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December 2017

Chewing Sheep - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Cud

The sheep on Westray are hardy beasts. Here’s one with a white face doing what a sheep does best; chew:

Driftwood - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Driftwood

There are precious few trees on Westray. Wood for buildings was a scarce material and driftwood was always salvaged by Islanders and …

Common Seal - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Too much for dinner

The seals on Westray always look in such good condition when I see them: I’m hoping that’s because the seas are clean …

Beachy Head - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Life

Life is precious. One of the most emotional experiences for me in 2017 was a visit to Beachy Head. I was there …

Pleurotus ostreatus - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Oyster-of-the-Woods

Winter is still a productive season for wild food if you know where to look. Out on Dartmoor, along the River Teign …

Flammulina velutipes - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Velvet shank

Would you expect the Japanese workers who grow Enokitake mushrooms to have lower rates of cancer deaths than the general population? That’s …

Hygrocybe punicea - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Crimson Waxcaps

Waxcaps live in unimproved grassland. That means they are often only found in graveyards as the rest of the grassland environment has …

Cortinarius violaceus - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Violet Webcap

There are only a few fungi which are bright purple and this is one of them, the Violet Webcap, Cortinarius violaceus: It’s …

Castle Drogo Lichen - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Lichens on Hunters’ Path

We’re walking on Dartmoor along the Hunter’s Path towards the National Trust property Castle Drogo: Castle Drogo is another self-indulgent act of …

Hygrocybe pratensis - Deer Park Farm - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Waxcaps in the meadows

There are Waxcaps in the meadows in Devon: Meadow Waxcaps. I’m looking through some old photographs of fungi and see these Meadow …

Clitocybe nebularis - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Mushroom clouds

There are Clouded Agarics, Clitocybe nebularis, all over this wooded slope at the National Trust’s Killerton House. They are chunky mushrooms, with …

Griffon Vulture - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Real life Griffons

Britain used to have vultures. Yes, real-life vultures, I’m not talking about high pressure mobile phone sellers; I’m talking about the birds. …

Russula cyanoxantha - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

A Charcoal Burner in the woods

There’s a purple mushroom on the forest floor. No, not purple, lilac. No, not lilac, it’s blue; and it’s pink in the …

Stilbella - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

What’s in a name?

Here’s the most wonderful fungus growing on a decaying slime mould growing on a piece of tree bark smaller than my finger …

Plastic - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Plastic ocean

The coast of Westray is beautiful. Beautiful, but blighted. It’s the recipient of plastic rubbish from across the ocean. There are more …

Pholiota squarrosa - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Shaggy Scalycap

Looking through my old mushroom photographs there’s a very distinctive one; it’s Pholiota squarrosa, the Shaggy Scalycap which I found in Bovey …

Medusa Gall - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Medusa of the Oak

I was cycling around Puglia enjoying the countryside for a week earlier this year while The Puffin Whisperer was working. There were …

Orange Peel Fungus - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Orange Peel Fungus

I’ve been going through some of my archive of photographs and delighting in some of the finds I made many years ago. …

Cycling the Loire Valley - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Boar War

A few years ago I went on a cycling holiday in France with my elder son. In the woods I spotted what …

Tibetan Cherry Tree - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Branch lines

Today I’m in the grounds of a large rambling mental health hospital in south London; and before you ask, it’s because I’m …

Stinkhorn - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Stinkhorns

Stinkhorns are fascinating fungi. You can normally smell them before you see them. It’s the putrid smell of rotting flesh or something …

Hooded Crow - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The hood and the executioner

Hooded Crows are one of my favourite birds. Noisy, sociable and inquisitive, they have colonised large areas of central and northern Europe, …