cluster around tree stumps;
the air smells of woodsmoke
I think I’ve finally worked out the distance for the macro setting on my borrowed camera. (Yes, yet another camera has packed up on me; I really do need to get a good one and take proper care of it.)
I lost count of the different sorts of hongos I came across while raking leaves for yesterday’s bonfire, but the one in the picture was probably the prettiest. Googling suggests it’s a bracket fungus, possibly a ‘turkeytail’.
We’ve had a lot of rain recently, with some bright sunny days interspersed, which is perfect for all sorts of ‘mushrooms’, but I have no idea what is edible and what isn’t. Wanting to make a mushroom risotto, I asked in the greengrocer’s why there were no níscalos. The guy laughed: “hay tantos que no los puedo vender.” It seems that the locals are confident about their mycologic knowledge and gather their own. I suppose it’s something handed down through the generations by the people who survived to tell which fungi they had eaten and which they had avoided.
There is certainly still a strong rural feeling in the area: everyone from the supermarket check-out girl to the bank teller is conscious of how the weather affects whatever produce is in season and whatever task is on the agricultural calendar.
One time when I commented about being fed up of the rain, a neighbour retorted, “Si queremos níscalos, tiene que llover.” Which seems to be a variation on the old saying: “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs” – you can’t make a mushroom omelette without rain.