Emboldened by my survival eating puffballs and shaggy ink caps, I decided to go for a walk this morning looking for more edible fungi. I was amazed at how many Poles were out looking for them – I gather its a national pastime. I am kind of ambivalent about that, I suppose I worry if too many people pick them they will become endangered. Apparently in the olden days Cornwall was covered in wild daffodils, and then in the thirties, I think it was, the rail companies put on the ‘Daffodil Express’ and large numbers of people from London went down to spend the day picking daffodils, with the result that they disappeared from the landscape. So now you dont see the miles of daffodils that apparently were a common sight in Cornwall. It would be a shame if the same thing happened to fungi. I do realise they drop their spores but deleting stocks of anything cannot be a good idea. On the other hand they were only doing what I was doing! I suppose I convince myself that its very much a minority pastime in the UK so that makes it OK. I found what I hope were Bay Bolete. I say hope because I am still inexperienced. I spend ages cross checking the identification. These seemed to pass all the tests, sticky, blue when cut, spongey pores rather than gills.
Even though I am pretty certain I thought it wise to eat a ‘test dose’ so I ate a very very small amount and the rest are in the fridge. Hopefully I will survive till tomorrow with no adverse reaction. It doesnt help that people keep ‘wishing me luck’! It feels as though I am teetering on the brink of doom! If there is anyone looking at this who is a great expert on this and they take one look and know its the worlds second most poisonous mushroom, let me know asap! And if there is anyone out there thinking they can use my picture to positively identify these fungi for Gods sake don’t!