Saturday 30.01.2021 Night Walk searching for gold

It was after half five by the time I left home today, a drizzly grey Saturday. The evening air was fresh and balm to my indoor face. I entered the park with the intention of going to ‘Scotland’ to find the fungus, that L had messaged me about.

She said “I snuck up to the Glen this morn – cabin fever hadn’t been out since our walk on Monday and saw the kingfisher at the first grey bridge zooming into the woodlands 💙 went some different paths and saw this amazingly bright fungi at the end of the top ridge path – above the oak tree before the turn to go down to the main road – could see this bright orange thing in the distance! you might know what it is? it was very moist and papery/material like!”

Today L posted its name on our Friends of the Glen Page: “spotted this fungus yesterday on the top ridge – so bright could see it glowing in the distance and coincidently popped up on Biodiversity Ireland site as species of the day! – Tremella mesenterica, more commonly known as Yellow Brain Fungus or Witch’s Butter and it is a Jelly Fungus – spooky!”

“supernatural…”I say, and ask: “is it on a gorse bush?”

L replies: “its on some dead wood (save the dead wood!)!and apparently edible but tasteless!”

and I chorus: “Save the dead wood ” then “-happy to hear witches butter is tasteless”

images of Witches’ Butter by Lisa O’Grady

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/fungi-and-lichens/yellow-brain/

So I go looking in the darkening eve, I pass through the gothic quarter, so bare and open now in the winter, and hear a barking bird call, wondering what it is … I spot only a blackbird, too dainty for the call, flitting across the dead branches. I head on up to the oak and beyond, now hearing ascending scales, human notes! I spy some dreadlocks through the gorse bushes and can’t resist getting closer, the singing has stopped and I see the back of the singer, curiously facing away from the Glen to the North link road. He turns and is not startled by me, I say it’s a good place to sing, and he says yes, he can’t practice in his flat and he comes often at night, and comes sometimes with his guitar. I say I sing here too, as I walk on my own to the plants, and sometimes with L under the oak. We introduce ourselves – D – J – and I tell him about our Friends Page, hoping he will join our assorted oddbods and enthusiasts. I press on, leaving D to his practice, and in search of the Witches’ butter, by now its dark as I peer into gorse bushes hoping one gold will lead me to another, but not tonight and so I round the turn of the buddleias, stopping by the river to watch the play of golden street light on the river.

Published by @julforres

Julie Forrester, artist based in Cork City Ireland

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