1 October 2018

Strolling

Saturday was another lovely day. It was too  nice to stay indoors. When I asked Shirley if she'd like to join me on a stroll her response was affirmative.

We drove to the edge of the city and I parked Clint in the grounds of Whirlow Brook Hall which is pictured above. With boots on we set off along the Limb Valley with its majestic trees. Several dog walkers were treading the same path - including the woman in the image below.
As we were coming to the end of the woods where the valley starts to level out, Shirley noticed this mushroom in the undergrowth next to the path.
It's amanita muscaria but it's more common name is fly agaric. It is an hallucinogenic fungus that has been ingested for many centuries - often for  spiritual purposes. The example shown above is in the first stage of its growth but nearby there was another fly agaric mushroom, in the second stage of its development - now flattening out. In the third phase the mushroom is as flat as a coaster.
Soon we were entirely out of the woods and walking along a newly made hardcore path with fencing at the sides. Previously, the designated public footpath took you across marshy land where cattle grazed.

And before we knew it we were in the little village of Ringinglow. The Round House on the left was once a toll house by the old turnpike road. But we were heading for the pub beyond it - "The Norfolk Arms". There we drank glasses of beer before making our way back along the same path - but this time it was all downhill.

24 comments:

  1. 'Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows everywhere ... ' I bet that glass of beer tasted good.
    I imagine it's much nicer walking in the cool of autumn than in the sticky hot of midsummer.

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    1. I love walking at any time of year - unless it's raining!

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  2. That is one gorgeous looking mushroom - the colour and the little white bits on the undeveloped one are like something from a fairy tale. Maybe that's why the fungi in fairy tales look so fantastic, actually. Did you mark the spot so you can return for one of the mature ones?? hah

    The second photo has such a wonderful shade of green in it. How lovely to walk in such a place.

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    1. Yes Jenny - fly agaric is certainly the mushroom of fairytales. It is also said that the Santa Claus fantasy owes much to this mushroom - reindeer pulling a sleigh through the sky and Santa in an outfit with colours identical to the mushroom.

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  3. Have you read Michael Pollan's "How To Change Your Mind"? If you had, you might have considered plucking and taking that mushroom home for a bit of, uh, mind-changing. Then again, it might be that you have no desire to change your mind and I can understand that.

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    1. The mind I have at present is me and I would not wish to change this. Long ago I enjoyed reading "A Separate Reality" by Carlos Castaneda.

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  4. It's so pretty! I like the idea of you strolling with Shirley.

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    1. She often accuses me of walking "too fast" for her but I always make a point of slowing down.

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  5. I'll just bet it was "all downhill". :D

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    1. What on earth are you implying you mischievous fellow!

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  6. Beautiful pictures! I'm so happy Shirley went with you.

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    1. She was just in the mood for it.

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  7. This sounds like a very nice way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon in early autumn.
    We saw a huge Fliegenpilz (German for fly agaric, literally "fly mushroom", perfectly flat, during one of our hikes in the Bavarian Forest a few weeks ago. OK took pictures but they are not yet on my computer.
    The tollhouse is great! It looks lived in, or is it a shop? Shame though that they walled up most of the windows; understandable if someone lives in there and needs a wall or two to place wardrobes and cupboards against.

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    1. Yes. The Round House is lived in. Perhaps the windows were blocked up because of a window tax that operated in England in the early nineteenth century.

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  8. I love the dog walker photo, that could be me walking Rick! Okay, no it couldn't. Rick is a much bigger dog.

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    1. You do not walk Rick Sue! Rick walks you!

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    1. I have cast a spell on you and you will die a horrible death before this week is out. Nobody will attend your funeral.

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  10. Sounds like an ideal walk on a sunny day with a pub stopover. I trust you were not tempted to partake of the magic mushrooms!

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    1. I think I will stick to Tetley's bitter ADDY!

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  11. That mushroom is one of the few I can identify. The colors are outstanding! We get mushrooms in our yard this time of year but they always seem to be big boring puffball types.

    It's nice that Shirley accompanies you on your walks sometimes. :)

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    1. I have seen a lot of mushrooms around recently. Most of them are devilishly hard to identify.

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  12. Sounds like a nice walk, and it's great that you can do it together! I've seen fly agarics on Hampstead Heath. I always thought they were poisonous, not just hallucinogenic.

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