Walking through the wood in June 2013 we came across some unusual fungi, along one of the more ancient paths through the wood, which seemed to be worthy of a photograph and some further research.
Having looked in several books and online we decided that this particular funghi was called Chicken of the woods. It was certainly a spectacular specimen with colouring absolutely beautiful to behold.
The chicken-of-the-woods fungus has a fan shape with rounded, velvety edges and can be pink to a deep orangey-yellow colour. The fungus is edible and its name is due to the texture and taste which is supposed to resemble that of a chicken. To us it was too beautiful to tamper with and we were more keen that it should be left alone to reproduce.
Apparently you can buy chicken-of-the-woods kits to grow them at home. However, be warned, this species can cause gastric upsets in some people! So if you have’t eaten it before then try only a small piece to begin with.
NB. Remember never eat fungi unless you are absolutely certain you have correctly identified the species. Eating the wrong kind of fungi is easy, the remedy for illness suffered as a result of eating it may not be.
Not so far away, growing on some felled trees, were these two less spectacular but nonetheless remarkable specimens of fungi.
On closer examination you could see the beautiful colourings and understand why people enthuse over such specimens.
PS. September 6th 2013. I came across another Chieken-of-the-woods in a relative’s garden. They had children and had concerns about safety as the fungi was more or less at ground level. Having reassured them that the fungi posed no real danger to the children I encouraged them to leave the fungus to continue its life cycle. I did, however, take a piece from underneath the main canopy, just to see what it looked, smelt and felt like. The underside was a bright yellow and the top side the characteristic pinky-orange.