Gathering mushrooms; you've got to know where to go and what to look for. | Lluc Garcia

The rain and warm day and night temperatures this month are raising high expectations for the autumn mushroom-picking season. In fact, some varieties are already appearing, such as the "bolet fort" to be found in oak woods.

Carles Constantino from the mycology department at the Balearic Museum of Natural Sciences says that other varieties, like the "pixacans" will also soon be out.

Constantino is an expert on the islands' mushrooms, and the museum has spent the past 25 years researching the mushrooms and providing information about them. There are more than one hundred edible varieties in Majorca out of more than 2,000 in all: the others are toxic or don't have any culinary benefit.

The recent rain has given a boost to growth, while the wind hasn't been strong. So the conditions are more or less perfect. The past two seasons have been good, but Constantino expects that this one will be better, with some of the greatest anticipation being for the "blood-bursting" variety - the "esclata-sang", arguably the most famous of the island's mushrooms and certainly one of the most sought after. He adds that there will still be a few weeks before it truly emerges.

Constantino says that it is important that pickers respect the environments where mushrooms grow. "The function of mushrooms is fundamental to the ecology of forests."