It's Not Pizza, But What Do You Think It Is?

I took these photos today at the Bloedel Reserve in their Birch Garden. Most of you are probably thinking "Oh gross!" Unless you're a nature geek like me then you think "Oh cool!". I thought I'd post these two photos here and let readers take a guess at what they're seeing. Feel free to write your guesses in the comments. I will let you know what it is later in the comments section when the mood strikes me.


  1. Looks like fungus on a stump, but I have no idea what kind. Of fungus or stump. Maybe birch?

  2. I've had a few people comment either here or in person thinking the photo is a fungus on a stump. Well you're partly right. The black "chunks" in the photo may be fungal. The stump is the remains of a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) removed after being severely damaged in a recent winter storm. The roots hadn't got the message that the top was gone, however. As temperatures warmed, the roots began releasing stored sugars and nutrients and pushing them upward as sap for the new shoots. The rising sugary sap leaked out the trunk, creating a great place for micro-organisms to grow. The orange and white areas are bacterial. The slimy, wet look usually means the organisms are bacterial. Fungi usually look drier and not at all slimy. Usually.


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