Life

Taylor Lockwood, mushrooms and the holey veil: DVD video review

The holey veil mushroom (Dictyophora indusiata /Phallus indusiatus) by Taylor Lockwood
The holey veil mushroom (Dictyophora indusiata /Phallus indusiatus) by Taylor Lockwood

We bought a television two years ago. Sadly, despite the 723 channels available, my worst suspicions about quality have been confirmed: there is almost nothing I want to watch, especially now that I have seen everything there is from Attenborough, “How it’s made” and “Mythbusters”. If only programmes like Taylor Lockwood’s “In search of the holey veil” were regularly shown, I would have been more than happy with the light entertainment provided!

The 55 minute film tells us about his 3-month expedition looking for Dictyophora or Phallus indusiatus, the long net stinkhorn or veiled lady mushroom, across India, Nepal, China, and Thailand. I liked the way this search for the particularly impressive species gives a storyline which carries the narrative nicely, making it more than either a travelogue or documentary. On the way, we gain insight into life, people and travel in these remote locations, as well as impressive range of pictures of the fungi Taylor encounters. Large and small species are covered, sometimes with a (very) little about their biology and ecology. Approximate localities are given and, for most of the pictures, the species are named (although it would have been nice to have either captions selectable on the disk or a listing, and there were a couple of cases where I would have liked to see a hand for scale!).

There is a trailer on YouTube; I suggest starting at 45 seconds, which shows a locality and them some of the range of the mushrooms. The still photography is particularly impressive, and is cut with video footage flowing into high-resolution still pictures that do justice to the beauty of the fungi. The first half of the trailer is more doubtful, with the Indiana Jones style perhaps somewhat off-putting, although actually, it is at its most excessive in the first few minutes of the film.

Taylor Lockwood also has an outstanding library of mushroom photographs at www.fungiphoto.com and related material at www.mushroompro.com, along with other videos including some on mushroom identification. In “In search of the holey veil”, his passion for mushrooms and photography comes over and is transmitted to carry an entertaining and very watchable video.

Taylor Lockwood's DVD "In search of the holey veil"
Taylor Lockwood’s DVD “In search of the holey veil”

Price $14.95 (+P&P: c. $2.39 US or $5.64 EU/AustralAsia). Available from www.mushroom.pro

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