BMS Upland Foray
7th to 14th August 2010
Kindrogan Field Centre
The BMS Upland foray this year was arranged somewhat earlier than normal to coincide with the end of and to offer places to, participants at the 9th International Mycological Congress held in Edinburgh and hosted by the British Mycological Society.
Always popular with BMS forayers, Kindrogan centre enjoys immediate access to the wildlife and dramatic landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and we made every use of its position. Our weeks programme was arranged by professor Bruce Ing who had been the first of the centre managers in the early 60’s. Insert picture is of kindrogan early morning Pics.© John & Doreen Bailey
I think Bruce and Ellie had quite understandably mixed emotions about their return, as they had spent the first couple of years of their married life struggling with the then primitive facilities and working hard to establish this newly formed field centre. We were told tales of the establishment of a pipe to provide running water and the difference this had made to their lives as well as other equally interesting stories of their early struggles. They were delighted to see the changes and improvements made to the centre which they explored looking for artefacts that had been there when they first arrived. There was no sign of Bruce’s Hookah pipe!
picture of Bruce and Ellie to accompany this paragraph Ellie and Bruce in the doorway at Kindrogan below Pics.© Carol Hobart
We were restricted to twenty people with twelve participants on site and the other eight lodging in nearby Kirkmichael, others had to be turned away due to the limited space available. A buddy system was established to make up the excellent packed lunches for offsite people. But we all returned to the workroom about three for cakes, biscuits and tea and coffee. We then got our heads down sorting specimens. Evening meals with wine were enjoyed and we then returned back to the workroom which was well equipped with participants libraries of fungal volumes and extensive equipment, these supplemented by the centres excellent microscopes. workroom Pics.©John & Doreen Bailey
A further room was made available to us for displaying specimens and to talk through found specimens so at 9.00 we assembled round this table to hear and chat about the days finds. We were treated to some slides of Indonesian fungi on one of our evenings by Lisdar our overseas participant.
We spent the week visiting Bruce and Ellies planned programme; each day allowing visits to at least a couple of places.
These fondly remembered sites were all notable fungal recording areas and included Kindrogan estate on the Sunday to allow us to recover from our travel up on the Saturday. This was Derek’s most prolific site; he spent the week happily exploring dung heaps and collected some brilliant Coprinus species including rediscovering Coprinopsis luteocephala which had a white veil that turned yellow with age his find of the week. see below At the curling pond he collected the minute (less than 5mm across the caps) Mycena bulbosa with enlarged base growing on a dead rush stem. see below Pics © Derek Schaefe
Monday we visited Stormont Loch and Hare Myre, a beautiful woodland full of lots of the commoner early fruiting agarics. we were back at the cars grabbing a bite of lunch in the photo below. Rosemary, Ellie, Bruce, Dinah and Alick discussing the finds. Pic.©John & Doreen Bailey
The Black Wood of Rannoch was fairly dry, but nevertheless well worth a visit to see the fabulous ancient pine trees and some collections were made. ,a good collection of Russula alnetorum ( see below )associated with Alder trees was collected by John and Doreen at the loch side. Pic.©John & Doreen Bailey
Lochan an Daim birchwood and limestone pavement was nearby and a very special habitat made of dalradian limestone (unlike a similar pavement at Malham Tarn) with a pavement exposed on the brow of the hill. Alick and Bruce on the pavement and view of the area. Pics.©John & Doreen Bailey
A view from the pavement Pics.© Shellie Dagoo
It was at this site that Carol decided that she would be too slow up the hill to collect anything worthwhile on the pavement amongst the Helianthemum. So she decided to look around the Birch woodland on the lower slopes near the road. It was here she found what must have been the smelliest fungus of the foray….even worse than Dereks dung. Almost certainly this is Inocybe mytiliodora and a new record for the the UK. which has a very pronounced smell of sea mussels.
At the Birks of Aberfeldy we were joined by professor Roy Watling and Alan Hills. Alan was photographed below explaining boletes to Robbie Burns, also below (and perhaps more attractive) is Shellie relaxed and happy waiting for Michael to take his final shot. Pics © Derek Schaefer
Michael spent most of the time lying on his side photographing great specimens about one hundred times for his wonderful extended depth of field fungal photos. I don’t know if he managed to Photograph one of the most deadly of British fungi Amanita virosa seen below. Pics.©John & Doreen Bailey
Morrone Birkwood, Invarey pinewood, Linn of Dee were all visited on rather a wet day but the Rozites caperatus at Invarey pinewood was still able to be photographed without the camera getting wet. It looks as though both photos were taken when the sun came out! Pics.©John & Doreen Bailey
Friday included for some a trip to Cairnwell and others visited Killicrankie. John and Doreen collected the most amazing violet Cortinarius eucaeruleus from Killiecrankie. This striking species is illustrated on the front of one of the popular Mushroom identification handbooks…what a find. Pics.©John & Doreen Bailey
Everyone collected material of note and there was far too much recorded to list everyone’s finds. Paul collected and photographed quantities of Lichens. John and Doreen collected rarities as well as photographing endlessly.
Irene and Don took great care of Lisdar who was overwhelmed by her trip on the ski lift at Cairnwell, and just about managed to cope with Scottish temperatures. Lawrence on his first BMS foray visit managed to adapt to the strange nerd like habits we have on forays. Alick as is his norm , pronounced on all things obscure and guided us usefully though the evenings foray table. Bruce managed to produce copious names of plants, rusts, myxos and endless information on the geology and locality as well as doing his own collecting. Mary, Ann and Rosemary all seemed to produce interesting collections of plant parasites and other material for the display table. Martyn as is his norm helped out quietly in the workroom and studied myxo collections as did Dinah. Whilst Tom as usual recorded the greatest quantity of material , all efficiently recorded in his dictaphone and transcribed on to recording sheets.
It was an excellent week, a really friendly bunch of people who bonded well based on their common interest; everyone shared knowledge, books and camaraderie. The centre staff worked hard to ensure everything we needed was available we couldn’t have asked for a better week.