The rainforest floor is a living thing. Here, on a base of decaying wood, old, crumbly leaves, last year's evergreen needles and cones, broken twigs and scraps of bark, fungi and mosses intertwine, their roots and hyphal threads digging deep, binding the fragile soil together. Slime molds hide in crevices; lichens colonize surfaces from rocks to wood living and dead. Scurrying through the inch-high forests, busy springtails, mites, and spiders search for food; slugs and snails slide over the surface, eating algae and mushrooms.
It's a complex world down there. Nothing is ever just one thing.
|Small stump (under a foot tall), with grass, moss, mushrooms, lichen, and green algae.|
|Mushrooms, moss, dark green algae and well-rotted wood.|
|Mushrooms, Cladonia pixie-cup lichen, moss, and algae. The leaves are red sorrel.|
I was curious about that dark green coating on the oldest, dampest, most sheltered wood, and zoomed in on it.
|Tiny green balls, from yellow-green to a deep blue-green.|
This grows only in the darkest, most protected areas of the forest floor; at the bottom of stumps, on the shady side, on the underside of mushy logs, deep under overhanging evergreen branches. On an old log, half buried, half turned into soil, moss covers the exposed top, mushrooms and lichen grow down the sides, and under it all, where the sun never shines, there's this coating of damp, slimy green stuff.
|Looks like balls. I can't see stems. The white spots are reflections of the lights of the microscope.|
I'm assuming its a variety of algae. I can't find it on the web, possibly because I don't know what to look for.