some weird yellow egg yolk like stuff

kec01June 21, 2006

I'm no longer a Minnesotan but this forum is still very helpful to me. I'm turning to you for some serious help. as I'm stumped. Both Sat night during the night and then again today during the day a weird substance has appeared in 1 of my gardens. On both occasions, it has looked like someone sprinkled crumbled up egg yolks from about 10 hard boiled eggs into the garden. In this garden are primarily hostas and the remaining leaves from daffodils. There's another garden about 3 ft away that has quite a few blooming lilies. This stuff is as bright a yellow as real eggs, it looks crumbly like real eggs and it's scattered in an area that's about 6"x10". At first I thought it might be pollen from the lilies but there's just too much of it. It doesn't look like someone/something tossed their cookies as it's dry. Sat's pile was just the same but with some light rain and a kid playing with a stick in it, it's turned brown now. I know that we have rabbits and squirrels in our nieghborhood. Anyone have any idea what this might be or what could have dropped this stuff? I'm at a loss with this one but I know I don't like it.

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leftwood(z4a MN)

Is this stuff only in the gardens, and not the surrounding lawn (or whatever is surrounding them)?

Is it on the ground, leaves, flowers, all of the above?

Have you touched it? Is it actually dry? Does it stain? Does it break into smaller pieces? Were the things in question all the same size? Round? Angular? Flat bottomed?

Would they have blown around if you blew at them, or were they stuck to whatever they were on?

Hopefully someone will know right of the bat, otherwise we need more info. Very intriguing.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 7:32PM
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leftwood, you have some very good questions that I should have answered in the first post. Better late than never...yes, it's only in the garden - one spot each of the 2 days it's appeared. This particular garden was built from scratch last year by my digging out clay and putting a mixture of compost and peat in, topped by cedar mulch. I haven't touched it with my hands but although it looks dry, when I stuck the end of a bic pen into it, it became a very thick liquid consistency. Don't know yet if it stains. It's kind of a random disbursement of this bright yellow stuff and to the eye it looks like what you'd get if you broke up a hard boiled egg's yolk and dropped it from your hand onto a surface. This stuff doesn't blow around. Today's mess is on the daffodil leaves which are now laying sideways on top of the mulch. I watered last night so the ground is still kind of moist. Sat, the day before pile 1 appeared we had a high of 95. Today it was about 90. Other days around these 2 haven't been nearly as hot. I'll try and get a picture of it posted by tomorrow. My gardening neighbor has never seen anything like this either. It's just weird. I've never seen any kind of mold like this, haven't seen any animal droppings or vomit like this, and it's definitely not something out of a human (at least no human that I know!). It's the bright yellow color and the mysterious appearance that has me baffled. If anyone has any ideas, I'm sure open to hearing them. Thanks, MN gardeners!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 9:16PM
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My money's on a slime mold: Pictures courtesy of Google

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 10:05PM
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I'm with leaveswave, based on your description. Slime molds are very interesting fungi with both a flowing liquid stage and a stage in which they form spores. In the yellow sorts I've seen, once they stop flowing they generally form a mass of blackish spores under that yellow exterior. There are many different types, some that look like entire forests of little trees when they stop flowing. They really are interesting and nothing to fear. Oh, and they love moisture and rotting plant material--sounds as if you've been taking very good care of them indeed.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:28AM
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You guys sure know your fungi... man are you fast! Thanks - it's got to be the fuligo septica. Yesterday's appearnce of it looks exactly like the first and second pictures. The earlier appearance now looks like the picture where it's turned golden/brown. Thanks for your help - now that I know key words for googling this, I've learned a bit about it. I guess I'll just let it run it's course and quit feeding it with the water. Again, thanks.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 5:47AM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

Yup, the odd bright color is the first thing that tipped me off. That and the comment: "I've never seen anything like it." If I had a dime every time I heard that I'd have . . . $5 !!!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 9:02PM
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And true to gardening form, as you have taught me about this, I've shared it with my neighbors. I would never have expected to see a fungus like this in a city yard! I guess if one mulches their garden with wood, and it's a bit shady and damp, there's always a chance for new gardening knowledge.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 9:49PM
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