efog-blog

Saturday 24 September - EFOG Fungi Hunt

A mild and sunny autumn morning saw a group of us following local naturalist Tricia Moxey into Bury Wood (part of Epping Forest) to look for fungi - a follow-up to her recent Thursday night talk at EFOG.

EFOG Fungi recognitionExamining some parasols - found felled!Skirting the edge of the wood at the start, we admired the dark blue sloes on the blackthorn and some late butterflies as well as a newly-arrived species of the bright yellow-flowered ragwort  - Narrow-leaved Ragwort. Then we were in the wood where, despite the dry weather, Paul quickly found our first fungus beside a hornbeam tree.  We were soon spotting them with ease:  hidden singly or grouped in the long grass, growing in a troop on tree stumps and fallen logs, and even high up on still living trees.  There were puff balls, amethyst deceiver, parasol and bracket fungi, to name just a few - mainly small but in a wide variety of colours and textures.

The picking of fungi is not allowed in Epping Forerst, but we were happy to just look and marvel, leaving them intact for the benefit of the wildlife.  Not only do many fungi enjoy a symbiotic relationship with their chosen tree species, but they also benefit many wild creatures.  Indeed we learnt that at some times of the year fungi are the principal food source for the deer of Epping Forest. However, it is usually possible to find some that have been half-eaten by animals or simply knocked over, so we were able to examine these more closely.

It turned out to be a very enjoyable morning from which we all came back a little more knowledgeable than before.  Many thanks Tricia!

Susan B., October 2011

 

As was mentioned above, we looked at a few aspects of wildlife other than fungi. The Narrow-leaved Ragwort supplements the two other common species of ragwort in the area: Common Ragwort, which is native and Oxford Ragwort which originates from the slopes of Mount Etna. The "new" one comes from southern Africa, and in 1997 was known only from one site in Kent. We also looked at some duckweed whilst Tricia was telling us about the horse-trough by Bury Wood! The butterflies that we saw were Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Red Admiral and Speckled Wood.

Paul Ferris, October 2011

Tricia has sent us a list of the fungi which we found:

List of fungi noticed during EFOG walk on 24 September 2011 Bury Wood Chingford. These are listed in order of observation.

 

English name

Latin name

Comments

Oak mildew

Erysiphe alphitoides

White powdery covering on oak leaves – noticed, but not mentioned to walkers

Brown Roll Rim

Paxillus involutus

Under Hornbeam tree – symbiotic fungus – not edible

Puff ball

Lycoperdon pyriforme

Small puff balls scattered on the ground

Ochre Brittle Gill

Russula ochruleuca

Symbiotic toadstools associated with broad leaved trees

Purple Brittle Gill

Russula atropurpurea

ditto

Amethyst Deceiver

Laccaria amethystina

Small lilac coloured edible toadstool in leaf litter

Fairy Bonnet

Mycena inclinata

Clustered on dead wood – slightly woolly at base of stipe

Candle Snuff

Xylaria hypoxylon

Black fingers sticking up on dead wood

Sulphur Tuft

Hypholoma fasciculare

Yellow troops of toadstools on rotting wood

Blushing Bracket

Daedaleopsis confragosa

Bracket on dead wood which turns pink when squashed

Orange Moss Cap

Rickenella fibula

Very small orange toadstool amongst moss on rotting log

Zoned Polypore

Trametes versicolor

Small overlapping brackets on dead wood with concentric rings of different colours

Deceiver

Lacaria laccata

Small brown toadstool in leaf litter

Puff Ball

Lycoperdon perlatum

On rotting wood, white at first covered with warts which fall off as it matures

Charcoal Brittle Gill

Russula cyanoxantha

Dark grey

Big Jim Spectacular Rustgill

Gymnopilus junonius

Parasitic tufted fungus on roots of broadleaved trees – large orange toadstools

Shaggy Bracket

Inonotus hispidus

Large bracket on Ash tree , which causes internal decay in trunk

 

There were probably many more to be found, but I guess that was sufficient to the session! We could have spent longer searching, but the dry conditions not to mention the general scuffing of the ground does make finding any toadstools a bit of a challenge!

