Wednesday, 31 August 2011

August-flavoured liqueur:

Victoria plums
Alpine strawberries
Fuchsia fruits

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I'm still trying to learn my mushrooms!

Perhaps this one is actually a toadstool (for a very tiny toad).
Or maybe a flying saucer.

I did a spore print - the colour is dark browny-purply-black.

I spent ages searching Roger Phillips' book for this and a few others I've found recently. Identifying fungi is SO difficult! It seems to fit the description for Panaeolus rickenii. It *looks* like lots of others, but spore print colour narrows down the options. Whatever it is, it's very pretty. And no, I'm not going to eat it.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Dark Mountain Festival

I've just returned from a truly inspiring weekend with Matt at the Uncivilisation 2011 / Dark Mountain Festival. I had very little idea what to expect from it, but I've come away buzzing!

There were many brilliant speakers and events over the course of three days. My favourites included music by the excellent
Marmaduke Dando, atmospheric storytelling around the campfire by Tom Hirons and Rima Staines, an enlightening and thoroughly entertaining session on home brewing by Andy Hamilton (with free samples!), and a foraging ramble with Fergus Drennan, whose knowledge is extensive and whose enthusiasm is contagious!

Yesterday morning as the festival drew to a close we learned more about the Dark Mountain project by listening to a discussion about its motivations and future direction. This was followed by a very moving report on the situation in West Papua, where native tribes are being persecuted and their sacred rainforest is being destroyed, ultimately because of OUR greed. Many of the audience were moved to tears. Please have a look at the link: Free West Papua

The weekend was very thought-provoking. I feel guiltier than ever about my materialistic lifestyle and I know I must do more to change the things I hate (like the destruction of our beautiful planet) and also to promote the things I believe in. I feel really motivated by conversations Matt and I had with some inspiring and genuinely lovely people.

Matt bought me a framed print by Rima, which is also the cover of the latest Dark Mountain book, and quite a fitting souvenir. I took a few photos – the best are just tiny details of the venue (the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire) and some other little things I noticed which may or may not be relevant...

There are a couple more on Flickr...

Monday, 15 August 2011

A short walk...

This morning I decided to check out a jitty (leicestershire-speak for a pathway between houses) that I often pass on my way home from work. In doing so I explored a whole extra 100 metres of my local area. It doesn't sound like much, but every little bit of newly discovered land can hold treasure for a foraging photographer...

I ended up at Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve where I took lots of pictures that I didn't like (the wild chicory flowers were amazing!), and my brain is now full of ideas about mapping and adventuring as close as possible to my own front door. I can feel a project coming on.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Seasonal changes

On Friday I went to the plot intending to work but as usual I got distracted by photography. I was struck by how quickly things are flowering, making fruit and going to seed. 'Late summer' is definitely here...