Trees are huge, yet delicate. Branches, stems, twigs. So much to see, so hard to draw. Mature trees are suffering damage all the time now. Gales blow down limbs, rain undermines their roots. Fungi and bacteria, so small, can lay a tree low. Sudden Oak Death, Ash die back, so many trees are disappearing from the country. Once it was Dutch Elm disease, now it could be any number of infections and lesions.
We are seeing the effect of the anthropocine, the effect of humans on the natural world. We need to change for the good of nature.
The roses have faded and are gone. Only memories stay with you. Perfume, thorns.
The autumn and fungi are here, rosehips are swelling, elderberries feed the birds. Clouds are gathering, nights are earlier, mornings later. Time for spooky evenings, pumpkins and spiders. Black cats and rats. Mists descend, people try and raise their spirits with bonfires and fireworks, lighting up the sky with flashes and whizzes. Now few entertainments will be allowed. Life continues, but a grey boredom faces us. Keep away, keep away, keep away, the bird Sings. Out of the darkness people laugh, hide, drink, get up to high jinks. Fools for a day or the season. As the year creeps on festivals are cancelled, subscriptions to TV channels you never watched before increase. Firms named after rain forests cash in. Work continues but strangely. And snacks to comfort us are eaten. Winter arrives in cold airs and frosts, the seasons turn. Will spring and rose buds ever return or will black spot spoil the days?
These are shaggy ink caps, they are a species of fungus found in Britain in the autumn. They are actually edible before they start to mature too much when the fruiting bodies, the ink caps (also known as lawyers wigs) start to turn black and break down, which is where the ink bit of their name comes from. I will not post anymore images of fungi because its easy to confuse edible with poisonous. There are a few types that are unmistakable like huge parasol mushrooms with foot wide caps, also football sized and shaped fungi (forgotten the name) which when you cut them up have white mushroom flesh throughout them.
NEVER eat fungi you cannot identify. There are dangerous ones that can kill.
When the sun sets tonight in the Northern Hemisphere night will last slightly longer than day. In the Southern Hemisphere day will now last longer than night. In six months time the tables will be turned as North heads back to spring and South to autumn.
Mists and mellow fruitfulness is the phrase from a poem I always think of. Finding mushrooms in the garden, seeing Robins looking for food, seeing the leaves change. Already there are tinges of red and yellow on the bigger trees, I think because, being higher up, their leaves feel the chill first. Driving up the local hill you see more changes. Presumably the trees on the lower slopes are more protected. Perhaps its a micro climate?
In a few months it will be winter. I’m hoping things don’t get too cold. But maybe I should hope for cold to cool the climate?
It was early this morning when we saw this Fly Agaric mushroom in the hotel grounds. There was the bright red cap with its white spots, and something had been nibbling it! I know these fungi are not safe to eat, poisonous I think.
The colours are pretty accurate. The sun was shining from a quite low angle so the red is a bit burnt out.
This is one of the most amazing fungi I have ever seen.