The Willow Shield Toadstool. From the Pluteus genus growing on dead wood.
About J C Harris
A local mushroom foraging enthusiast, mainly in the midland countryside, UK. For several years I have been mushroom hunting, identifying and eating wild mushrooms. My blog is a record of most of my favorite finds.
Entries by J C Harris
There are mixed reports on the frequency of this following mushroom. Some reports and publications label this as a common European mushroom, and others regard it as a rare sighting. But whatever the current reality is, I do hope you find one of these. They’re a really beautiful example of how nature, especially the world […]
The summer days so far have been a concoction of showery spells, the odd storm and quite a few blazing hot stretches. So even though it has been drier out there in the woods I still venture out. And today I was happy to find a great Bolete specimen. The Bay Bolete (Imleria badia, previously […]
There’s a extremely good chance of you finding a large group of Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasiculare) at just about anytime of the year (especially from April to December). These beauties are extremely common in the UK and populate all types of woods and forests. They are Saprotrophs (feeding off decaying matter) and appear in small […]
Well – it’s been the driest spring we’ve had since records began! That probably explains why I haven’t had much luck in finding some good edible spring mushrooms up for offer! But I did stumble across some large edible beauties today – unfortunately I found them too late. They were past their prime and had […]
Spring has arrived and the clocks have gone forward. And like most people, it tends to make me feel a whole lot more happy about things in general. Even so much so that I actually mowed my lawn since before Christmas. This is a good thing, because shorter grass will bring out those early spring […]
I often hear from my friends various stories from their travels in these winter months. They sometimes stumble across ‘small and brown mushrooms’ – “What are they?” they would shout! Without really being there, that was really quite a tough question! Small and brown mushrooms usually mean ‘nightmare identification’ to most people. But if it’s […]
It’s been cold this Winter – Damn cold! And there are few pickings out there for the mushroom hunter during any winter. But hold the phone, do not despair. There’s always some foraging delights to be had. The Velvet Shank (Flammulina velutipes) is quite a common mushroom who’s fruiting season is mainly from September to […]
The last week or two has produced some amazing seasonal snow. The media has confirmed this is the earliest heavy snowfall since the dawn of time or some other scare-mongering weird world event! It’s Winter, it’s snow, it happens (no chips on my shoulder)! But fortunately being in the centre of the country we don’t […]
It’s Halloween today, so to make this post especially spooky I’ve had to put this freaky fungus in. And what a fantastic name it has too. Dead Man’s Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha) grows on dead wood (usually beech & sycamore) throughout the year, and is very common. The fruiting body is black and irregularly club shaped, […]
In the spirit of Halloween which is closing in, I thought I’d add an entry about this intriguing and somewhat phallic fungus. At it’s peak (excuse the pun!) this time of year and in full bloom you can smell this beauty from quite a way off. The ‘pong’ is quite unpleasant but not altogether offensive. […]
Recently from late summer to round about now (mid-autumn) this is the most (extremely) common mushroom I find on my trips out. Well, this and the Sulphur Tuft, which is as common as muck but a lot prettier! The Common Yellow Russula or Ochre Brittlegill (Russula ochroleuca) is simply everywhere. Sometimes in small groups scattered […]
I know the Field mushroom is common, I know there are more exotic mushroom finds out there and I know also that you can never have enough of the great Field Mushroom. I love it so… The Field Mushroom (Agaricus campestris) is often found in small groups or even rings (though not always, as in […]
The family of Deceivers are a funny lot. It may take a while before you get used to them. But that’s another story for another post. The very common appearance of this lilac purple beauty is the focus of this post alone… This is the Amethyst Deceiver (Laccaria amethystina) can be found in troops on […]
Well, this weekend autumn has certainly stamped its initial authority on the land. Some leaves have already fallen in areas around the urban edges of my town. But I am a die-hard lover of fresh autumn mornings. There is still the summer warmth clinging on, but that zingy freshness of autumn is making itself known. […]
This is a fine and sturdy mushroom of the woods and one of my favourites, both aesthetically and palatably. Although very common indeed from summer through to autumn, I haven’t seen as many as I would have liked so far. But it’s still early autumn and I do get impatient! The usual haunting ground for […]
