Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What is that?!?

Have you ever seen a blossom of slime mold? A lot of people have not and it has given cause for some of them to contact us over the years. If you recall, a few weeks ago I posted a blog about the descriptions of sound that we get on occasion. Another one of the things that we often get descriptions over the phone is feces. The best of these stories to date was a gentleman who had called to report finding large feces, “larger than a large dog,” in the flowerbed outside his home. After some discussion with the individual in the office it seemed unlikely it was any wild animal we commonly see in this part of the state. It is possible in cases like these that a large dog may be the culprit especially if a neighbor had out-of-town company or a new dog that they were letting out at night. In this instance he had a second thought revolving around a feud that had been steaming between him and his neighbor. It was recommended that if he really suspected that this was the result of a human, especially a neighbor, that he contact local law enforcement and get them involved. Yuck.

If you talk to phone counseling veterans you will hear countless stories of feces descriptions including ones filled with seeds or found in odd places. And just a side note that even though we do see and deal with a lot of the sort in a Center such as ours, we really aren’t interested in handling it to confirm that someone indeed has a raccoon passing through their yard on occasion.

Back to slime mold. Another classic call was from a woman who was convinced that something or someone was vomiting in her front flowerbed every night. The likelihood that this was the case was slim, especially after several days had resulted in the same outcome. WINC phone counselor Lisa however, knew exactly what the culprit might be; slime mold. I have been told that this type of mold looks like “colorful vomit” and commonly appears in wood mulch during and after times of heavy rainfall. According to my research this is a “fungus-like” organism but not actually of the fungi family. It gets its name from the early stages of its development when it often appears very “gelatinous.” It states that because it feeds on microorganisms that live in dead plant material, it is common to find them on the ground, especially on lawns and in forests.

Many people don’t know why they suddenly see piles of very small feces below their shutters in the summer, why they find deposits in the same area again and again, or what type of animal has been visiting the back deck at night, but if you have questions give us a call; everyone else does!

Thanks again and clean up after yourself!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I found that in our mulch and first thought it was a resident deer. Now I know better.