Back to the Future

Amanita cecilae, a young fruitbody

Amanita cecilae

With Fascinated by Fungi launched and so well received both in reviews and by the hundreds of people who have bought copies in the first six months of its availability, there is now a bit of time to update this blog, and in the wettest spring I can remember there ought to be plenty of grassland and woodland fungi around. Judging by the number of request for help in identifying fungi, many people are noticing mushrooms and starting to take a real interest. If you are a newcomer, then do take a look at www.first-nature.com/fungi where there are identification guides, a glossary, advice on safety, forays andĀ loads more. If you already a seasoned fungiphile, here’s even advice on getting started in microscopy, understanding scientific terms, the ICBN classification system, and authirty names – plus brief biographies of several famous mycologists of the past..

What would be really nice would be to have your suggestions for improvements or new features that would make the site even more useful. More than 400,000 people a year visit the website and we do receive a lot of help already, so thanks very much if you have already sent us your suggestions, questions or contributions.

Fascinated by Fungi – a great new book from First Nature

We had a tremendous attendance at the launch of Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O’Reilly’s amazing new book. More than 150 people turned up for the launch at the National Botanic Garden of Wales on Saturday 24th September 2011, and among them were several noted experts from the world of mycology including David Harries the county recorder for Pembrokeshire, Nigel Stringer (who needs no introduction to fellow fungi enthusiasts) and Ray Woods, who ranks among the all-time greats in communicating a fascination with the kingdom of fungi to those of us with a much more limited experience of mycology.

Dr Rosetta Plummer, Director of the National Botanic Garden, opened the proceedings and welcomed people to not only the book launch but also the exhibition From Another Kingdom, a mushroom cookery demonstration by Gary Whiteley of Maesllyn Mushrooms, and special mushroom menu in the on-site restaurant, and after lunch a fungus foray that despite poor weather attracted a huge following and was acclaimed a great success. Many thanks to Bruce Langridge and Ray Woods, who held the participants spellbound throughout the foray.

Roger Thomas, chief executive of the Countryside Council for Wales, formally launched the book, which he confidently expects will become essential reading for anyone, whether a lay person or a professional mycologist, with an interest in fungi.