Friday, March 16, 2012

We've Been Slimed

I went out to the mailbox yesterday morning and noticed something bright yellow in the mulch around some of the plants near the house. At a distance, my first thought was that a stray plastic grocery bag must have blown into the yard.

As I got closer, it clearly wasn't a plastic bag, but I couldn't tell what it was.

Bright yellow goo

We had sprayed some deer repellent on the shrubs last weekend, so I wondered if it was deer barf. (Do deer even barf?) Whatever it was, it seemed lightweight and slimy when I poked it with a stick.

I googled deer vomit when I got back in the house and up popped slime molds. (What did we ever do before Google? I know I would never have found an answer in our old Funk & Wagnalls.)

And while this particular slime mold is not deer vomit slime mold (that looks like this), it is dog vomit slime mold, or Fuligo septica. Yeah, whatever. At least the common name kind of tells me what to expect—a foamy pile of yuck and the bright yellow is kind of bile-like. Vomit.

Apparently it's quite common, usually shows up in mulch after a good soaking rain (which we had) when the weather is warm (it's been near 80° for a few days). However common it may be, I've never seen it before. It's basically harmless to plants, animals, and humans, so I'm not going to try to do anything to get rid of it.

Within a few hours it had dried up and turned brown.

Learning all kinds of new things out here.


  1. Ew. I could do without that little tidbit. But there it is...stuck in my head, anyway. Thanks, Gayle. Thanks. ;)