Return of the Fungi

Remember the weird “alien from the Planet Zork” fungi (?) shown in the the last photo in  my early May post? Well, I never did get a chance to bring a sample of it to the lab at the Cooperative Extension Service before the mulch was put down last week, but I figured oh well, they are probably dead now anyway and so they’ll be covered up… most likely the best approach anyhow.

This morning as I walked to my car I happened to notice this poking up from what had been a smooth blank expanse of six-day-old mulch:

alien fungus from the Planet Zork returns

This was absolutely positively NOT there as recently as yesterday evening (this area is un-missable when entering and exiting the house).

It’s either the first of an alien scouting party or a grisly reincarnation of Pac-Man….. not sure which.  Either way, I think its’ expression seems rather peeved and alarmingly purposeful.

So I believe that it’s now time for a trip to the fungicide aisle to see what might work on this stuff, before more of its’ friends start popping up through the mulch and looking around for new worlds to conquer. Stand by for battlefield reports!

  10 comments for “Return of the Fungi

  1. May 28, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Oh dear, that does look sinister. It looks like the skull of doom. I think you should be very afraid.

    • May 28, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      You’re right, that’s a third possibility! Zombie Pac-Man seems almost benign in comparison, LOL

  2. May 28, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    That looks creepy… very… zombie like.

  3. belindacrane
    May 28, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Love it! That would freak me out too! 🙂

  4. May 30, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Hah, funny looking little beast. I would just kick it to the back of the bed and not bother, I doubt you’ll see that many more. Artillery fungus are a different story, if you ever see those rearing their tiny heads I’d say give up on the mulch and plant more groundcover!
    That oak mess is even tainting your new beds…. I hope it just disappears when you finally get some rain. Tomorrow maybe?

    • May 30, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      OMG…just googled ‘artillery fungus’….the other day I noticed that my car (a light gold color) was COVERED in something that looks exactly like that. I assumed it was yet another form of tree poop that would be blown off when I drove; but it stayed put. It’s still there (I’m waiting for Mother Nature’s Car Wash, LOL); you don’t suppose…..?!?!?

  5. May 30, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Don’t worry. Artillery fungus comes directly from mulch breaking down (well, from a fungus that is formed as the mulch breaks down ). This is something entirely different I think.

    One of the interesting –and unintended consequences –of mulching is that they do produce all sorts of fungi. They do this for 2 reasons. First because they are doing their job at preserving moisture and next because they are also slowly decomposing. That’s part of why we use them–to enrich the soil, right?

    But just as “fairy rings” form on decomposing organic matter in our lawns sometimes, all sorts of interesting fungi will form on mulch.

    Artillery fungi spores are small & very low to the ground. They don’t look like this. They are about the size of the head of a pin.

    Be grateful you don’t have one of the dog poop or dog vomit slimes that sometimes forms on mulches.

    And people wonder why I don’t mulch!


    • May 30, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      I may never mulch again, LOL. (honestly, in the next garden I don’t plan to)

      I am almost afraid to google the last two slimes you mentioned! :-O

  6. May 31, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I say alien scouting party. But fear not, perhaps they come in peace, maybe even with a book on how to serve mankind. Are you sure you want to put down fungicide? I always worry about beneficial fungi in the soil.

    • May 31, 2015 at 11:51 am

      I thought I’d try a spray version so that I could zap (a la Ghostbusters) individual growths as (or if) they appear…. rather like playing fungal whack-a-mole. 😉

      (cue Twilight Zone theme, absolutely! LOL)

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