… take some time to look for wild mushrooms and toadstools!
October is a great month to go on a fungus foray in your local woodland. Especially after some rain, the forest floor is likely to hold a wide variety of all sorts of mushrooms and toadstools.
I love photographing fungi; partly because they don’t fly away like insects and birds! Snapping pictures of mushrooms and toadstools might also be of interest to a child. Encourage them to crouch down on the woodland floor and take photos at “fungi level”: probably easier for younger people than us oldies!
However, “top down” photos can also be interesting, especially when they make such interesting patterns and symmetries.
I mention woodlands, but the good news is you can find fungi literally anywhere. You can find them shooting up in city centre parks, on roadside verges and canal banks. You could search for them on your back lawn, along farm tracks, or in pastures and meadows.
Wherever you find them, take a moment to marvel at their incredibly diversity of shapes, sizes, textures and colours.
The more you look, the more you’ll find. It’s often profitable to examine the forest floor really closely, because some are tiny, like this one I found, growing out of a nut:
Others are exceptionally fragile and look so delicate that you wonder how they’ll last for more than an hour or two:
The best places to look for fungi in the autumn are forests and woodlands. They don’t have to be big forests; any small copse might prove fruitful.
You can walk along the footpaths and see what’s visible on either side of you. Or you could strike out into the forest itself.
I personally make a beeline for areas where the soil has recently been disturbed, for example by some forestry work, horses’ hooves, or by a tree falling over and exposing the soil. It’s also good to check out rotting tree trunks, sawn off tree stumps, and piles of logs.
I would recommend not touching the fungi you come across nor picking them, and definitely not eating them, as some are poisonous. Unless of course you are proficient at identifying edible fungi.
Send me your fungi foto!
If you or your children have taken a photo of a wild mushroom or toadstool that you are especially proud of, send it to me in an email and I will be delighted to add it to this post.
Where can I go to forage for fungi?
Literally anywhere. However, here are some recommendations of forests I’ve enjoyed walking through and discovering all sorts of nature, not just fungi. They are listed by province:
- Flemish Brabant: Mollendaal Forest
- Liège: Hertogenwald Forest
- Hainaut: La Forêt du Pays de Chimay
- Limburg: Hoge Kempen National Park
- Antwerpen: Border Park De Zoom
- East Flanders: Raspaillebos
- West Flanders: Heuvelland
- Brussels/Walloon Brabant: Forêt de Soignes
- Luxembourg: Anlier Forest
- Namur: Bocq Valley
What’s your own favourite woodland walk or forest in Belgium? Feel free to mention it in the comments below.