In addition we looked at a couple of lichens, which I think were Hypogymnia physodes clustered on twig and the other more dangly foliose one was Evernia prunastri

Tricia Moxey, October 2011

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EFOG members vist the 2011 Edinburgh Festival

Train-wise Efoggies met at Kings Cross Station for our trip to Edinburgh to sample the delights of the annual festival. Canny Ken Kennedy had arranged 1st Class tickets to Edinburgh with breakfast included both ways for £50 each; to say we all enjoyed this level of service was an understatement...

Upon arrival we made our way to university student accommodation which included a kitchen and common room. We spent Friday exploring the city and checking out what was on offer. There was a great deal as it turned out - the choice of shows comedy, theatre, and music was bewildering. The city was packed with revellers and our evening meal - a curry - took some finding: all restaurants were full.

A bright sunny Saturday saw the gang delving into the National Museum of Scotland, followed by an impressive Shakespeare (sort of) production which we all enjoyed. More comedy shows followed, both on the free fringe - which were a trifle bizarre - and paid-for shows which were on a professional level.

Lovely day on Sunday and we climbed to Arthurs' Seat and listened to a flute-player at the summit. After an excellent brunch we hit the free fringe again for more comedy followed by “NewsRevue”, a show depicting the news from this year in the form of comic sketch's, dancing, and amusing songs. My favourite was the “World of One”, with the Queen giving dearest Kate a bit of a drubbing! Din-dins was a Weatherspoon pub with the rudest waitress on the planet (ask Ken, who had the temerity to ask her to order some food!) Nevertheless, we enjoyed some tasty pub-grub before we became night owls and proceeded to a nearby comedy club to be entertained by Paul Sinha, an ex-junior doctor and lately – a stand-up comedian. His material was drawn heavily on his sexuality, ethnicity, and much-bullied school days. Ho hum.

Another fine day on Monday (I couldn't believe it was Scotland!) saw us boarding the train back to London to be plied with endless refreshments including wine for a restful return home.

As Arnie would say, "I'll be back".

Dave T.

 

 

 


Visit to the Markfield Beam Engine

Sunday 24th July saw intrepid Efoggies making their way in brilliant sunshine to the Markfield Recreation Ground to view the Markfield Beam Engine in operation. In its day, the beam engine pumped away most of the human waste from the Tottenham area, quite an achievement in Victorian times.

This was a combined cycling/walking event, and I met with Sue B, Jim, Ian, and Chris at the ROVSCO Hall for a pleasant ride through old Walthamstow, across the Walthamstow Marsh along the tow path to the recreation ground.

The walkers joined us at the cafe for well earned tasty treats before we all viewed the impressive beam engine and spoke at length to the volunteers attempting to fire it up!

Unfortunately, due to technical reasons, they were not able to start the engine so after viewing the various stalls on site (Sue got some useful maintenance carried out to her bike by the London Cycling Campaign!) we set off to Stonebridge Lock for further refreshments. After lunch the cycling group returned to the Prince of Wales pub on the banks of the River Lea for a well earned pint.  Special thanks to Sue B for suggesting alternative routes to and from our destination.
Another great EFOG day out.

Dave T

Cycling/walking/camping weekend 16/17th July 2011

Well, weather was forecast and weather we got! The first contingent of 5 walkers & cyclists arriving at the Brighthouse Farm campsite on the Friday enjoyed  a very pleasant afternoon and evening . Val even demonstrated her newly acquired cycle maintenance skills by mending several punctures on her bike. Then overnight the rain arrived.

