Frog’s Swimming Pool…..’Tis The Season To See Fungi……

by Bernie Bell - 09:43 on 08 August 2022


We have a water butt….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/01/06/a-wizard-wheeze/  from which we fill cans of water for watering the pot plants.  Mike filled the can and before watering the pots started to top up the bird bath when….out came a tiny, tiny froglet which proceeded to swim round and round in the dish…….

We reckon it must be one of this year’s batch of taddies from the pond.  This has happened before…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/11/07/a-bit-of-a-mystery/ …..but this one is so, so tiny……

We still can’t work out how they get into the watering can.

We liberated it into the swamp which the pond has turned into in the recent dry weather.  No doubt it’ll set off on his travels again.  The garden is full of them right now – all sizes, on the move.  We need to watch where we put our feet when walking.


Fungi - the Good, the Bad and the Edible…

Mike’s harvested the tatties – he had to really go for it as they had got blighted…

The blight hadn’t reached the tubers but the tops needed to be pulled and disposed of carefully - NOT IN THE COMPOST BIN!  So, over the weekend he harvested the lot and stashed them away in the tattie store in the garage. Some of last year’s crop are still edible – a bit sprouty, but fine as mash.

Potato blight – is a fungus.

I noticed little yellow spots on the leaves of a Bay Willow by the veg patch fence…..

….and my heart sank.  It looked like a disease and we have quite a lot of Bay Willows - and Willows of various kinds.  I had visions of having to grub up our Willows trees, including ‘Julie’s Willow’ planted in memory of a good friend. 

But a bit of research took us to the Royal Horticultural Society's advice on Rust…  https://www.rhs.org.uk/disease/tree-rusts .... which was very re-assuring – it looks like no real harm will come to our Willows from their infection.

This kind of Rust – is a fungus too.

This is the time of year when fungi are popping up in the paths in the meadow.  White spindles, which I refer to as Dead Men’s Fingers. Don’t they look like a hand, grasping….


Some of the fungi aren’t tempting at all….

….while some look luscious but are not edible!!!  To quote Terry Pratchett — 'All Fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once.'

TON ran a series ‘Tis The Season to See Fungi’…. https://theorkneynews.scot/page/2/?s=Tis+the+season+to+see+fungi.  Some we recognized – some we didn’t – best be care-full when dealing with fungi. 

A Cautionary Tale.....

Mike and I used to live in Suffolk and had a regular walk down across the nearby marshes to a ruinous windmill. One time on our way back we picked what we were both quite sure were ordinary field mushrooms.  We included them in a pie for our tea and both felt most peculiar!  Not un-well – more just .....un-real!  No real harm done – but it was a bit disconcerting and shows how much you need to know about, and be quite sure about, what you’re eating when foraging for free food!

And no, they weren’t ‘magic mushrooms’ – we would both have recognized them.  When I was at Uni in a rural part of mid-Wales, in the Autumn the local hippies would be out scouring the fields for magic mushrooms. I had a chum who liked to eat them on buttery toast. A slightly different take on mushroom bruschetta  https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/09/29/mikes-yummy-bruschetta/  – for which we invariably use shop bought mushrooms…

Better safe than feeling peculiar!

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