In which I tread through a carpet of fallen leaves, acorns, moss and fungi
It is a bewitching wood…Joan Begbie, talking of Broomy Inclosure in Walking in the New Forest, published 1934
Regular readers of this blog will know that I am following in the bootsteps of Joan Begbie and her two dogs (Bill, a white bull terrier, and Mr Bundy, a diminutive griffon). Joan wrote about her walks in the New Forest in her 1934 book Walking in the New Forest, which is full of her entertaining observations, knowledge, and her own lovely little sketches.
It’s another short post this week, but I have some longer walks in Joan’s footsteps planned, come rain or shine, so keep watching the blog for more adventures with Joan, Bill and Mr Bundy. In the meantime, enjoy some fungi photos.
A friend and I set off a couple of weeks ago on a walk through Anses Wood, Old Sloden (the unenclosed pasture woods south of Sloden Inclosure) and Broomy Inclosure. I’ve visited all these places before, several times, in the company of Joan, Bill and Mr Bundy, and with other friends. They are among my favourite woods of the New Forest. Here are some descriptions and sketch maps of my earlier visits: to Old Sloden and Broomy; and to Anses.
This time, on a slightly drizzly day at the close of October, my friend and I were thrilled to find Anses, Old Sloden and Broomy woods brim-full of fungi. Mushrooms of all shapes, sizes and colours were on trees, on decaying and living wood, in the leaflitter, growing from the soil and among the mosses; wide ones, small ones, in groups and single, small and large; shiny, fluted, bell-shaped, flat, brackets. We found fungi that were clearly following the path of underground roots, and others in circles (‘fairy rings’). They were growing among the fallen leaves at our feet, and we tiptoed through them, not wanting to break or hurt them.
I’m pretty useless at identifying all but the most recognisable fungi (and, even then, I’m never sure), so here are some uncaptioned photos of a small selection of those we found.
And if you go to the woods today, tread carefully among the mushrooms.