I joined a 'fungi walk' at a local woodland last Sunday morning. Those who know me well will be utterly amazed by this, since I avoid anything 'spore-like' at all costs. However: fungi are fascinating, and a meander through sunlit autumn woodlands with fungi fans was a real treat. Our leader, the marvellous Pete, provided us with tiny magnifiers - which I now know are called 'jewellers' loupes' - in order to examine the fungi's features in as much detail as possible.
These loupes were brilliant. Being able to observe the tiniest parts of the mushroom was compelling and revolting in equal measure, as was examining our own fingernails and skin.
Being the impulsive hoarder I am, I immediately order a stash of 6 loupes, and tested them out with children from a local school. We searched for minuscule mini-beasts, fungi and pond creatures, and found plenty to exclaim over. The loupes were a hit - revealing the scales on a stickleback, the microscopic bugs living on another bug's back, and yes, how disgusting our own fingernails were.
The Dangerous Campers are going to love these... especially when we've worked out how to focus the sun through them to light the fire...