03 February 2010

The Land That Time Forgot II

On the western side of Llynclys Hill, deep amongst the rampant ash saplings and mature silver birch, is an Austin A40 van, a restoration project 'in need of some finishing.' Whatever happened to those old-fashioned junk yards, full of toppling stacks of rusting cars, that, as a kid, one used to come across in the woods? No doubt the health and safety paranoiacs now insist that such yards are securely cordoned off behind weld-mesh fencing on dull industrial estates.

Another victim of the British obsession with 'health and safety' is the once-popular practice of locating and cooking wild fungi. The razor strop (Piptoporus betulinus) grows almost exclusively on birch. Unlike the beefsteak fungus, the razor strop - the cut surface of the fruiting body, the visible part of the fungus, was once used in forming the sharpest of razor edges - is inedible (it's not poisonous, just too woody). Dried, the fruiting body can though be used as tinder.

1 comment:

abijsmith said...

Beautiful photography! Very impressed!