Longtime readers will know that I have a bird problem (see this, e.g.), but I have to admit that mushrooms get much better names.  Which sounds more compelling — yellow-breasted chat and blue-headed vireo, or stinkhorn and witch’s butter?  This is the fabulously-named chocolate tube slime mold:*

furry brown fungus-2316

I found it growing on a white birch log in my woods; my first thought was that a fisher had met its end the night before, but a closer look showed spores rather than fur.

furry brown fungus-2322

A fellow in New Zealand has posted marvelous photos of the formation of the spore-bearing tubes.


*I understand that slime molds aren’t technically fungi, but sometimes the prose flows better if you fudge.