I’ve been off the mushroom reporting radar for a while. My sincere apologies, but December and January have been very hectic with the birth of daughter Elizabeth. So she’s to blame – bless her! I’ve included an early scan picture at the end of this post. Even though it has nothing to do with mushrooms – look again – she’s actually holding one. Honestly!
Anyway, I’m keen to get 2012’s main mushroom finds highlighted and backdated for all to see. But as a weird news update I wanted to feature this article first. Some of you may have heard or read about this already. But here’s the summary of something very weird…
In December 2012 I had received an email from a Mushroom Diary follower showing a picture very similar to what can be seen below asking the simple question ‘What is this?’. ‘No idea’ was my honest and straight forward reply!
I’m not alone in this though. Recently in Somerset (reported Feb 18, 2013) there have been similar sightings of this strange translucent blob in a British Nature Park. There have also been YouTube videos featuring this weird ‘Jelly raining from the sky’ and recently on Yahoo! and Sky news the ‘Jelly Invasion’ has begun!
Many experts have been perplexed by the nature of this strange jelly blob fungus, but research is ongoing. History records as far back as the 14th Century have reported it as star jelly, astral jelly or astromyxin. In folklore it is said to be deposited in the wake of meteor showers. Modern theories include it may be regurgitated innards of amphibians such as frogs and toads and of their spawn. Who knows?
I have not seen any of this stuff myself, but I’ve discovered it has been compared to Crystal Brain Fungus (Exidia nucleata) which I’ve seen a lot of in autumn and winter (see second picture below), but is only found on dead wood of broadleaved trees, not in grass like the strange skyblob! See the Yahoo! News report here.
Without any further evidence, feel free to make your own decision. The alien angle I like, but know is probably absolute twoddle (need to use that word more).
Note: Thanks to David Nicholls for the usage ‘Crystal Brain Fungus’ image (www.naturespot.org.uk).