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I found a Parrot Waxcap!

Yesterday I went on an exciting fungi foray on the farm and put up loads of pictures of some of the fungi I found:


I had ANOTHER exciting time this morning on my daily fungi foray! I went looking for the Ballerina Waxcap where I know she comes, and instead I found this Parrot waxcap!

Parrot Waxcap!

Underneath a Parrot Waxcap!

I also went back to visit this waxcap with my proper camera as I think it looks just blooming lovely!

Dinky waxcap & Leo's massive finger

I was very taken with this one as it was so chunky

Chunky, a lovely peach colour and perfectly formed

From yellow rattle to ruby jewels in the grass

Can just make out the little person peeking out from behind that fungi..

I haven't counted all the obviously different waxcaps here but it's got to be at least 15 so far

This is the meadow they're growing in. Taken 5 years to get to this stage! :-D

hen xx

Fungi Foray... Waxcaps, Penny buns, earthballs, magic mushrooms...!

This morning when I went out to do the animal rounds I noticed that the waxcap mushrooms had started fruiting in the field! We didn't have many last year so I am really excited that this year is going to be a good one for them!

Inspired by the waxcaps I went on a bimble in the woods and down the track to see what mushrooms were about, there were some but the light wasn't so good so I didn't get many photos. There's a few random pictures of the track just because it looked so nice :)

Looking down the track towards the linnhe. Light was amazing!
 In the woods we have lots of earth ball mushrooms. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that inscrupulous funghi dealers cut truffles with earthball mushrooms.. who knows if that's true, I just know that I wouldn't want to eat an earth ball!

Earthball before releasing it's spores

Earthball after releasing it's spores & before my dog stuck her nose in it... *sigh*

Now.. to the waxcaps! I am afraid I don't know how to identify each different waxcap. However, here is a fantastic waxcap identification guide from Somerset Environmental Records Centre (this link opens a pdf).

This is quite a large waxcap, about the size of an apple

Lots of these

My favourite, the colour hasn't come out as deep as it is in real life

Little jewels in the grass!
I've noticed a handful of different types of reds but I think all of these pics are of the same type

It's yellow..

I love this one, just look at how delicate they are!

There are mostly these white ones in the pasture, with the meadows having more variety of colour. Wonder why?

Took this on my phone early this morning

Just another red one.. this one nipply & with a ruffled edge
So, that's some of the waxcaps I saw today. I'll be checking the fields everyday to see what other colours come up. I took the photo below of a Ballerina waxcap this time a few years ago and haven't seen one here since. Hopefully this year I'll see her again. I know where she lives!

Pink waxcap, Ballerina
Some more of the track looking lovely..

Penny Bun

Back to the fields and I came across some magic mushrooms...



Just the track again.. can't resist it!

There's a load of fungi pictures on my Heart and Soil photos page, just scroll down till you see fungi!

hen xx

A Beautiful Day...

I've had an incredibly mad few months! I've been to meetings to discuss the new foresty policy, I've been to France to see my friend Pip to meet some remarkable trees & hatch plans for our upcoming adventures in Forest Comms. 

BUT I'm just going to blog about today, well.. except to share this pic of me weaving a rush seat at Linda Lemieux's house last weekend! More of that another day...

 While I was away Leo sent me a frantic message saying he'd lost Bubbles the bantam. Thankfully he uncovered her with over twenty eggs that she was trying to hatch. I was convinced she'd stopped laying for the year!

The Bantam Queens...


Rowan looking beautiful.. 

The view from the yurt. Gorgeous but there was a bit of a northerly wind coming at us from those Welsh mountains!

hen xx

Visit to Scotland to see Chris the blacksmith, Kit the Teebee smock maker & Haily the earth spirit!

So grateful to Chris, Haily and Kit for my amazing, if a bit rushed, visit to their beautiful home. Kit's food is legendary & it was absolutely gorgeous (Kit is who made me my Teebee woollen smocks!).

As soon as I arrived I met not only Chris, Haily and Kit but also Paul Macdonald a world renowned swordsman! He is restoring Rob Roy MacGregors sword and I was lucky enough to HOLD IT!

My tiny mind is blown
This is Chris and Haily having a squeeze at the faery pools. A gorgeous place that I was glad to be at after a long night enjoying a wee pure malt dram..

Chris and Haily having a squeeze at the faery pools

Chris made me my knife (as well as my bodkins!) that I included in my must have kit list, published in a Geographical article I wrote last month (thanks to Paul Deegan!). It's a Silver Fox Cub knife designed by Sean Mulhall and made by Chris. Its perfect for everything I need it for which is a big ask. Never leaves my side! Chris put a yew handle on it for me so it would be in keeping with my longbow. I am a jammy sod.

I was up in Scotland to visit my Dad's grave and so it was deeply soothing to spend time with Kit, Chris and Haily and go on an adventure around their home. We walked up to the Corrie of Clova. Needless to say I burst into tears when I saw the corrie. I got so overwhelmed by not only the beauty of it but also because we were held in the magic of the scent of damp moss, pine and heather and I was with two new friends that I instantly loved. 

We also visited a couple of forts. It's a perfect time of year to be in Scotland or the English hills as the heather is in full bloom and the blaeberries are fat and juicy. 

Haily atop the White Caterthun hill fort
The first fort we visited, the White Caterthun, had an amazing cup marked stone. Noone knows what these marks were for and they can be found all over the UK, often with ring markings too.

I pinched this pic off Chris of Haily and I connecting with the stone

They then whisked me off to see another fort. A fort that still stops me sleeping. Not because it was freaky in a scary way but because it was freaky in a 'but how did they do that' way. It was the Finavon vitrified fort. Which means the stones in the wall of the fort had been heated to such a high temperature that they had fused together. Noone knows how, in the 6th century, they had the ability to create such stupidly hot temperatures. Here's the wiki page on vitrified forts. I found it hard not to think of the electric universe theory when I saw this and the z-rod symbol that the picts often used in their decorations of stone & metal (see the stone markings below).


But how though?

But how?
Chris striking a catalogue pose, looking quite harmless
This fort brought the pesky pict out..
To cap it all off on the way home we stopped off at some pictish stone carvings. Absolutely breathtaking symbology, that is little understood. I mean just look at these markings!

Big love to Kit, Chris and Haily, THANK YOU, you've always got a warm welcome wherever I am!

hen xx
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