Chicken of the woods

Mushroom season is well under way and this weekend in the Middlesex Fells I came across the largest patch of ‘Chicken of the Woods’ mushroom (Laetiporus sulphureus). See below:

This lovely mushroom is apparently edible but I didn’t take any to try. Regretting that now. It should be cooked and even them there are some adverse reactions reported. Mostly stomach upset. It is not dangerous or deadly. It should also be eaten when young. This specimen was very fresh. Here is a closeup:

It was still very thick and wet and had not been attacked by bugs or deer yet (both of which will happily eat it – and I have seen deer in the area, although infrequently).

All in all it was a lovely walk that morning. Fresh cool summer air – and I was out before the flying bugs got annoying. When leaving the area I spotted another patch on the back side of the tree:

These two patches to the right were younger and probably still developing. All in all a great day out there. I’ve developed an interest in getting there early in the mornings when there are less people and everything is just fresher before the heat of the day disturbs everything.