Welcome to Mushroom Diary

www.mushroomdiary.com is an ongoing diary of my mushrooming forays in South West Brittany, France. Whilst I intend to concentrate primarily on mushrooms, no doubt other topics will creep in.

This site was originally launched in the Autumn of 2006. The following year I became ill and the site has lain idle until now.

I have recently moved a few miles south of my old mushrooming grounds and am looking forward to discovering new “petits coins”, meeting new friends and comparing our baskets (hopefully all full of delicious wild mushrooms!)

All the best

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Yet another 2 mushrooming videos!

Not one but two lovely Ceps!

And a real Mr Piggy face right at the end of the video…

Don’t miss it but, don’t laugh too much!

And a wonderfully exciting video of The Girlie walking up the lane….

It’s not all mushrooms and fun…

Although a nice walk up the lane can be fun, especially if there’s some mushrooms to be found!

All the best

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Two more mushrooming videos!

Another two ceps for the Cep King of Brittany from our foray on Saturday…

You can’t see the cheesy grin this time but I assure you, it’s there!

And in this video (also take from our foray on Saturday 16th October), you can see the Cep king of Brittany with a real whopper in his hands!

It’s almost two hands full!

And, once again, he’s keeping that cheesy grin off camera!

All the best

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Two Mushrooming Videos

We took a few videos during our mushrooming foray on Saturday…

This one shows me picking the largest Cep I’ve ever found…

It also shows the cheesiest grin you’ve ever seen!!

This video shows the Girlie finding three Ceps all together.

It’s nice when that happens….

And doesn’t the Girlie look happy?

All the best

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October Mushrooms – 16/10

Saturday morning and we decided to go out mushrooming again…

We took the same route; just up the lane and then straight into the forest.

We decided to walk along the road, as before, as we’re not sure enough about what part of the interior of the forest to explore. That’ll come later, in the spring, when we can better see the lay of the land.


Read more about… October Mushrooms – 16/10


October Mushrooms – 12/10

I have been contacted, out of the blue, by someone who was interested in going mushrooming with me….

“No problem with that”, I thought to myself.  “As long as he leaves some mushrooms for me!”

So, on Tuesday, Martin and Carolyn came over and we headed off towards the forest…

As you can see, Carolyn got off to a good start with a Perfect Cep!


Read more about… October Mushrooms – 12/10


A Mushrooming Video!

I’ve treated myself to a new camera and when the Girlie found a rather nice Cep I though that it would be time to try out the video function…

I am quite aware that my future may not be as a film director but, I think that if I practise enough, I may get the hang of it one day?

Anyway, the Girlie seems happy enough with her massive Cep…

Just one of the many Ceps that she found on Saturday!

All the best

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October Mushrooms – 09/10

The Girlie and I were having friends round for dinner and I was rather keen to try out a Cep salad.

Thus, there was no choice but to go out mushrooming!

It’s a hard job but someone has got to do it!


Read more about… October Mushrooms – 09/10


Mushrooming Baskets

Six years ago I bought myself a mushrooming basket. It wasn’t specifically a Mushrooming Basket but just one that I found, at a price I could afford, that I felt would do the job. I paid 15 euros for it and it was fine until last year when it started to fall apart.

Time to treat myself to a new one then…

There is a basket shop in Rochefort en Terre with all sorts of baskets at reasonable prices. The next nice day we have I may go there and have a good look round.

Luckily, at a Vide-Grenier (a French Garage Sale/Car Boot Sale) I managed to pick up a basket for 5 euros. It had been made by the father of the woman selling it.


Read more about… Mushrooming Baskets


Mushrooms, mushrooms… everywhere!

After only two short forays and a few trips to the back garden, we seem to be overwhelmed with mushrooms!

I’m not complaining though!

The do taste really rather good!

We’ve got friends coming round on Saturday. For starters we’re going to have a salad of Ceps and Lardons with tiny sautéed potatoes….

That should be something rather special!


Read more about… Mushrooms, mushrooms… everywhere!


October Mushrooms – 03/10

Encouraged by yesterday’s success, we decided to go out mushrooming again.

Fortunately, the rain stopped and we nipped out.

Just down the lane and around the block; a little foray of about 2 hours (maybe 4 miles?)

Here, the Girlie is being disgusting with a Bolet orangé (Boletus aurantiacus) that we found!

In France, Bolet orangé isn’t often picked as people are scared off by the colour!

That’s a shame as they are very tasty and stand up well to cooking.

I suppose I should add that I am allergic to small examples of this mushroom; anything over four inches, though, has no effect on me?


