Monday, April 05, 2010

They're back! Chocolaty slimes!

Three years ago, in March of 2007, I discovered a tiny slime mold on an old birdhouse I was repairing. Since then, I have checked it every year about the same time, with no luck, except that I found some nice globular springtails.

Last night, I looked again. And they're back.

Slime mold fruiting body. About 1 mm. high.

Last time, they were clumped. This year, they stand alone.

Casting dark shadows. The pale blue-green lumps are probably baby lichens.

The tiny dark dots at "ground level" are immatures.

A look at a fruiting body in the microscope.

And there was a springtail, too; a different kind, one I haven't seen before.

Springtail, unidentified as yet, about 1.25 mm nose to tail.

Seen with the microscope.

I got three shots, then, "Pop!" He sprung up into the lights of the microscope, got singed, and lay belly-up, stunned. I fished him out with my paintbrush. When he cooled down and started to walk again, I replaced him gently on the birdhouse, and put it outside in the cold.  Now he has a story to tell. ... "Oh, the places I've been, the dangers I've braved ..."


  1. I can't think of anywhere else on the web I could read stuff like that - I love the way you notice the tiny things. Reading this sort of made my day.

  2. How I love the way you see the tiny worlds within worlds. And the way you care. Who else would have fished out a bug from certain death and made sure he was back home with a story to tell. Your compassion is amazing. I admire you, you know.

  3. Super ,chocolate slime molds for Easter.Not to be missed

  4. Very cool photos - I've looked for the fruiting bodies of slime moulds but have only been able to find the more "mobile" stage of their life cycle. Neat!


If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!