Slime moulds again
My days have settled into a sort of routine - working steadily at the computer until mid-afternoon when I suddenly realise that there's only an hour until sunset. Today's dusk expedition was to Thorpe Wood where I delved among the dead fallen branches looking for fungi and slime moulds.
This slime mould is Comatricha nigra, a common species but not one that I've seen before. I found the fruiting bodies on the inside of a damp, fallen elder branch which had been stained green by algae.
The plasmodial stage of this species is translucent white, while the sporocarps are initially yellowish on a black stalk, gradually darkening through shades of brown until they become jet black and shiny. As the sporocarps ripen they lose their sheen and take on a rougher appearance, before discharging the brown spores that will form the next generation.