Friday, July 17, 2009

What IS this stuff?

Back in mid-June I found some funky-looking stuff on a heavily decayed log on our property. At first I said, "Ew, gross!" But upon further inspection I said, "Hmmmm.... interesting"

Here's what it looked like the first day I spied it. All I could think of was that it looked like something's eggs.

Look closely and you'll see 2 snails here, one to the right just above the mass, and another one more directly to the right, almost at the edge of the picture. (click photo to enlarge)

When I came back 5 days later, this is what I saw:

With some of this mixed in...

... and some of this by itself.

If anyone has any ideas as to what this might be, I would love to be enlightened. I've seen a few people talking about slime mold on their blogs recently, but I'm not sure if that's what this stuff is or not. I did see a picture on the internets of some stuff that looks exactly like the brown things pictured above on a page discussing slime mold, but that doesn't necessarily confirm that this is slime mold.

I should also note that the brown things gave off a kind of brown "dust" when rubbed (most likely shooting off spores to reproduce?), just in case that helps someone make an ID. Thanks!


Craig Glenn said...

Well I first I was going to go with Popcorn, then rice, then well I give up...



Ginnymo said...

That is weird looking stuff Heather. Interesting though. Hope you find what it is. Have a nice weekend!

Kelly said...

...very interesting! I have no idea what it is, but it's cool. I like how you followed it to watch its progression from tiny egg-like things to little plant-like things. I never found out what the pink wormy looking things were in my photo. Hopefully you find out what this is!

Gabrielle said...

Hey there Heather! I'm not an expert (I don't even play one on TV) but I'm pretty sure the top photos are of snail eggs. I've seen them in rotting logs like that, too. Pretty cool, isn't it? Especially as you managed to get a photo of a hatchling or two! I'm also pretty sure you are right about the brown stuff being a slime mold. As far as the white stuff in your middle photos, I'm stumped.

Keep up your foraging. I love seeing what you discover next!

Anonymous said...

Oh I know the things on 1st photo. No I mean I've seen them and have no idea what exactly they are ) Last year I made almost the same post with pics of amost the same stuff. Look like some eggs or fungi to me.

Nature As Is said...

Well Heather you never stop amazing me!! Love your shots...but alas I haven't got a clue my dear. Sorry but the pictures are very nice.


Heather said...

Craig - Those are some entertaining guesses. Thanks for the laugh!

Ginny - It's still a puzzle for me, but I'll keep researching!

Kelly - Now we both have mysterious tree-loving substances!

Gabrielle - I thought about the yellow things being snail eggs, too, and there's nothing to suggest that they are not. Even though I saw the snails in that one picture, I didn't make the connection that they might possibly by hatchlings - good conclusion! Thanks for all your input!

Aluajala - I may just have to search your blog for the post you did about such a similar thing!

Crista - Thanks, I'm glad you like these "mystery" photos.