I’m in a woodland centre with a group of enthusiastic mycologists, with stereo microscopes, obscure expensive books on fungi and a packed lunch. My friend József shows me a fungus he’s very excited about finding. “Bog Beacon” he says. After the excitement dies down I ask him if he’ll show me where he found it.
That’s the way that I found out that its habitat is sodden dark black rotting leaves and twigs in damp ditches amongst sphagnum moss. In other words, it grows in bogs.
I should have guessed from the name. Bog Beacon: right. Its scientific name is Mitrula paludosa. Paludosa means bog.
It’s a beacon in this bog. And my shoes will never be the same.