It seems to be a good year for fly agaric, the fungus beloved of fairy story illustrators, and often referred to as a toadstool. I see this conspicuous mushroom in the Grove and in the triangular shrubbery, nearby, known as the Village Green. It has a bright, scarlet cap on which there are white spots or "warts". It kills or stupifies flies when broken up and left in a saucer of milk. It is an halucigen and an intoxicant. A graphic description of its effects on the nervous system in Roger Phillips' Mushrooms and Fungi of Great Britain, does not encourage experimentation.
Near the group of fly agaric, I see a painted lady butterfly. Or did I? Its movements seem slow and ponderous. This, I attribute to the cool wind and the time of year rather than the mushroom.
Tomorrow is November 5. As it is a Saturday, we are spared the sporadic, unseasonal bursts of festive explosions on dates more convenient for working parents and school children, and fireworks day will be celebrated on the appropriate day.
I have enjoyed catching up with Best of Now - as usual a fascinating interweaving of observations, reflections and images - some from books and many from the eye of the writer.
I AM WRITING THIS AS THE FIREWORKS OF KENTISH TOWN ACCELERATE INTO FULL BONFIRENIGHT SPEED.
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