Mushrooming

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Yesterday it was a sense of “maybe this is the last day I can wear my walking sandals?”, and this morning it was very much “thank goodness for my waterproof socks.”

I always feel an urge to write when the seasons change – or when compelled by interesting weather, I suppose.

Yesterday turned out to be a good day to head out for a mushroom hunt on Hampstead Heath.

The weather had been forecast to deteriorate as the day wore on, and with the men’s cycling road race world championship on the TV (the ladies’ race was on Saturday and a spectacle to the final seconds), I felt no guilt at planning to just veg out in front of the telly. We both felt like a lazy weekend in after a few busy weekends on the trot.

But, inevitably, cabin fever began to set in at some point around Sunday lunchtime. And with the weather now looking like being warm and sunny instead of what was forecast, we popped out to the Heath.

It’s mushroom time. We found that our mushroom-sight improved as the hunt went on; the size and locations of the mushrooms we found meant they became more and more obscured the longer we looked.

By the end, we were left with that uncanny feeling of having discovered things hidden so well in plain sight that we must surely be missing other glaringly obvious things as we go about our days.

Somewhat brilliantly (though a more experienced botanist – fungicist? – might say somewhat obviously), we found that a number of the specific places we had found mushrooms on the Heath this time last year proved to be a fruitful place to check this time round.

Now the weather is turning and I am split between mindsets. On the one hand I am thinking of all the summer-related things that still ‘need doing’ before the days get too short. On the other, the promise of darker evenings and a crisp chill in the air is rather tantalising.

 

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