Posted by: kathandroger | November 10, 2019

Fungi, Fires and Fetes.

Rain rain rain here over the last few weeks. No chance of ploughing the vegetable garden although most of the clearing has been done. The walnuts lay rotting on the ground and the falling leaves are left fallen, except those that have been blocking the bloody gutters! But one bit of nature which loves this weather is the local mushrooms and fungi.IMG_1165 We are inundated in the surrounding woods at the moment, and the French are even happier than usual. Most of them, of course, are able to identify the edible ones. But not all of them. The local news is of a lady who was found dead in her bath, and her husband very ill, after a case of mistaken mushroom identity. Very scary, and I only eat the obvious Field Mushroom and the one that looks like a sheep’s foot. Looking in the books there are over 500 types found around here and they are so similar that I reckon it would take me years to have any confidence in identification. We can take them in to the local chemist for verification, but that takes all the fun away! And the names!IMG_1166 (2) This funny chap is, I reckon, called Calocera viscosa, a member of the Dacromycetales, and recognised by its tuning fork basidiocarps. Blimey!  What language is that?

I know I am a boring old fart, but the years really do seem to fly by. It was Guy Fawkes’ night again this week, only about a month or two after the last one! Friends David and Jane had another bash at their farm, with poor old Guy having his feet warmed againIMG_1161 and then a carefully prepared firework display which all went off at the same time!! It did make lots of noise though. And then lots of food courtesy of our very hard working hostess, followed by music from both the French and Foreign members of the party. It must be a popular event, as one chap drove all the way from near Belgium just to join us and play his washboard in the band. Well done.

November also means it is time for the lambs to be slaughtered. We have a huge ram lamb, another two smaller rams, and one lady lamb. After much soul wrestling I have decided not to kill them myself this year and will give them away to friends locally. The French all seem to know a friendly butcher who will do the deed, and apparently there is a local chap with all the proper qualifications who will kill and butcher a lamb for 30 euros. Sounds like a good deal to me. But we also have some chicks to get rid of. Our talents at chicken sexing are not good, but one of them has started crowing now, so I am convinced he is a chap. Poor condemmed chap. But then a neighbour told us he would like a cock for his flock, so that is one head less to roll. But first we have to catch the blighters! Our main laying hens reside overnight very happily in their house, but the youngsters prefer to fly up into the trees overnight. Shooting  the down seems a bit of an overkill,  if you can excuse the expression, so another cunning plan of capture will have to be hatched.

Last night was the “Fete de la Soupe” in a local village. The first event of its kind there, and the organisers were worried that they would not attain the aim of having about fifty attending. Ten different soups were offered, with bread, pate and cheese, and everyone was invited to try as many as they liked. Well over a hundred attended, the soups were delicious, and was followed by locally made cake. As if that was not enough, the event also included country dancing accompanied by a local Celtic band. A really good village event and a pleasure to be part of. Incidentally there were probably almost as many Brits there as French, but as always only the locals remained to the end!




  1. I think your Calocera viscosa is more likely to be a Ramaria sp. And I hope you know how to distinguish Agaricus campestris from Agaricus xanthodermus.

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