Except in the section of the WhiteRock beach nearest the pier, access is problematic. If the obstacle is not a high cliff face or a muddy slough, the way is blocked by thickets of thorny shrubs, the invasive blackberry or native wild roses. Friday, we followed a narrow path hacked through the roses.
On the beach side, many of the twigs wore a bright orange wrap.
Orange-peel bright, about the size of a small caterpillar, crusty and peeling back where the twigs exit. Here's another:
I cut a twig and turned it over. The bottom was dusted with orange specks and threads. The specks fell off easily; you can see some already on the log where I laid the twig to take a photo.
And do you see those little round bumps on the stem? Here they are, close up:
So is this a slime mold? It looks like it to me. But I can't find anything quite like it in my books, nor on the web. Google failed me, for once.
I have my little twig in an egg-cup full of water now. I'll be watching it for signs of growth, or colour changes as it ages.
And I'm hoping someone can help me with an ID. I'm stumped.