4 boats and a skull

On Saturday I went up the west coast to Oban for a wee day trip. ‘Twas a fine day indeed, particularly since the forecast all week proclaimed doom. No fishing featured in proceedings, but a sight seeing stop by the bonny shores of Loch Awe did reveal a strange aquatic beast. Lying on the bank, next to a half-burnt fire containing a fine collection of rubbish, was a large fish skull. Unquestionably that of a pike, and a pretty big one too. The array of teeth was particularly impressive. Certainly makes me glad I’m not a perch..

I wondered how it had got to be there. I’d like to think it was roasted and eaten as part of an enjoyable fishing trip. But given the state of the rest of the place, I couldn’t help but suspect a more brutal, pointless history. From what I can understand, killing large pike like that, even when they live in a trout loch, is not a particularly good idea. Along with eating the weaker, often sick and injured fish of smaller species, they stem the tide of young jack pike that can really do damage. I won’t go into the subject of the state of Loch Awe any further at the moment, for if I start it will be a tirade of venting… holy $%^£(*^ are some people stupid.

As we were walking up back to the car, a bright red mushroom was spotted. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I’m still trying to find out what it was, because none of my books show anything so deep a red. There were a few of them together, buried under the long wet grass. If anyone is an expert (or otherwise), I’d be delighted to know it’s name.


  1. Alistair’s avatar

    Had a look for your mushroom on http://www.mushrooms.org.uk/default.asp
    However could not find it – best not to eat it I would imagine 🙂
    Damn shame about that dead pike – a sad sight although not uncommon – I caught a pike the other day with its guts hanging out its mouth attached to a wire trace ! Obviously someone did not have forceps !

  2. mike’s avatar

    Hi Alistair, I tried that side, plus a couple others. I even made a post in a mushroom forum….scary!! Nothing yet.

  3. U Ralph’s avatar

    Dear Nephew, This could be a Hygrocybe splendidissima or a Bolets dupionic, my feeling is that it is the former. See what you think.

  4. mike’s avatar

    Dear Uncle,

    Thanks very much for posting those names, that’s really interesting. It certainly looks like the former. The ‘splendid waxcap’. Now that’s a good name for a mushroom! How splendid!

  5. Your Uncle's Wife’s avatar

    Your Uncle is not very bright. It is probably Vermilion Waxcap Hygrocybe miniata. See http://www.peatlandsni.gov.uk

  6. Fl3tch’s avatar

    mycology and fishing, who could ask for more from a blog.

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