We’ve been slimed

“Okay, who threw up in the yard?” I asked the kids as I pulled groceries from the car.

All three kids are blessed with iron guts — thank God — so expulsion on one’s stomach contents is extremely rare around here. But I couldn’t ignore the evidence in the mulch bed by the deck.

“Who’s is this?” I asked, staring into their blank faces. “Someone did it!”

(At the time, I did not think to preserve it for posterity. But trust me, it was a more voluminous version of this.)

Martin peered closely. “I think it’s a fungus,” he said.

“Really?” I was unconvinced until Hadley pointed out several similar blobs in the outskirts of the front yard.

Score one for Martin. It is indeed a “slime mold” (technically not a fungus but close enough.) The species is called¬†Fuligo septica, but many know it by its nickname,¬†“dog vomit slime mold,” thanks to its yellow or orange bile-like appearance

Dog vomit slime mold.

Not exactly catchy, but accurate.

Fuligo septica feeds on decaying wood material and prefers some moisture. So the mulch bed near our recently-planted wisteria spells slime mold nirvana.

In recent days the mold has faded and formed a crusty appearance. But it’s still gross looking. Given the choice, I’d prefer weedy wildflowers to mold spores that resemble barf.

Thanks, Cayden, for the impromptu depiction…