Autumn Funghi

We're not that keen on wet autumns. Things are different for funghi and on a recent walk near Derwentwater we came across some strange specimens.

Fomes fomentarius is a bracket fungus that grows mostly on living silver birch trees. As it ages it takes on the colouring of the tree, before darkening to black. It's also known as hoof fungus because it looks a bit like a horse's hoof. They looked more like limpets to us, hanging on to the host tree while slowly destroying it.

We also spotted some unidentified funghi growing on the cut surface of a felled birch tree.

Not far away was a solitary example of a more normal mushroom, its cap glistening in the drizzly weather. It's possibly a type of Boletus or Cep, a bit of a delicacy, but we weren't chancing it.

Funghi are fascinating and this year we're going to see whether we can join a guided foray into the woods. Last year's were all cancelled but we might be able to find one this year.