I quit smoking yesterday for the hundredth (and I hope last) time. Months of nicotine-lethargy lifted off me at once and, full of energy, I pedaled this morning up onto Cannock Chase. There - shunning the local pastime of watching car-borne couples engage in coitus - I began instead to search for the king of the wild mushroom world, the Cep, Penny Bun or - if Latin's your bag - Boletus edulis.
And I didn't find any. I did however find quite a lot of other Boletes and, since I'd never so much as knowingly set eyes on one before, this made me happy.
Here we are: a schmorgesborg of gnarled Boletes & lurid poisonous Fly Agarics.
Well, I peered at the Boletes and looked at my Roger Phillips and - after much head-scratching - decided that, while these aren't in fact Ceps they're also not any of the few, grim red/orange-tubed poisonous boletes. I think they're probably Birch Boletes - so I picked 'em and put them in the basket.
I left the Agarics, of course. Six hours of hallucinations, delirium, vomiting and then possibly death? Not my cup of tea today, thanks (though they are pretty).
Finally, I found an absolute whopper of a Parasol to close the day with.