This mushroom is the ‘perfect lawn’ mans worst enemy. Although I love them, my dad goes spare at the sight of them – “bloody mushrooms ruining my lawn etc…” – “Natures got no rules man” was my lame hippy reply! Lawns are the main target ground for Fairy Ring Champignon (Marasmius oreades) – or at […]
It’s a comical sight and nice surprise when you first come across an oak tree sticking it’s pinky red tongue out at you! It’s happened to me a few times and I seem to be getting use to it. This is the common Beef Steak Fungus (Fistulina hepatica) found during late summer and autumn. It’s […]
A few days earlier I had found the lovely Meadow Puffball, and now after a visit to the woods I find a nice collective group of Common Puffballs (Lycoperdon perlatum). They’re mainly found in groups growing on the ground in open woodland among leaf litter, and sometimes in pastures. These particular puffballs were found at […]
Many mushrooms littering the floor in woodlands this autumn can be easily camouflaged, and hence, easily passed by. But in this case it’s very hard to miss this marvellous and very tasty woodland (mostly with conifers) mushroom. The Prince (Agaricus augustus) earned it’s name (both common and latin) from the Roman emperor. This was his […]
It’s a Sunday afternoon and I pass by a grass verge near my house. My heart jumps at the sight of a huge cluster of (what seem to be) Horse mushrooms or possibly Field mushrooms, but this is no field, just a grassy verge near trees at the side of the road! I was without […]
My first visit to a field nearby my house in Blaby, Leicestershire on a mild august day was only slightly productive but good fun. I chose the slightly odd title of this post for one good reason – the land adjacent (separated by a patchy hedge) is one huge golf course and as I walked […]
The Weeping Widow (Lacrymaria lacrymabunda) has got to have one of the best common names I’ve heard of even though it has a negative vibe about it. It sounds like a toadstool you should avoid at all costs, but never fear, this mushroom is not poisonous but is in fact edible, though unfortunately a little […]
Identify between the Parasol and Shaggy Parasol mushrooms.
King Alfred was a terrible cook. In fact (but really in legend) while hiding from the Danes, he’d left a whole batch of cakes in the oven. They were suitably burnt and naturally ruined. So I can only guess he went to the woods and scattered them everywhere on dead ash trees to try and […]
Sometimes the best wild mushroom finds are the ones when you’re not actually looking for them. These mushrooms were only a few hundred yards from my home on a grass verge beneath an Oak tree. My chance discovery was an Iodene Bolete (Hemileccinum impolitum – formerly. Boletus impolitus) which mainly shows up in the Summer. […]
Spring finally came, and that extreme winter we’ve just had just wouldn’t let go. The natural contenders for ‘mushrooms I have to find’ were undoubtedly The Morel and the St.Georges Mushroom. But as yet – no luck on either, even after many outings. Grrrr! But in the garden and out in force though like some […]
This is one of the common fungus sights around. In fact it is one of the most commonly recorded fungi in Britain. I’m talking of course of the Hairy Stereum or Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum). You’ll find it layered on the dead/fallen wood and stumps of deciduous trees – and it’s appearance is all […]
Coral Spot fungus – Orange spots found on fallen, dead branches, twigs and wood piles.
I’m still out there in the freezing cold, treading on the ice crusted mud and woodland grass in search of any of those winter treats still hanging around on the old dead wood. And I also need a change from mince pies, turkey, wine etc… and pretend I’m losing a few pounds in the process. […]
This post was inspired by overhearing a conversation at my local pub where they raved on about a local guy who knew where the ‘Blue Legs’ were at! He had bags of them for sale! I naturally assumed they meant ‘Blewits’. Only later I have realised ‘Blue Legs’ are a common name given to ‘Field […]
Well, there’s been some heavy weather this month. Not so good for some of the country with dire floods and really dangerous conditions. In my home town, Blaby, Leicester it’s been heavy rain and wind but fortunately with no unfortunate consequences. Only a few days ago though, this rain has promoted the popping up of […]
This post is placed in two categories; setting it in ‘Tales of Toadstools’ and ‘Woodland Treats’ due to its mixed acceptance in edibility, so it may not be much of a ‘woodland treat’ for everyone out there. It’s one of those ‘they’re everywhere’ mushrooms in autumn, definitely around Leicestershire anyway. Their appearance can be really […]
The Common Inkcap is only poisonous if mixed with alcohol.
It’s always nice to come across one of the most loved of all toadstools. I’m of course talking of the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria). Most probably you will recall first seeing them depicted in your favourite childhood nursery rhyme or fairytale (or even in a so called ‘Mario’ video game). It was interesting to discover […]