Last Saturday, and for the second weekend in a row, we found ourselves at Mount Stewart. Thankfully, unlike the previous week when there was a big thing on, it was quiet. Slightly over cast, quite still, not many people around. Lovely.
Their was only a small thing on. The NT Education Team had set up a kids TV nature show tie-in trail thing: a Deadly Scene Investigation. So the boys each adopted the persona of a Nature Detective. The crime: stolen blue tit eggs. The suspects: Fox, Sparrow Hawk, Squirrel, Stoat. We scoured the estate for the clues.
To cut a long story short, it was the stoat. The thieving fury bastard.
The trail took us in a direction we wouldn't normally go. To the left. Passed the walled garden and into the woods. It was cool. And damp. Perfect conditions for a little fungi growth. Now mushrooms fascinate me. And the idea of foraging them for a tasty lunch or supper is hugely appealing. Some (the slimy, turdy ones) you wouldn't touch with a forty foot pole. Others clearly shout, "Eat me and you die ignorant human fool!". But there are many that look quite appetising.
I, however, is ignorant. I don't know my edibles from my deadlies. And when I have researched these matters, I've found my findings inconclusive - quite unsatisfactory. But I'm determined to learn the ways of the mushroom. So I've ordered another book.
I'll let you know if I don't die.