|Orange crispy, on a lichen-covered deciduous tree, Tyee Spit.|
I've walked past this tree dozens of times, and never noticed these before. They are quite noticeable, even from a distance.
I touched them; they're hard, dry, firmly attached to the tree. Not jelly-like at all. A dry witches butter. It had been a couple of days since it rained.
|These two clumps are about an inch and a half across.|
|These are much smaller. The front one looks like its pushing its way out from inside the bark.|
The fungus grows parasitically on the mycelium of wood-rotting corticioid fungi in the genus Peniophora. (Wikipedia)
The Peniophora are crust fungi that infect and decompose wood. Looking at photos, I realize that I've seen them without paying enough attention. So basically, the witches' butter is a parasite on a parasite.
So, naturalists observe, a fleaHas smaller fleas that on him prey;And these have smaller still to bite 'em,And so proceed ad infinitum.(Jonathan Swift, 1667 - 1745)