The weather may be grotty today, but on Sunday it was sunny and the damselfly larvae in the pond decided it was time to crawl out and turn into their adult selves.


A classic example of the "fly agaric" (properly Amanita muscaria) looking lovely on a golf course. It's poisonous and psychoactive, so don't even think about eating it.

This strange growth appeared on the end of a log in my small log-pile. A little larger than half a golf ball, it looks like a shiny silver brain, albeit a bit tarnished around the edges.

I assumed it was an unusual fungus but a bit of research has me thinking it's actually a slime mould, "the false puffball" (Enteridium lycoperdon) in its reproductive phase. A few days later it was gone, leaving nary a trace, presumably having dispersed its spores.

Never having found a slime mould before, and them being somewhat bizarre organisms, I'm a bit stumped as to which category to file this post under!


I found the oddities pictured above in a small pile beneath the mouse nest from my shed. It seems to be a small collection of hollow pots apparently made out of mud and with a hole in the end of each one. They're only about 7mm long each.

Question is – what are they? I have my own favoured best guess, but I thought I'd throw this out to the masses. So have at it in the comments!

Update: I believe that Rachel is bang on the money in the comments when she wonders if they are cocoons built by wasps. I've struggled to find particularly good information, especially UK-centric, but it seems most likely these are the work of some sort of mud dauber wasp. They create a a cocoon from mud then put an egg and a paralysed spider in it as food for the larva. Eventually the young wasp breaks out and the cycle repeats. However the images I've found on the web (e.g. the mud pots hiding in a roof rack) are generally not quite like these ones. Can anybody provide a more positive identification?

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