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Lockdown, Mushrooms and Keeping on Smiling

April 21, 2020

I decided to write a blog – in the more traditional sense of blogging; aka, a simple journal of what I’ve been up to. Lockdown has been such a weird time for everyone, but I’ve somewhat enjoyed the slow living. Sometimes I find that my trains of thought can be quite abstract, so just taking things day by day has been really good. I’m still working (from home) so I’m grateful for the structure that brings. I’ve been enjoying lots of lunchtime walks in the sunshine, as part of my allocated daily exercise & it has been a fantastic opportunity for sitting out and enjoying my own garden. Being unable to get out into the peaks has been an odd one. Especially as the April sunsets have been casting their dreamy gaze and I can only imagine the view over Hathersage and Bamford. Alas, corona has certainly taken a little of our liberty. I had, admittedly, spent the last 4 months giddy with excitement about my annual Cotswolds trip next week but, naturally, this will have to be rearranged. On the list of places to visit was Bowood Gardens, Euridge Manor, Iford Manor and West Woods to name a few. Spring is such a natural phenomena that we take for granted, and by far the best season. Those few weeks between April and May are my favourite; when the daffodils are beginning to fade but the purple flush of bluebells and lilac, coming in to bloom, just absolutely lift the mood!

Many evenings spent here
Last years escape to the Cotswolds
My favourite time of year

No RHS flower shows this year either, which is such a shame for all garden lovers, and I was very much looking forward to putting my new knowledge into practice as a plant finder! But the fact of the matter, is that all of these things are a secondary luxury to staying safe and protecting our loved ones. Never one for having a still mind, I’ve thought up some real theories at this time – that I will hopefully get round to writing up once I have articulated exactly what it is I’m trying to say … But the long and short of it, is that we are a ‘collective one people’. Just one species in a world of millions. So doing the right thing is important.

Work has allowed me to channel some creativity: making videos, virtual tours, home craft resources and future planning. All of which has been good for the soul! Especially with the increased incorporation of nature into these activities. There has certainly been a noticeable shift in peoples desire to connect to nature & the positive public response to the changing season. Peoples awareness of their own plant blindness has been some what roused as we all flee to our nearest green space for some solace amidst the lockdown; once again relating back to the ever growing popular topic of ‘Biophilia’.

No RHS Chatsworth this year
Plenty of time spent in my own garden
The Apothecary Garden at work

I’m currently studying for my RHS Level 3 and have taken a particular interest in bryophytes and their habitats. On one of these woodland walks, I came across a BEAUTIFUL mushroom! The fungi kingdom is not something I’ve ever studied in depth but I figured it was a good time to start. I took plenty of pictures of the mushroom but couldn’t match it up to any of my ID books. It looked a bit like one and a bit like the other but probably the first rule of foraging is making sure you have a perfectly confident ID, wishy washy just won’t do. I got in touch with a fantastic lady in the states (insta: @leah_mycelia) who suggested it looked like a Deer mushroom (Pluteus cervinus) and recommended that I went back to take a spore print. Though I have done a bit of studying over the last few weeks and I knew that picking the fruit wouldn’t harm the mycelium, I still didn’t want to waste a mushroom by picking for the sake of it. But now that I had a purpose, it seemed justified; plus Deer mushrooms are very common across the UK. I’d read in my John Wright book that a pink spore eliminates around 90% of species so, naturally, I was thrilled to see a salmon-pink spore print developing after a few hours! I’d say the colour was somewhere between pale pink and clay which, lo and behold, was indeed Pluteus cervinus! Upon the recommendation of another talented young lady (insta: @treetater) I’ve ordered some new ID guides. Baby steps like these, get me really excited about learning so I am thrilled to learn some more! And aside from playing my ukulele & guitar – that’s all I’ve been doing!

Pink spore prints!

What I’ve been listening to:

Ever-capturing the simple life
Rosey PM is an amazing local artist, listen to her new song on spotify!
Laura Marling’s stripped back beautiful new album
  • Reply
    Gavin
    April 27, 2020 at 9:46 am

    Great read β™₯️

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