Read more about… October Mushrooms – 03/10


October Mushrooms – 02/10

Even though it was raining, we decided to go for a walk.

Of course, we took the mushrooming basket with us, just in case!

I wisely decided to take the small basket; not because I wasn’t confident but because I’ve only just treated myself to a new basket and didn’t want to get it wet!


Read more about… October Mushrooms – 02/10


First of the year

With the nice warm weather that we’ve been having here in southern Brittany, I haven’t been expecting too many mushrooms.

I’ve shown the mushroom here next to a nice fresh egg so that you can get an idea of the size of it.


Read more about… First of the year


Old Book – The Mushroom

I’ve recently been looking at some old mushrooming books that are now, due to their age, in the public domain.

These books are freely available for download from The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org) but you may also download them from here.

The Musroom; Edible or Otherwise by Miron Elisha Hard MA was first published in 1908 (more details at This book’s page at The Internet Archive.)

The full title of the book is… The mushroom, edible and otherwise, its habitat and its time of growth, with photographic illustrations of nearly all the common species : a guide to the study of mushrooms, with special reference to the edible and poisonous varieties, with a view of opening up to the student of nature a wide field of useful and interesting knowledge. Now, imagine trying to order that over the telephone!

Read more about… Old Book – The Mushroom


Old Book – Studies of American Fungi

I’ve recently been looking at some old mushrooming books that are now, due to their age, in the public domain.

These books are freely available for download from The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org) but you may also download them from here.

Today I have selected was the Studies of American Fungi by George Francis Atkinson and first published in 1901 (more details at This book’s page at The Internet Archive.)

This 448 page guide contains 250 back and white photographs as well as a number of line illustrations.

The recipe section towards the end of the book contains some very relevant and sensible advice about cooking mushrooms.  Such as…


Read more about… Old Book – Studies of American Fungi


Old Book – The Mushroom Book

I’ve recently been looking at some old mushrooming books that are now, due to their age, in the public domain.

These books are freely available for download from The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org) but you may also download them from here.

Today I have selected was the The Mushroom Book by Nina L. Marshall and first published in 1901 (more details at This book’s page at The Internet Archive.)

This book (to use its full title…The mushroom book. A popular guide to the identification and study of our commoner fungi, with special emphasis on the edible varieties) is a 276 page book with plenty of illustrative line drawings and mainly black & white photographs.


Read more about… Old Book – The Mushroom Book


Old Book – Some Common Mushrooms

I’ve recently been looking at some old mushrooming books that are now, due to their age, in the public domain.

These books are freely available for download from The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org) but you may also download them from here.

Today I have selected was the Some Common Mushrooms and How to Know Them by Vera Katherine Charles and published in 1931 (more details at The Internet Archive.)

This book contains plenty of black and white photographs and, although I believe that some of the coloured drawings in the older books are better for field identification guides, I can also understand the desire, in 1931, to move forward to new technologies.


Read more about… Old Book – Some Common Mushrooms


Old Book – Students Handbook…..

I’ve recently been looking at some old mushrooming books that are now, due to their age, in the public domain.

These books are freely available for download from The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org) but you may also download them from here.

Today I have selected was the Students Handbook to Mushrooms of America – Edible and Poisonous by Thomas Taylor M.D.  and published in 1897 (more details at The Internet Archive.)

This 46 page book contains 6 coloured plates and a simple guide to some of the more common mushrooms that one might come across.

The entry for the Parasol Mushroom (shown in the image to the left) starts like this…


Read more about… Old Book – Students Handbook…..


Old Mushrooming Books

One of the wonderful things about mushrooming is that, compared to other hobbies and interests, little has changed over the last hundred years or so.

Unlike sailing or mountaineering, there have been few technical innovations and the equipment we use is not so dissimilar to the equipment our grandparents might have used.

And with mushrooming books it is the same.

Sure, nowadays we expect photographs of our prey but, sometimes (and often in my opinion), a well presented drawing is just as good.

I have been looking at some old mushrooming books that are now, due to their age, in the public domain.

These books are freely available for download from The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org) but you may also download them from here.


Read more about… Old Mushrooming Books


Time for mushrooms

I’ve been putting off going mushrooming for a while now, as I have an awful lot on with the start of my new business, and anyway, it still seems too warm and dry.

I wasn’t overly confident of finding many mushrooms so I took my smaller basket.

Besides, my large basket is just about at the end of its life having carried, in its time, TONS and TONS of wild mushrooms (perhaps I exaggerate slighlty?)

In the end, the smaller basket was perfect. I found enough to cover the bottom of the basket and I enjoyed a good walk around the back lanes of Cournon.


Read more about… Time for mushrooms


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