Hours of autumn sunshine after months of rain means that fields and woods are full varieties of mushroom. It's the perfect weather for foraging.
And this isn't just good news for foragers. Fungi are also extremely beneficial for the survival of surrounding plants. When plants die, fungi help them decompose, recycling the dead plants' carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen into nutrients for other plants and insects. I think mushrooms are, of course, striking in their own right.
The golden rule with mushrooms, of course, is never to eat them unless you are completely confident that what you've found is edible. Swallow the wrong sort and you could suffer diarrhoea, sweating, drooling and stomach cramps — and that's a best-case scenario.
I alway teach the children, 'no pick, no lick'.
Today we spent time looking at clumps of fungus and the children decided they were fairy villages, towns and homes. This was lovely to hear their imagination thrive as they don't always get to create in the classroom.
Please go out and enjoy their displays, colours, shapes and sizes, just remember, 'no pick, no lick'.