Bird's Eye View of Bute




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A tree is cut down and sawn into large logs and is left, soon a new life takes root on one of these logs, and develops very quickly.

Take a wander through our woods and you will come across many forms of Fungi on many species of trees, and also on the ground. From the well known and tasteful field mushroom that we enjoy, to that delicious chanterelle that smells of apricots, to some that look obscene, and some that smell bad.


On Bute wherever you may wander, you will find plenty of them, some are edible, some will give you a sore stomach, some that will affect your mind for a short while, to some that are very poisonous. I am not good at deciding what are the edible ones, except for the field variety, and the chanterelle, as there are many that look alike, so it is better to play safe than sorry. I still look in awe at the different types that I see as I go on my walks, and the speed that they grow. You may come across one that is creamy white, and is the shape of half an avocado, growing from a tree, to the parasol variety that grow on the ground and look just like their name suggests. The field variety, which is the ones that we buy in the fruiterers, are unpredictable in their habit. One year if it is a dry spell, you may get umpteen fields producing them in that great a number, that you are able to keep, not only yourself well supplied, but friends as well, with freezers also being well stocked.


Then for the next few years you may hardly find one. When I was out looking for them during the glut of them, I ate my fill straight from the ground for my breakfast, as I have always preferred then uncooked. When you think of it, eating unwashed mushrooms that you have picked from a field that cattle have been using for a toilet? The mind boggles, what ,with the thought of B.S.E. that we hear so much about nowadays, and children being affected just by playing in those same fields. It is a wonder that I am still around, yet as they used to say, a few germs are good for you? In our younger days we ate strange things pieces of coal, dirt, and if a sweet dropped out of our mouths, then words to make it okay were ' I dropped it, the devil licked it, and god blessed it'. Then you would pop it back into you mouth. Waste not want not!
Back to the fungi. The one in my photo is the type that is very common,and is called 'Dryads Saddle', and you will have no problems finding them as they are always in an elevated position looking like their name, just like a little horses saddle.

I find a great deal of Fungi, and take many photos of them, and when the nights get dark, cold and wet, I may even try to classify them. (Maybe just maybe).

On second thoughts, there are too many that look alike,so I will refrain from classifying them.

Norrie Mulholland

First Published in the Buteman 2004

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