I paid a visit to Drumboe wood, which is usually quite good for fungi. (If you're looking for good fungi, then choose the oldest deciduous woodand you can find, the older the better: some fungi are successional, and it can take centuries for those down the dependency chain to grace a woodland with their presence.)
One of the most elegant fungi is the Porcelain Fungus - Oudemansiella mucida. The cap is so thin it transmits light through the pearly flesh. Pictures hardly do them justice:
These only grow on dead Beech branches, and usually a metre or so above ground level. They make a wonderful undershot with light behind them:
I find these Cortinarius sp. in the same place every year (this is a common experience with fungi, since their mycelium is static, and they often pop up the same spot year after year.) No id, yet (Corts are a notoriously difficult group). The cap is extremely viscid:
The Common Earthball - Scleroderma citrinum - is easier to identify:
One of the most common Russulas is Russula ochroleuca: I find it on virtually every foray. It's a broadleaf associate.
A record shot of the Blusher - Amanita rubescens. There were quite a few of these, all knocked over by hungry slugs or snails. This fungus is poisonous, as are most of the Amanitas, and some are deadly.
Talking about deadly fungi, you might have seen in the press that a well known writer was poisoned (and how!.....serious - perhaps permanent - kidney damage) by the deadly fungus Cortinarius speciosus. He is apparently a regular mushroom hunter and was on holiday in the north of Scotland when the incident happened. I found the best pictures on the web to be:
Now I simply wouldn't eat that regardless of what I thought it was (it shouts out Cort to me), so it must have been confused with something else. The Chanterelle has been suggested as a possible confusion species. Not to my eyes! I suppose it just might have been taken along with a batch of Lactarius sp, some of which are edible, or maybe Brown Roll Rim (which has recently been reclassified as deadly, anyway!).
The bottom line is: don't eat wild fungi unless you absolutely know what you're doing. I play safe with fungi that can't reasonably be confused with anything else...Chanterelle, Horn of Plenty, Cep, Hedgehog. I have also taken a few Millers (the best of all fungi) in my time. But that's one where you have to be absolutely absolutely sure, because Clitocybe dealbata looks very like it and grows in the same sort of environments, and is deadly. Smell is the clue with the Miller....it smells of meal, although I reckon I can get notes of metallic fish oil, too.