And Pavlovian Potatoes
Now, I have been interested in fungi for long enough to feel a sense of awe followed by confusion, stupefaction, disbelief and then finally a frankly quasi-religious rapture when I encounter the word "unmistakable" attached to the identification of one.
This particular unmistakable fungus was Cobalt Crust and finding it amongst the tangle of dead Willow was a joy especially since we were again engaged in Knotweed control (an activity not known for its joyfulness) at Pwll Waun Cynon.
The spraying season this year is over really, so as the fragile winter truce starts our campaign was centered on preparing the battlefield or clearing this year’s growth in order to give us easier access to spray next year.
This meant having our first bonfire of the winter, our feelings of general combustion related rustiness were quickly cleared with the first hot ember on the back of the neck and soon the fire was blazing away merrily.
However, this seasonal milestone also had the unfortunate effect of triggering our Pavlovian conditioned group response to bonfires and the phrase “I really fancy a baked potato…” drifted around us like smoke (I’ve no idea who said it first maybe it just spontaneously appeared from the ether) but due to the aforementioned combustional rustiness none of us had thought to bring any (fortunately this was a comparatively mild manifestation as nobody mentioned Marshmallows) this will not happen again.
Graham Watkeys Taf Fechan Volunteer Warden