Cauliflower mushrooms, not anti-dog poison

This video says about itself:

We find a Cauliflower mushroom ! (Sparassis crispa)

18 September 2014

My son was raised in the forests helping wild-craft edible mushrooms. Every year we find at least one Cauliflower – the first ending up in a bread casserole with chanterelles.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands (they put the wrong photo with their new item; not of a cauliflower fungus, but of a coral fungus):

Baked sponges in Huizen turn out to be cauliflower mushrooms

Today, 11:33

The suspect sponges that were recently found among bushes in Huizen turn out to be actually fungi. That is the conclusion of investigations by the police and the Forestry Commission.

The finder guessed that they were baked sponges and that they were intended to kill dogs.

According to the Forestry Commission in Huizen, these are innocent fungi which normally grow deep in the forest. They are harmless to dogs because the animals do not like eating the fungi. …

The past few days came from different towns alerts about baked sponges supposedly deposited by people who hate dogs.

The sponges are baked in fat and smell good for dogs and cats. But once inside the stomachs of the animals they will expand and they can be lethal.

Except in Huizen sponges were also found in Almere, Hengelo, The Hague, Leiden and Saendelft. It is still unclear whether the sponges in these other places will also prove to be cauliflower mushrooms.

Penny bun, Dutch Mushroom of the Year

This video from Hungary says about itself:

26 July 2012

Boletus edulis is fairly easy to identify. One of the common features of all the varieties are the chicken wire like reticulation on the stem at its apex (think of the reticulated giraffe, the pattern on the common giraffe is what is called reticulate). It will have a bronze coloured cap with a white or yellow underside and stem. Some may have a slightly green tint but they will never be red.

The fruit body consists of a large and imposing brown cap which can reach 25 cm (10 in) in diameter and 1 kg (2.2 lb) in weight. Like other boletes, it has tubes/pores extending downward from the underside of the cap, rather than gills; spores are released at maturity through the tube openings, or pores. The pore surface of the B. edulis fruit body is whitish when young, but ages to a greenish-yellow. The stout stipe, or stem, is white or yellowish in colour, up to 25 cm (10 in) tall and 7 cm (2.8 in) thick, and partially covered with a raised network pattern, or reticulations.

The fruit bodies can grow singly or in small clusters of two or three specimens. The mushroom’s habitat consists of areas dominated by pine (Pinus spp.), spruce (Picea spp.), hemlock (Tsuga spp.) and fir (Abies spp.) trees, although other hosts include chestnut, chinquapin, beech, Keteleeria spp., Lithocarpus spp., and oak. The fungus forms symbiotic associations with living tree roots, and produces spore-bearing fruit bodies above ground in summer and autumn (they can be difficult to find being hidden amongst fallen needles / leaves).

Although fruit bodies may appear any time from summer to autumn, their growth is known to be triggered by rainfall during warm periods of weather followed by frequent autumn rain with a drop in soil temperature. Above average rainfall may result in the rapid appearance of large numbers of boletes, in what is known as a “bolete year”. Studies have concluded that the maximal daily growth rate of the cap (about 21 mm or 0.8 in) occurs when the relative air humidity is greatest, and the fruit bodies ceased growing when the air humidity dropped below 40%. Factors most likely to inhibit the appearance of fruit bodies included prolonged drought, inadequate air and soil humidity, sudden decreases of night air temperatures, and the appearance of the first frost.

The flavour has been described as nutty and slightly meaty, with a smooth, creamy texture, and a distinctive aroma reminiscent of sourdough. Young, small porcini are most appreciated as the large ones often harbor maggots and become slimy, soft and less tasty with age. Peeling and washing are not recommended. The fruit bodies are highly perishable, due largely to the high water content (around 90%), the high level of enzyme activity, and the presence of a flora of microorganisms. When you cut them lengthways – the insides remain white. The underside of the cap is always sponge like on a Cep.

Fruit bodies are collected by holding the stipe near the base and twisting gently. Cutting the stipe with a knife may risk the part left behind rotting and the mycelium being destroyed.

The Dutch Mycological Society has decided to make the penny bun the Mushroom of the Year for 2015.

They hope to get information this year about where the penny bun and closely related species grow in the Netherlands.

Rare mushroom in Flanders for first time ever

Hygrocybe viola waxcap, photo by Yves Deneyer

Translated from the Flemish mycologists of Paddenstoelenwerkgroep Westhoek:

Monday, December 22, 2014

In Elverdinge (Ypres) during an excursion of the Mushroom Task Force West Flanders Hygrocybe viola was discovered. It is the first observation of this species in Flanders. Across Europe there are only a handful of reports of this mushroom with its lilac-colored hat.

