nuisance as most Chinese/Japanese plants tend to, eg. Rhododendron! I guess it's fairly warm and cosy there so it likes it.

    Definitely try to upload that picture if you can ;)

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    Posted
  • Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire
  • Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

    Hi Stephen

    Chanterelle (or girolles in French) are delicious with a peppery taste and grow gregariously (ie in large groups) so when you find them you tend to get basketfuls - and we left loads behind even after we had picked the 3Kg.... They are very common (or so the books say) but P3 and I have never found them before in 15 years of mushroom picking mainly because our mushrooming spot where we used to live in Surrey is, like yours, very sandy and chanterelle like moisture and often grow in moss. So to find so many after so many years was indeed awesome! BTW your maths is correct! They are very abundant in Scotland and young boys supplement their pocket money by collecting them and selling on. You have to be careful though as there is a mushroom variety called false chanterelle which can do very nasty things to your innards. My sense of smell is pretty "carp" but true chanterelles smell strongly of apricots but only when you have a fair number to sniff at in my experience...

    Fatsia as a garden escape is not a problem down here but rhododendrens are an utter menace. And don't get me started on japanese knotweed - I've seen it forcing its way through concrete....

    Talking of escapes P3 & I saw a mink down by the Meon last Spring - luckily Pepper, our Jack Russell cross, who saw it too, was temporarily on the lead due to her prediliction for disappearing down foxholes. I got a picture of it too but it isn't very good. They are absolute vicious killers and I think Pepper would have lost the scrap....

    It would seem nearly all the chestnuts in Portsmouth have this dreaded canker as I've only seen one conker which is very sad.

    I will try and get some pictures this weekend and perhaps start a fungus thread?

    Kind regards

    Chili

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    Im going to have to pay a visit to the woods and check under rocks, and by streams, searching for mushrooms is something I havent done before, but I saw a huge fungus stool in Chester last week, and I mean huge, you could have sat on it!

    Rhododendrons (particularly ponticum) are a very big problem here, and in North Wales, another problem is Bamboo (remaned damboo for obvious reasons). For every potential space for a Rhododendron and native Laurel usually gets their first so, it's effects are tempered. It's basically all the Chinese/Japanese plants that are the problem!

    Lucky escape for the Mink, no doubt a dog would have no problem in killing one, but our dog would probably run away in extreme fright in all honesty, very soft she is :doh:

    It's a good job I think that plants don't feel pain like us, it is just a set back I think rather than a real problem. They'll get over it, what they need is a few fires in the forests to restart the process of growth again. That said, natures design probably intended the canker disease..

    Sure look forward to them :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire
  • Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

    If you want to increase your "pocket money" Stephen, I recommend you get a good book first! We don't want a repetition of what happened on the Isle of Wight recently.... In another thread somebody recommends the River Cottage Book of Mushrooms. I haven't seen it but you want a good photographic guide. We use Roger Philips Guide to wild mushrooms. If the mushroom you saw recently was big enough to sit on and assuming your are not an elf in real life :lol: then it was almost certainly a boletus of some sort or perhaps a parasol mushroom.

    :angry: I don't think this is "clicky" but if you google it you should be OK.

    Select images of: ceps (or penny bun), chanterelle, horn of plenty, orange birch bolete, bay bolete - these are the main ones we pick. I particulary love baby bay boletes as their caps are almost like brown suede.....

    We only ever collect mushrooms we know but luckily the most delicious cannot really be confused with anything else so you are safe.

    There is a highly edible mushroom called The Miller but because it can be easily confused with another lethal mushroom, Clitocybes so we leave it well alone :angry:

    Pepper was well up for a scrap with the mink and almost pulled me over straining on the lead - and she is only a little-ish Jack Russell cross - pretty fearless when it comes to furry things she can chase - cats, all rodents and foxes but a complete quivering jelly with all loud bangs - thunder, shotguns and fireworks mainly. I dread October/November every year. The little herberts around us set them off before it even gets dark. WHAT is the point of that? And during the season we have to go for walks in the woods well before 10am at the weekend because after that it is like the OK Corral up there with shotguns going off all over the place.

    No prizes for guessing where we are going this weekend! To the woods.....with a flask of hot coffee, hot bacon in a flask, bacon sarnie making materials, an empty basket and a very sharp pocketknife (for slicing off the mushroom stem bases - it saves a hell of a lot of work later)!

    And a camera....wish us luck

    Kind regards

    Chili

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    Posted
  • Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire
  • Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

    Thank you grab my graupels that is kind.

    I'm going to ask P3 how to do this as I am a bit of a techno-numpty....but I have mastered excel pivot tables - well the basics anyway....

    CP

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