Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 21/09/2012

Joining The Dots




Cheetah, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

What’s that odd stuff falling from the sky? And why is the sky dark and it’s not yet nighttime? I was going to say I can’t remember the last time it rained but I can.. .it’s whilst we were on holiday in Wales, and all the while the sun was doing it’s worst over the rest of the UK. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the next five months of dark evenings and inclement weather but as I don’t have any control over it (barr burning lots of fossil fuels, which would be rather irresponsible and possibly lead to the tide being closer to my house than it currently is*) I’ll just have to lump it.

I have, over the past week or so, been out several times on the hunt through the local woodland for any sign of mycological growth but so far I’ve not had much success. The onset of the rain will bring the mushrooms out so the light rain we’ve had tonight might well start the fruiting bodies to appear and this year I’m not going to miss the possible photographic opportunities when they appear.

Several years ago I had the bright idea of writing the definitive book on Fungi identification, covering all the species that can be found on these fair shores and I was making a good go of it, until my research stopped me in my tracks. Having purchased numerous books that detailed around 150 to 200 different varieties of mushrooms I found, nestled amongst the Introduction of several books a fact that turned my enthusiasm for the project on it’s head. There are over 9,000 varieties of mushroom in the UK, I didn’t mind that fact, in fact I like a challenge however the next line took the wind out of my sails… “even Mycological experts would have trouble identifying the majority of the species, such are their similarities”. That’s not not a challenge it’s more a quest Don Quixote might go on… all together now “To Dream The Impossible Dream..To fight the unbeatable foe,To bear with unbearable sorrow,To run where the brave dare not go”

*Melting of the polar ice caps caused by global warming… or is it (once you’ve argued this out, you can discuss Creationism vs Darwinism).

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