In Belgium one other discovery was made of the rare Hygrocybe viola: in 1977, in Vencimont (Wallonia). There are only a handful of known observations in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Denmark (Boertmann, 2010). That makes Hygrocybe viola one of the rarest of the scions of the waxcap family.

Kingfisher, goosander and fieldfare

This video from Britain says about itself:

BTO Bird ID – Goosander and Red-breasted Merganser

Identifying the two large sawbills, Goosander and Red-breasted Merganser, can be pretty straight-forward when confronted with male birds. However, the females, or redheads as they are more often called, can be much more difficult. This, the latest ID video gives useful pointers on how to confidently tell them apart.

Saturday 20 December was a stormy day. Usually, days like that are not really good for birdwatching. Birds tend to hide more than usually. We went to the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen. Would we see goosanders, beautiful birds sometimes wintering here? Would rain contribute to wind in making birding difficult?

The answer to the second question is no, it stayed dry. For an answer to the first question, keep reading :)

As we arrived, a blackbird flying past.

Great tit and nuthatch sounds.

In a lakelet, a male tufted duck swims. In a part of the lakelet which is more protected from wind, scores of tufted ducks, both males and females, rest. A male common pochard rests in this flock too. Two coots swim. A great cormorant flies overhead.

Not far away, little mushrooms grow. They are winter stalkball fungi.

In the next lake, a male goldeneye swims. We would see more birds of this beautiful species later.

Near the bank, a fallow deer. We would also see more of these mammals.

In the next pond, a mute swan couple. And four gadwall ducks, but they fly away. A female pochard keeps swimming.

A jay calls.

In a treeless, marshy area, some people see a jack snipe.

We arrive at a canal. Two goosander males and one female swim there.

A bit further, an even more special bird. A male kingfisher sitting on a branch near water.

This is a kingfisher video from Lewisham, London, England.

Fieldfares land in a bush.

Finally, two buzzards circling in the air together.

Rare mushrooms found on old Dutch fortresses

This video is about fungi.

Translated from the Dutch Mycological Society:

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

During an excursion by a Dutch waxcap study group on the ground layer of a fortress belonging to the Defence Line of Amsterdam many very rare bitter waxcaps were discovered. They spoke about hundreds of specimens. Such a number is unique both for the Netherlands and abroad.

Besides the bitter waxcaps there were even more unusual species on the fortresses like Hygrocybe fornicata, Hygrocybe quieta, scarlet hood, Hygrocybe irrigata, butter waxcap, Hygrocybe insipida and masses copies of Hygrocybe psittacina.

Rare fungus discovery in the Netherlands

This video from the USA is called Biology 1B – Lecture 27: First Plants – Fungi Lecture.

Translated from the Dutch Mycological Society:

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

During an excursion to the coastal dunes south of Ijmuiden members of Mushrooms Workgroup “The Noordkop” discovered many Hohenbuehelia fungi. After identification this turned out to be the very rare and endangered Hohenbuehelia culmicola. The fungi grew on the southern slope of a coastal sand dune.


At global level, Hohenbuehelia culmicola is confined to the coasts of Western Europe. Until now this species had been found in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Great Britain, France and Belgium but every time these were only a few discoveries by country. The Dutch sites are therefore of great international importance.

Hohenbuehelia culmicola was only described in 1979 for the first time for the dunes of northwestern France by the French mycologist M. Bon. In 1984, Hohenbuehelia culmicola was first discovered in the Netherlands in the Kwade Hoek on Goeree island.

A close look inside the “freeways” of fungus that efficiently transport nutrients: here.

Rare mushrooms in Dutch coniferous woodlands

This video is called National Geographic – Kingdom Of The Forest – Fungi.

Translated from the Dutch Mycological Society:

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

As part of the Drenthe Atlas Project Mushrooms Workgroup Drenthe (PWD) from 1999 on has examined Drenthe everywhere in all corners. It showed the importance of some forests with Norway spruce for a range of rare and endangered mushrooms. Also downright spectacular mushrooms were found, like goatcheese webcap and Psathyrella caputmedusae, which were thought to be extinct. And olive wax cap, which had been found only once before in the Netherlands.

Already in 2001 the supposedly extinct goatcheese webcap (Cortinarius camphoratus) had been found in a dark, damp and mossy plot with sixty years old Norway spruce in Grolloo forestry district.

See also here.