The days are lengthening, which means July saw the change from true winter, with its frosts and even occasional snow, to what I call “first spring”. That’s the season recognised in the six-season indigenous calendar by the wattle blooming and the birds going a bit nuts. The mulch-obsessed blackbirds are starting to rip up my garden again, and though I’ll be infuriated by them soon enough, right now I’m glad of the signs of impending warmth.
- Technically it snowed here. Just.
- Frost on thyme in my herb garden
- Wintry holly in a neighbour’s garden
- Wattle blooming over a neighbour’s fence
At the end of last month, just after I’d made my monthly roundup post, my friend Maia came back to Melbourne (she’s been working overseas) and managed to get up this way for a day’s mushrooming. She brought two friends, one of whom is a professional mycologist – bonus! We gathered a lot of saffron milkcaps, and learned a lot about other kinds of fungus.
One of the other fungi we saw was the turkey-tail fungus, which is used in herbal medicine as an immune booster. I brought some home and made an attempt to propagate it onto the fungus-friendly stump in my backyard (seen above with snow on it), so I guess we’ll see next year if that worked.
- Alison and Maia, mushrooming
- A basket of saffron milkcaps
- Saffron milkcaps, close up
- Turkey tail fungus is used to support the immune system
- Saffron milkcaps sauted with garlic, for dinner
- Dried saffron milkcaps (via the dehydrator)