One of my friends goes hunting wild mushrooms every Sunday, and today I went with her.

We were in a group of about twenty people, all spread out over the hillside in the pine forest. I was hoping to find nacidas – the only wild fungus I can reliably recognise on the island, because they look like little new potatoes poking out of the ground. Well I did find nacidas. I found three, and they were all too old to eat. (When they’re old the inside turns from white to grey.)

What I did find was lots of a mushroom called Russula Turci. They grow under the pine needles and it’s easy to walk over them before you see them. I pulled up enough to fill my basket.

And then everybody got together to show the expert (a high-school science teacher called Pepe) what they’d found and have it identified. And we got a little lecture on how to collect fungi so that it could fruit again. You don’t pull it up, you cut it.


Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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