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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Amberley - Bignor Hill - Stane Street - Eartham Woods - Eartham - Madehurst - Houghton - Amberley
16 miles

In the past 48 hours there'd been vast precipitations of oxygen dihydrate from the troposphere (lots of rain) so during our weekend ploddings we had a superb opportunity to do two of our favourite autumnal pastimes: mud wallowing and fungi foraging. Quite frankly, due to a mushroom's predilection for living in awkward places, these two, fine, British sports generally tend to go hand-in-hand.
Most of the people we met today were scouts, walking along the motorway (SDW) in small groups. It turns out they were on a serious mission, organised by the Sussex Downsmen, with the intention of covering as much ground as possible in a single day. Depending on their age (and some of them seemed ridiculously young) they were either doing a 25 mile hike, a 45 mile hike or a 60 miler. Several were even doing 80 miles! Once, with the scouts in the 1970's I did nearly 60 miles in a day across the same route and so I can tell you from personal experience that it's a complete and utter killer. You get so tired that both your body and your brains become worn out. Through the night you're in a dream-world of pain and hallucinations and you need to keep your morale, liquid and energy levels all topped up. It's a great thing for a young person to do of course and if it doesn't kill them then it can help mould them into becoming an adult with virtues such as: drive, ambition, motivation and the strength of character that can withstand all attempts to ever get them to do such a crazy bloody thing ever again.
It completely p..precipitated it down all day, which was fine for us (mud wallowing remember) but left us feeling very concerned for the scouts. The rain and wind increased as the night wore on and became ridiculous during the night and we can only guess what it was like along the top of the Downs.

A really good morning started with slowly lifting fog.

How do these soft, fragile fruiting bodies of Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea) push their way through solid wood?
Answers on a postcard please.

They look like they could really taste of honey don't they?
Please do not eat any wild fungi without knowing exactly what they are. There have been record numbers of poisonings this year.

A quiet, idyllic moment ,between the showers, along the Roman road.

Yellow Fieldcap (Bolbitius vitellinus)

Spotted fly-catcher which we er... spotted, um... fly-catching.

We photographed this as it was the driest place we found all day.

A Soft Puffball (Lycoperdon molle)

Pink Waxcap (Hygrocybe calyptriformis)

A Meadow Puffball (Vascellum pratense)

A beautiful Upright Coral Fungus (Ramaria stricta), the first one we've ever found. A highlight for us.
If you want more fungi pictures then check out those on our gallery.

It's harvest festival weekend and Eartham Church was being seasonally decorated when we arrived.

Well the heavy rain later in the day didn't dampen our spirits in the slightest: it just reminded us of our walks in the Highlands.
We got completely soaked to the skin and then rinsed out our insides with Glenmorangie at the Bridge Inn for the final full effect.
Och aye!