Sunday, 1 November 2009

Bracken fiddleheads and fungi

Dried bracken and lake

An email came through recently asking if I had any dried bracken for sale. Did you mean the photo of dried bracken - on the right? No, yer actual dried bracken! And what colour is it after boiling? Stupid here actually went and collected some dead bracken and tried boiling it - made a terrible smell in the kitchen.

After applying a brain cell, I looked up bracken and found that the tightly furled young bracken shoots are called fiddleheads - so called because they each look like the scroll at the top of a fiddle/violin. Now, fiddleheads are edible apparently, provided you boil them long enough - that's a project to try in spring. (Fiddleheads would be a great name for a band - and sure enough, it is the name of a band! Or two...)

Round here, bracken is viewed as bit of a pain, as it is poisonous to some animals - and tends to squash the small saplings that the RSPB have planted out round Haweswater. However it is harvested commercially by the local Dalefoot Composts to make various composts - I added their use and link to the bracken wikipedia entry.

Golden Spindles fungus On my stomp to get some bracken, I came across some nice fungi on Knipe Scar, in particular what I think is Golden Spindles Clavulinopsis fusiformis. Here are some others I photographed but not identified:

img10793a img10791a

Earlier in the week in the Naddle oak woods, I saw a nice Hen of the Woods fungus and what I think is Moasaic Puffball as we collected acorns:
Hen of the Woods fungus Mosaic Puffball fungus Collected acorns