A Mystery

Who doesn’t like a good mystery? I do and that was what I worked on yesterday and today. And tho I spent most of the morning inside, of course I had to take my walks. The eyes and the mind do need a rest.

Checking one of our nest boxes, this mama said I’m not moving!
Another box had just four eggs. Almost all the bluebirds this year have had five or six eggs at our house.

A very shiny Wavy Thistle (Cirsium undulatum) going to seed!

Here is the mystery. It is only about 5 or 6mm tall and found on soil. So I have a hope that it turns out to be Basidiomycota lichen. Basidiomycota are what you would normally think of as fungi, i.e. mushrooms, stinkhorns, etc. All the lichens that I have found have been Ascomycota. So this could be cool!

First thing to check was it UV positive? It was! Though checking for this was not in the key for the genus of Multiclavula. That is what I’m hoping for.

So to the microscope I went, searching for algae and spores. Putting it under a cover slip with water I found it swelled.
Then I squished it. Hmmm, only a slight color change around the tip in the water. Were the spores going to be there?

So looking further I found some algae. I kept looking and did five samples. But alas, no spores that I could ID.

It was fun to watch the water magnify it and stand up again.

However I still have not figured out exactly what it is, lichen or just a fungi. Furthermore all the papers I read did not help. Two species of Multiclavula live on soil which this one did. The mystery and the research continues.

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Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


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