A couple of weeks back I had stopped to watch for the Northern Mockingbird and before it showed up, noticed some interesting looking growths. It looked like an overgrown mold (the tallest structures were probably 4-5 cm), so I figured it must be some sort of mold-related fungus. After sending the pictures to a friend, I was pointed in the direction of a zygomycete. Zygomycota is a phylum of fungi that does include some of the molds (‘mold’ doesn’t really apply to any particular taxonomic group, rather it includes things from various different fungal groups). A cursory reading of the wikipedia page reveals several interesting characteristics of some members of this phylum (including a genus that follows the sun and explosively ejects spores). With only 1060 species known world-wide, I don’t imagine there are too many options that are likely to occur here, but I have no idea where to start with getting an identification.

For fun I’ll let folks guess what these were growing from. Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments and I’ll post an update to this post after a while.

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