Fort Victoria – 19th September
A good turnout of 14 members met in dry but windy conditions for this return visit to Fort Victoria where we held the 2002 Annual Foray. Fortunately conditions on the ground were a bit damper than our previous visit and we achieved a haul of 35 species, very good for a first meeting of the year. In abundance throughout the woods was the Death Cap Amanita phalloides, which prompted a warning to be careful when picking fungi. Specimens in all conditions and a full range of colour helped to demonstrate how easy it could be to pick a Death Cap by mistake. Good groups of the Birds Nest Fungus Cyathus striatus and Dog Stink Horn Mutinus caninus were also found making this a very enjoyable afternoon for all who attended.
Firestone Copse – 3rd October
A wet morning did not deter 11 members from turning up at the public car park at Firestone Copse. Fortunately the rain stopped the second the group set out looking for fungi, only to start two hours later as we set off home. Conditions were perfect and we finished with a list of 72 species. This was a good meeting for Russulales with five Lactarius and ten Russula species being collected. Some very large parasol mushrooms were also found of two species, Macrolepiota procera and Macrolepiota rhacodes with excellent rings justifying their English names. Amanita muscaria the Fly Agaric always a welcome find was found near Silver Birch. All in all a very rewarding meeting.
Fattingpark Copse – 31st October
A beautiful warm sunny afternoon greeted seven members for a delightful walk in Fattingpark. A nice group of Paxillus involutus the Brown Roll Rim was found right next to the parked cars, this is a very common species found on most meetings but quite deadly. As we found lots of interesting fungi the group did not progress very far into the wood, being greeted by a nice specimen of the Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria, just through the gate. Also found were both varieties of the blushing bracket the normal Daedolopsis confragosa and the much darker Daedolopsis confragosa var. tricolor. A total of 56 species were identified from this meeting many of which proved very difficult to identify.
Mottistone – 14th November
20 members met at the National Trust car park for Mottistone Manor in glorious sunshine. The group took a walk up the Holloway next to the manor house splitting in two at a fork in the path. A total of 54 species was identified making this another good day out. Mottistone Common comprises a number of habitats including grasslands and several grassland species were found including Psilocybe semilanceata the notorious Magic Mushroom, Hygrocybe conica, Camorophyllus niveus and the chrome yellow Bolbitius vitellinus which grows on dung.
Borthwood – 28th November
On a very cold afternoon 16 members met up at Queens Bower for a short stroll in Borthwood. This superb piece of ancient woodland made an excellent last meeting of the year. A total of 40 species were identified many of which proved to be quite difficult to identify due to how late in the season this meeting was. Of interest was a good clump of the Ringless Honey Fungus Armillaria tabescens, which is uncommon. An interesting bracket was found by a section member with a fabulous pattern to the pores, this turned out to be the Maize Gill Daedalea quercina. A rather smelly and large fungus was collected and on closer inspection turned out to be Grifola frondosa, this normally is said to smell of mice but this piece smelt as if the mice had been dead for weeks. Seen by the road where the cars were parked was plenty of the slime mold Mucilago crustacea growing on grass. A big thank you to all the members who have attended meetings this year in what has been a difficult time for the section and myself.