waxcaps

Pink Waxcap, Shepley, West Yorkshire by Tim Melling on Flickr.

“I was really pleased to find a number of Pink Waxcaps (Hygrocybe calyptriformis) in a pasture where I had never seen them before. Also known as Ballerinas, Pink Waxcaps are rare and declining right across Europe, but seem to be a little more frequent in Britain. As they mature, the cap splits and curls upwards like a pink tutu, hence the alternative name Ballerina. I found more than ten species of Waxcap growing in the same pasture, including three other scarce species.”

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Now appearing in a field near you, wonderful Waxcaps! These colourful chaps are Scarlet Waxcaps (Hygrocybe coccinea) and were found in a field near the local church.
Waxcaps are among the most beautiful mushrooms found here in Wales, a fantastic splash of Autumn colour. The vivid colours of Waxcaps may, to many, shout out danger! However, many species of Waxcaps are entirely edible and can be used to brighten up otherwise dull dishes.
A great excuse to get out into your local fields and go hunting, don’t forget your camera.

Mucronella flava. Yellow wood-rot toofs. Probably more common than people think they are. Always stunning.

I am at SOMA Camp 2013 - for those who’ve not attended, this is the most party-oriented fair/foray/festival on the west coast. The wine floweth freely, and the beer runneth underfoot. Some were overwhelmed (ie. Admirable & Unusual). 

After arriving, I was repeatedly held at gunpoint and pressured into photographing fungi, but I managed to limp in the dining hall, where I was forced to sample nigh on 20 varieties of cheese provided by Mark Todd (’The Cheese Dude’), 2 types of beer, and 10 species of wine. Brutal.

Although the culinary and viniculture aspects of this foray take center stage, rare shit does turn up here (mostly waxcaps, due to the late-season scheduling): Hygrocybe flavifolia, Hygrocybe irrigata, Hygrocybe virescens.

I saw only one or two rareish things today, but the waxcap diversity was very impressive. Below is a smorgasbord.

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My favorite find was this Parrot Mushroom (Gliophorus psittacinus). Fruiting from INSIDE A TURRET SPIDER BURROW. As if Turret Spiders (Atypoides riversi) weren’t fucking cool enough (long-lived: up to 15 years, doggies!). 

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Crimson Waxcap, Shepley West Yorkshire by Tim Melling on Flickr.

“This is a Crimson Waxcap (Hygrocybe punicea) which is one of the scarcer waxcap mushrooms. It is a large robust species with a rounded crimson cap and a fibrous yellow stem. This was one of four scarce species of Waxcap that I found in one of my local unimproved pastures. I found over ten species of Waxcaps in this one field, which is a good indicator that it hasn’t been spoiled with agricultural chemicals or fertilisers.”

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