Weds 6.01.2021 ~ Sun ritual and velvet shank

Some of the Glen walkers have decided to leave impermanent offerings of presence in spots of the park and to leave clues on the Friends of The Glen page, the clue that spoke of discarded robes led me directly to the soft circle of leaves beneath each tree on the little avenue of Swamp Cypresses, and so by way of acknowledgement on my way home I attached an ivy leaf found along the way. I couldn’t resist some shadow play in a little dance with the tree before I moved along. This felt like an appropriate and intimate winter sun ritual.

sun worship

Shadows in the low light, just gone midday Holly Ivy Pine Ash shape and silhouette they each have their own dance.. ….. as I return to the place of the Fleischmann house, this time I brought offerings for the robin, who wasn’t there, my timing out, and so left the boiled rice in the leaf litter where we played

fungal tongues…or are they ears…?

V tells me later they are velvet shanks, and I find out its other names, Flammulina velutipes, or Enoki and they are a relative of the Japanese Enokitake. (Enokitake mushrooms found in the shops look quite different as they are grown commercially in the dark; they are white with long stalks).

The Velvet shank is winter mushroom that enjoys the cold and can be found growing on deciduous diseased or dead tree stumps, especially elms, often found in proliferation, they look like a pile of stacked pancakes. The stalks darken to almost black with age and the caps go from creamy when young through to deep orange, and creamy to apricot on the gills. The stalks have no rings and this is a good indicator for identifying them. The spore print is white. They are edible, delicious even. You can eat the cap after dabbing or removing the slimy skin.

Wild Food UK has an excellent Mushroom Guide here is a link to the velvet Shank

The Woodland Classroom also has an excellent video on the Velvet Shank and other fungi

Published by @julforres

Julie Forrester, artist based in Cork City Ireland

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