Thursday, July 15, 2010

Slime Mold Redux 2010

After three weeks of no rain and temperatures in the 90s most of those days (101 and 103 on two occasions!), we finally got some soaking rains over the last few days. Hallelujah! In fact, it rained so hard on Tuesday (July 13) that the creek downstream of my favorite natural area flooded, and a (stupid) 20-year-old tried to ride the rapids on an inflatable swimming pool raft and drowned in the process.

Yesterday evening, between showers, I had a chance to look over my front garden. There's a black oak stump there that's rapidly disappearing, and on that stump, in exactly the same spot that I photographed it last June, was a slime mold. A little bit of research quickly convinced me that the only hope of identification lies in observing the spore-forming bodies that the colony will eventually produce. I'll keep my eyes open. Last year, I don't remember the colony forming sporulating bodies--the mass just seemed to dry up and turn brown, but I probably just wasn't observant.

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