We were ready to leave home early on the Saturday morning when disaster struck. I closed the front door then realised the bunch of keys I was clutching was not my house & car keys as I thought but a bunch of Copped Hall keys. Major panic! A frantic phone call to Parviz and he nobly drove up with his Yellow Pages and after several phone calls we located a locksmith who could come out at short notice. Parviz departed and we sat and waited. Eventually the guy turned up and opened our front door with alarming ease, leaving us £85 poorer. So eventually we were on our way to pick up Parviz plus bike and get to the campsite 2 hours late.

Here we pitched our tents in the rain and found everyone else in Bill & Inger’s large tent and showing a definite reluctance to emerge. Several cups of tea later we summoned some efog spirit and decided we would do a shorter route than intended and cycle to Lavenham. Taking advantage of a slight lull in the downpour the cyclists set off, the slight lull then immediately ceased. Once on the road though, cycling in the rain is not too bad. We arrived in Lavenham and made for the National Trust tearoom at the famous Guild Hall. Here they gave us a space to pile our wet gear and let us in for some lunch. The walkers met up with us here (by car!).

Maz & Peter left for home while, replenished, we started the return journey via several garage sales in the town where Inger purchased things for her schools and Duncan bought a sort of red parrot (don’t ask!).

Back at the campsite later, the rain actually stopped and most of us cooked outside, while Ian & Susan took the footpath to the pub, and we were able to appreciate the beautiful view from the site.

Next day, we packed up camp and the walkers departed to walk. The cycle ride from the campsite began & finished in sunshine. However, in between, the rain varied between light & deluge which meant many sprints to find trees to shelter under. This, plus a puncture (Val’s bike) which had to be mended twice because the patch didn’t stick, meant we didn’t quite reach our destination of Ickworth House and so stopped at Chevington for lunch where most of us ate our sandwiches in a bus shelter while Val treated herself to a slap up lunch in the pub. We finally gave in and joined her for some hot soup. The return ride via many pretty lanes was more of the same weatherwise but by now we were immune to wetness. At least it was dry at the finish to load up the bikes.

Despite all, I think everyone enjoyed the weekend. Something to do with ‘triumphing over adversity', I think!

Ann

Quick March! - The Herts Hobble

Every now and then, we in EFOG like to prove to ourselves (at least some of us do) that we can still do the longer distances – it is, after all one of the things the club was originally set up for.  Since the retirement of the Tanners Marathon after its 50th run last year, we have to look a little further afield for events, and this year’s chosen path for the summer was the ‘Herts Hobble’, around Wheathampstead in Hertfordshire.

It's a serious walk, 26 miles for the full distance and 16 even for the shorter one, all to be done inside of 9 hours.  Because we don’t do this very often, unlike a lot of people in the LDWA (Long Distance Walking Association), we thought we had better practice.  Chairman Jim devised three separate routes – one for hill practice, one for cross-country and one for distance, then he promptly went to America to visit his dad!  A postponement of the first walk by a week on his return also led to a change in schedule, which confused most people.   We started with the hill walk, a relatively easy 7 mile trot from Loughton station back to Wanstead using Trapp’s Hill as a practice run.  Big Chris was the only taker and we set off past Sainsburys where we came across Susan and Ian trying to find somewhere to park, so had a small pause.  Then another small pause as walk leader Jim then promptly tripped over a kerbstone, narrowly missed a road sign with his forehead, but took a nice lump out of his right knee – both flesh and trousers.  Not a good omen!  Thoroughly embarrassed though he was, Jim led us on bravely to the top of the hill and round to South Woodford where we paused to visit Jan at Gifford’s bakery for a tea and bun stop.  The journey through the South Woodford area was a brief life history of Susan, - all the various roads she had lived in and so on, being a local girl.  We finally reached Snaresbrook and into the home strait, Wanstead High Street where the walkers split up for lunch.  End of round one!

