So the autumn continues on and I’ve got a few more walks in. We’re still waiting for proper autumn storms but the weather still seems to be holding. Although it wasn’t a great summer the outstanding feature of the forest this autumn is fabulous colourful heather.
One thing that has been sadly lacking this summer is the foxgloves. While we do have the occasional sad specimen most of them didn’t flower at all this year.
Anyway, we are well into mushroom season by now and the variety is fantastic as normal.
I’ve not been doing a huge amount of walking over the last couple of weeks – just the usual lunchtime and weekend efforts but the mushrooms are back out in force again. These few pictures cover four walks over the last couple of weeks.
The weather has been reasonably dry over the last couple of weeks so the going is relatively easy at the moment.
It won’t be long until we’re into winter weather at this point, the mushrooms normally mean it’s time to dig out the fleece again.
With the start of August, and most of my home projects finished, I’m hoping to get back into walking a bit more. I managed to get two weekend walks in a row to start the month off which is a promising walk.
On the first of these, I was on my own the the dogs and spotted two foxes right in the middle of the forest path. I very quickly fired off a picture but the dogs spooked them before I could manage to get a proper picture so this is the best I could manage.
We’re back into mushroom season again, and this is an interesting specimen that I hadn’t noticed yet. No sign of the Fly Agarics yet but they seem to wait until a little later in August normally. The mushrooms don’t terribly seem to have been affected by the lateness of everything else.
The birds have had most of bilberries by now but there are still a few about. These two were very tasty after I finished taking the picture. Bilberries were held in very high regard in ancient times – I can imagine their sweetness must have been a very intense flavour in the days before refined sugar.
We all got ourselves organised for a walk after breakfast which was very welcome as a means towards loosening my legs after yesterday’s exertions. It was a fine dry morning and as we weren’t in too much of a rush, we decided to have a bit of an explore of the work that the forestry people were doing back in the autumn.
For some reason, they dug this rather large hole and there is a corresponding huge pile of spoil just by the entrance.
After that we went off on the normal double loop but I took the shorter branch as we had a very tired little girl on the walk with us. It was a nice morning for it. It was a fairly unremarkable walk though – we even made it round quite quickly considering.
I had noticed quite an interesting orange tree-fungus earlier in the week in the ditch on the boundary of our land so I took a couple of pictures at the end of the walk as it was quite pretty.
Another non-rushed walk on a bank holiday Monday morning and my first week in some time where I’ve managed more than two walks. The weather was still quite nasty but I got out anyway. The leaves are almost all gone now but there is a bit of colour in some places
The main feature of this walk was an explosion of red mushrooms (Fly Agarics I think) down the bottom part of the forest. Suddenly they are all over the place and I can’t remember having noticed them before. These are the classic red toadstools and are highly poisonous.
This one below is a right little fairy scene.
The landscape around Ardagh is quite odd with a lot of glacial erratic boulders in the ground. You’ll quote often find a little stone sticking out of the ground that turns out to be a two tonne boulder. Anyway, these ended up being ploughed up in the forest so in parts of the forest you see these boulders everywhere.
I am absolutely exactly on schedule now with the first walk of the last quarter of the year. Again, I’m on a lunchtime rush so not a lot of note to report. There has been a little rain over the past few days but it is still very dry.
I didn’t do much with the camera due to general laziness – just this shot of a few slightly bedraggled mushrooms.
I need to try to get out for a slightly slower weekend walk in the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately I am taking advantage of the dry weather to do a bit of outdoor work so don’t have a lot of time for walking.
This was the usual quick lunchtime loop. The dry weather has continued and it is still very warm considering the time of year. It was a fairly normal walk with no great excitement.
The place is still covered in mushrooms with a few places having almost a carpet of them. Unfortunately I didn’t get a terribly good picture of them aside from these new arrivals
The leaves are turning more by now but not a lot of them have fallen. Hopefully they will all hold out a bit longer. The place is still very dry. Normally by now the streams would all have rewatered and indeed some of them did come back a bit a few weeks ago but they have all dried up again.
I had intended to make this a mushroom-free day but there were so many new ones that I couldn’t resist it. It was just me and the dogs today but the weather was fine and it is still warm enough for walking without a fleece.
At the top, there are a few pines doing quite a good job of seeding themselves along the side of the path.
On the path down from the top, these guys were growing in the open in among some sphagnum moss. Although they look like flowers, they are actually mushrooms.
A little bit further on and under cover, I found this really interesting-looking tiny purple mushroom.
Finally, after a bit more, these guys are decaying quite badly now.
It was quite a slow walk as I was messing about a bit taking photos but an enjoyable trip round the forest. My new cheap boots leaked slightly unfortunately.
So now I’m back to normal, writing up a walk the morning after. I’m also back to being marginally ahead of schedule after a somewhat slack month of August. I nipped out for a walk in the afternoon with one extremely happy child and two even happier dogs in tow. The mushrooms are still in fine fettle so I figured on dropping in one non-mushroom picture before I get stuck in.
Once we left the bright part of the walk we started coming across all kinds of mushrooms. They really are everywhere this year
Some of them are beginning to look a bit past their best
My daughter was very exited to be mushroom hunting and she spotted this one hiding hiding under cover
I’ve been waiting for this one to make its appearance where we spotted them last year. The classic toadstool
I spotted this one on a log on the open path. What incredible patterns
This is the tree fungus from last week looking a bit the worse for wear
Another one past its best
We had a grand walk today. Aside from mushrooms and blackberries, everything else is starting to die back for the winter. You definitely get a sense of the approaching autumn.
Walking forests and trails in the midlands of Ireland