Fog, Tree Slime and some other photos

The clear skies were well and truly absent when I set off to work this morning. It was a slow and careful drive through thick fog. Consequently there was little to see at the pond… or to be precise there was little that I could see at the pond.

Falmer Pond in thick fog

There was a temporary respite in the middle of the day (my drive home in the evening was once again through fog), and some cool sunshine. So for some welcome variety here’s a greylag goose with a nice reflection in the calm of the water.

Greylag goose and reflection

There were plenty of gulls (herring and black-headed varieties). This black-headed was one of the few already displaying its breeding plumage from which their name derives.

Black-headed gull

As for the ‘tree slime’ in the title, it was bright orange and oozing from a recently cut tree stump.

tree slime

From what I’ve found about this, it’s a yeast that feeds on the rising sap of untreated stumps, and is more prevalent after extended periods of wet weather. Well the trees around the pond have been cut back in the past few weeks, and we’ve certainly had an extended wet period. The slime is harmless. There’s some straightforward information about this stuff on the Cornell Mushroom Blog.

And yes, in case you are wondering I did spy the occasional small furry rodent. To be fair they were mainly keeping out of sight (the lunchtime sun brought quite a number of people out, and the rats prefer to keep out of view when it’s busy). This is a silhouette of a rat running down a tree.

Silhouette of rat running down a tree

It then made a dash across the water to the security of a bankside rat run.

Rat swimming

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

This entry was posted in fungi, rats, water birds, Weather and tagged , , , , , .


  1. dW March 15, 2014 at 1:19 am #

    Excellent shot of the fog, Words, and you know my opinion of greylags … this shot is perfect.

    The black headed gull is a really good shot, showing the plumage beautifully.

    Interesting, that gold-coloured fungus … I can’t say that I’ve ever seen the stuff before. I fancy that the tree being cut in early spring makes for a copious flow of sap.

    As usual, the rat is charming.

    • Words March 17, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

      dW, fog is an all too frequent visitor to these parts. I get plenty of practice. The greylags are getting very feisty at the moment (mating season) but are always good for a photo. I’d never seen anything quite like that slime. At first I thought someone had thrown something over the tree.

  2. Andys Wilson March 15, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    No fishing! ;(

    • Words March 17, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

      Andy, not even a cormorant to prove them wrong.