Autumn is officially here and the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge is awash with fungi.
'A Surprise at Every Turn' is our clarion call BUT please do not use any species for culinary delights.
Everyone has a firm favourite but most recently the following have been spotted:
*the lilac-blue 'Wood Blewit'
*the fleshy pink gills of the 'Deceiver Fungi'
*the freaky 'Jelly Ear Fungi' (shaped just like an ear) and, of course,
*the 'Fly Agaric', known for its distinctive bright red appearance with white spots and which has been spotted everywhere this autumn
Most of what we see above ground level are the 'fruiting bodies' of the species which then release the 'spores'.
You can very quickly become adept in identifying all manner of 'gills', whether they be fine-gills, cross-threaded gills, brittle gills or wide gills, and whether the fungi are 'spore shooters' or 'spore droppers'.
The names are equally amusing — 'Shaggy Parasols', 'Crystal Brain Fungi', 'Ugly Milk Cap Fungi' and 'Caps' galore, whether they were 'Milkcaps', 'Tawny Funnel Caps' or 'Butter Caps'.
'Crusts' exist in abundance such as 'Bleeding Oak' or 'Hairy', and as for 'Bonnets', there are many.
As you walk the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge in the coming days, enjoy the 'Fungal Foray' BUT please be responsible and leave everything in place for others to enjoy.
Scroll down to enjoy the images to the right, all of which were taken on the Ridge.