Evidence that the seasons are early and that the past two months have been exceptionally wet with sunshine hours below average has now surfaced in my garden. As with everything else in nature, mushrooms are early in season this year. They need quite specific humidity and warmth in order to grow. Mushrooms, like human-beings consist approximately of 90% water. It's only however, the surfacing fruit of the mushroom which is visible. Vast networks of mycelium spores can grow underground spreading dozens of acres and living for centuries; the entire network can have more inter-connections in total than the cells and synapses of a human brain.
As every observer of the British weather knows, this year's weather has been a story of two halves. An incredibly warm, dry and often cloudless April and May followed by an often wet, cloudy and cool June, July and August. Meteorological statistics now reveal the summer of 2011 to be the coolest summer in 19 years, since 1992.
What happened to the mushroom ? Well, after two days it grew into a 5" in diameter pan-shape, an uncanny signature of its final destiny, the frying-pan. Accompanied by onion and egg, it was delicious!