Autumn Comes Early

You can tell that autumn has come early this year. We are busy settling our last few pruning jobs; something you don’t want to be doing during trees’ leaf shedding phase. This common action has the effect of taking away the vital energy a tree requires for its dormancy before it gets the chance to take the nutrition back from its leaves and into the woody parts (this is the reason why leaves die and drop off). The horse chestnut is often the first to start turning yellow-orange and then is usually the one which burns the brightest, turning to vibrant orange, scarlet and deep burnt browns as Autumn progresses. During a recent mycology outing via the rope swing, our kids found this wonderful example of boletus Badius (the Bay mushroom). We did not touch, but took only photos, from which we learnt that the Bay is not named after being found beside the sea, but due to its chestnut brown cap colour. This mushroom is edible and compares in taste to the Cep or Penny Bun mushroom, although it lacks some of the teste of this more well known fungus. As we all know, mycology is a bit hit and miss; you should have a look and try to spot them and Autumn is an excellent time to do it, but unless you are 100% certain of a species, you SHOULD NOT EAT fungii. Many mushrooms look similar to less friendly, poisonous or even FATALLY POISONOUS species. Beware, but do enjoy looking