I think anyone who enjoys looking for fungi will agree that this year has been a fabulous year for them. Here in Normandy with the dry September they were slow to appear but once we had a bit more rain in October and November, coupled with the mild temperatures the fungi have just gone from strength to strength, popping up everywhere. I have already blogged about them here (From Honey to Stink) and here (Fungi and Murder) but now I want to write about them again having found some fungi I have never seen before and that really took my breath away when I saw them.
One of our regular dog walks is down the valley and because the cows are no longer grazing we can walk back up through the fields rather than along the path, which the dogs love! A few days ago I saw what I thought was a late flowering dandelion but as I got closer I realised it was in fact a yellow fungi - a VERY yellow fungi:
|A Yellow Waxcap (Hygrocype)|
A bit further on a splash of vivid colour caught my eye, yet another brightly coloured mushroom, this time crimson red:
|A Red Waxcap (Hygrocype)|
I had never seen either of these before and to be honest I could not have missed them had I been anywhere near them as they are so bright. I had no camera that day so I returned the next and easily found them again - vivid splashes in an otherwise sea of grass green.
They both belong to the same family, Hygrocybe or Waxcaps but I am not at all sure which species they are. There are several red fungi in this family but no one description exactly fits what I have found so they could be Hygrocybe coccinea, H. belobia, H. punicea or H. miniata.
The much more numerous yellow ones are possibly Hygrocybe persistens or H. flavescens but again, I am far from sure.
Despite their colour, which in mind indicates that they are poisonous, they are in fact edible, although varying from "of little value" (H. miniata) through "mediocre" (H. conica) to "good" (H. punicea) but even these levels of edibility vary in different books and on different websites! Rest assured though, I am not going to eat them even if they fall into the good camp!
Have you found any particularly colourful fungi this year and if so have you had more luck than me accurately identifying them?