This is the time of the year I go rummaging in the woods. Seeing if a shaft of early morning sunlight will search through the lessening canopy of leaves to show me something I still find extraordinary. Flowerless Plants, as my fungi book designates them, are amongst the most fantastical living things. All that huge web of mycelium threading its way underground, to suddenly erupt in science fiction fruit that can look deceptively benign or downright evil. Not that I go in search of them to casually toss into a frying pan, unless it's slices of a big fresh puffball. My neighbour says "You've got to get up early to get those round here", meaning up before him. No, I just love photographing them, even though for the most part I'm doubtful as to what I'm looking at. I know Fly Agarics and Death Caps (fortunately), but the advice must always be rigorously followed- When collecting fungi to eat, only take those which you can identify with certainty. My Glamorous Assistant said these were Field Mushrooms. So what were they doing deep in a Kent wood, I pondered. Or did she have an ulterior motive? (Cue plaintive oboe music).
I am a writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012) and Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012)