PHOTO OF THE WEEK, Mystery Photo

I happened upon this strange stuff last Fall in the pasture. This unknown weed was covered with a strange. slimy, sponge like material
I need help identifying this one.
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That does resemble a slime mold (Myxomycota) in its plasmodium stage. They mostly move around at night, when there is less chance of drying out, so that's probably why you didn't see it the next day. They can sometimes displace themselves to several metres. The same thing has happened to me more than once, where I returned to observe a slime, and there was no evidence anything having been there.
Unfortunately, as for the indentification, you generally need to have a look at the fruiting body that develops after the plasmodium (slime) differentiates into the sexual stage. The plasmdium usually consists of a white, pink or yellow slime, and differs considerably from the eventual sexual fruiting body that forms afterwards. Even when you find one in the fruiting body stage, it generally requires a microscope to correctly indentify, with the exception of several very distinctive species.
They are altogether a beautiful and fascinating group, and one I'd like to learn more about...For example, the blob of slime (plasmodium) is not multicellular, it contains many nuclei in a single mass of cytoplasm that is not seperated by membranes!! And there is another major group called the Dictyostelida (??) that starts out as individual cells, that are completly independant of one another, and crawl around under logs and in damp places, but when their food supply is diminished, they all migrate towards a common area where they combine to form a "slime". The amazing thing, is that from this point on, they begin to function together as an organism, rather then as independant cells. Its kinda like if several humans, when times get tough, could meld their bodies together to make one big human, ...
but its even more fascinating than that...
George Barron's field guide has a good selection of slime mold's in "Mushrooms of Ontario and & Eastern Canada". I think that they are not even considered fungi anymore, but are put in their own Kingdom, Mycetozoa...
(I wanted to attach some photos of Slime Mold I had but my imagehosting "host" seems to have disappered from the web.)
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Fascinating post - if you do find the link to your imagehosting site could you post it (I'm posting from rec.gardens). Thanx!
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Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Here's an interesting video clip of slime molds, and other mushrooms. Enjoy! I did!
http://youtube.com/watch?v=UvTvaxVySlE


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That is awesome - you can find just about anything on youtube now, huh? :o)
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Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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This one is scary....

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vgkL8PulPdE&mode=related&search

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Peace, Om

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That's disgusting!
expounded:

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I guess I found it to be more frightening because I used to watch x-files...
What if one adapted to the human genome? :-P
I was not trying to be gross, honestly. I just followed the original link.
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It's just plain scary, you were right.
wrote:

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And gross. <G>
;-)
Fungi are interesting creatures...
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