Thursday, 13 August 2020

Vale Jean-Pierre


That's Jean-Pierre, with blue satchel and toolbox, towards the left of the photo, 
waiting to head off with a group of fungi foragers in the Forest of Preuilly.
Fungi foray about to depart in the Forest of Preuilly. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

A few days ago I got an email to say that my friend Jean-Pierre had died. He was 79 and lived in Tours. I sent a condolence message and his widow emailed me a brief note of thanks. The funeral was a private family affair.

The Masters at work.
Paul, Jean-Pierre and Jean identifying fungi at the end of an afternoon of foraging.
Fungi experts identifying species found on a mycology outing. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

I would only ever see Jean-Pierre in the autumn, on fungi forays. He was one of the people I most enjoyed being out in the forest with. He was gentle and softly spoken, and generous with his knowledge. We never went very far, because there was always some minute fungi to look at and learn about from him. He specialised in the really tricky tiny species, and had published scientific papers on the subject.

Jean-Pierre talks to a little group about a Clouded Funnel Clitocybe nebularis (Clitocybe nébuleux in French). He said that technically they are edible, but they have such an after-aroma of cat's piss that you probably wouldn't want to.
Fungi expert teaching about Clitocybe nebularis. Indre et Loire. France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

The fungi fraternity will miss him and it is sad to think that he will not be joining us when fungi forays start up again (Covid19 allowing) in September.


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2 comments:

Le Pré de la Forge said...

"We never went very far, because there was always some minute fungi to look at and learn about from him...."
I have in front of me a chunk of blue-stained wood.... found by me on one of the walks.... along with some of the cyan fruit bodies.... there were only you, me, Pauline, Jean-Pierre and possibly a couple of others....
I think we walked less than 150 mtres.... suited Pauline.... we must've seen and had identified some 50 species in that short walk. You were able to help me explain how important that blue wood was in the making of Tunbridge-ware....
and I have a photo of the table[s] after that walk... covered in a huge variety of fungi!! God speed Jean-Pierre, God speed!!

Susan said...

I remember that outing. It was incredibly windy driving home as we were on the edge of a big storm system that day. It was a very well attended outing, with all the local experts present I seem to remember.

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