A couple of weeks later, practice resumed, for the more pastoral walk along the banks of the River Roding from Buckhurst Hill back to Wanstead.  A slightly larger group blundered around a little looking for the approach to the river for a short while till we spotted a gap in the edge of a field, then we were off like hares.  The river was very pleasant to follow and there were quite a few wildlife spots – lots of sightings of an Egret.  All very attractive till we circumnavigated the Redbridge recycling centre, which was somewhat less so, as was the sprawl of Charlie’s Brown’s roundabout.  It wasn’t much more attractive coming off the river onto the eastern avenue but a short trek through he back of Wanstead into the old village saw us pull up, journey’s end, at the Nightingale Pub, a relatively new spot for most of the walkers, where we had a very nice lunch.  Sense a theme here?

Sometimes, we have to undertake linear rather than circular walks, and the distance walk was one of those – along the Lea Navigation from Walthamstow to Enfield and back – a distance we estimated of about 16 miles, but not hard walking.  The troops gathered for the last training walk the week before the big event at the golf course for a cuppa before the start, then a quick march down the road saw a much larger group hit the towpath.  Highlights en route included the Markfield Beam Engine park – more of which on a different page, - various other parks, lots of boats, lots of people and dogs, a curiously high number of cats all white with multi-coloured markings, lots of swans and herons and a dead rat.  Luckily for us, it also included picking up Jenny at Stonebridge Lock.  This being her stamping ground, Jenny was able to guide us around the detour through the Lea Valley Trading estate, as the towpath at this point was undergoing some reconstruction work.  We also lost Prue, lured, we think but forgivably so as she had done a long walk the previous day, by the charms of IKEA.

It was probably a good idea on her part, as the stretch of the waterway afterwards was particularly fragrant – not!  A slightly bleak landscape past the ponies and sheep grazing in the sides of the reservoirs cheered up at the turnaround point of Enfield Lock, mainly because we took the lunch break early and stopped at a pub for a drink.  The lock also proved interesting on the way back as a narrow boat was making its way into the Lock, always worth watching.  Gallant gentlemen that they are, Trevor and Ken also rushed to the aid of the boat lady who was having some trouble pushing the lock gate closed – chivalry is not dead yet!  After that interlude, the march resumed, and we all concluded that the lunch stop we had chosen was far more attractive than at Pickett’s lock (no pub).  A further tea stop was made at the café by Stonebridge Lock, where we said goodbye to Jenny, before a brisk march back to Lea Bridge road and for some of us an exploration of the finer parts of Walthamstow’s recycling area on the bus back home.

Finally, the big event dawned, and with it the hottest Sunday of the year.  Even at 9 am, when the long distance walkers set off, it was getting pretty warm and soon the sun beat down relentlessly.  The good thing about the LDWA is that they do catering very well – each stop had lots of nibbles and lots of drinks, which was vital on such a hot day.  The route took us through some very attractive villages, and just behind the National Trust owned house of George Bernard Shaw, past a field entirely full of red, swaying poppies as far as the eye could see.  Being country people they also had their own interpretation of distances and so there was a bit of discussion before we reached Heartwood Forest, where some helpful locals pointed up in the same direction as ‘other people with bits of white paper’.  At the last stop, Symondhyde farm, we were also offered the use of the horse shower – it is a working horse stable! – and were told that some of the runners had taken up the offer.  Perhaps they knew something we didn’t – it was by this time extremely hot!  With some irony, the last 4 ½ mile stretch included a section along the upper reaches of the Lea Valley (one day we’ll do the bits between so we can say we have walked the whole thing) and by this time, with our noses to the wind we could smell the home barn (WI hall) and the end of the trail.  All three long distancers made it in just over 8 hours and were greeted by the shorter distance people who had started later but and therefore hadn’t finished much earlier.  The tea ladies were still there at the end with refreshments and a big thank you to them and the organisers for all of their hard work.  Whether we’ll see you next year though might just depend on how hot it is!!

Sue Ullersperger, August 2011

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