On my way out the other day I noticed a bright yellow blob on the bark of a fallen tree by the gate. Must get a photo of that, I thought — but I forgot for few days.
When I returned with the camera, the bright yellow had turned orange, with older purple edges and only small oozings, awfully like custard — or worse — showed yellow.
Now I had not seen this before, but from previous investigations into another of the family, I knew it must be a slime mould, Myxomycota. They’re not fungi but tend to be lumped with them.
I had been fascinated that they move about like amoebae, reproducing into perhaps thousands of ‘daughter cells’; then, at some sort of chemical signal, they all get together and make a larger organism.
Some species make such large organisms that a horror movie, The Blob, was inspired by them.
This is one of the most common, worldwide, I had read. It’s in my fungi book as Fuligo septica, with the common name of ‘Flowers of Tan’, but the much less poetic and more apt names I found to be most common elsewhere were ‘Dog vomit mould’ or ‘Scrambled egg mould’!