While searching for yellow brain fungus on a hot day in December, I stumbled across this twisted little blob of gunk nestled in a bark crevice. At first I was all excited that it might be some sort of snow fungus (e.g., Tremella fuciformis) that was past its prime, but I’m pretty sure it’s just resin, gum, or sap — not sure which. But I’ve never seen resin with little spheres blebbing out, and nothing with a white membrane. It’s creepy. If you have more information or have wild speculation, please send me a note or leave a comment. Approximately 1″ long. Photographed at Lake Mohonk, New Paltz, New York.
I really had wanted this to be a slime mold … perhaps an immature Trichia or Stemonitis. If you’re a slime mold fan, please weigh in.
Posted in Food, Photography, Science
Tagged bark, biology, blob, botany, fungi, fungus, gum, Lake Mohonk, membrane, Mohonk Mountain House, New York, resin, sap, slime mold, snow fungus, tree, white
Sycamore tussock moth (Halysidota harrisii) caterpillar at Hildacy Farm Preserve in Media, PA. I remember these as a child mainly because of their urticating hairs. But they are also really, really cute. I especially like the white ones because their orange tufts stand out better than on the yellow variety. Don’t you just want to pick it up?? If by chance you don’t know what “urticating” means, I highly recommend the experience. You won’t forget.
Posted in Biology, Education, Photography
Tagged fluffy, hairs, hairy, Halysidota harrisii, Hildacy Farms, media, moth, natural lands trust, orange, pennsylvania, sycamore tussock moth, tufts, urticating, white
Here’s a fun trick for Thanksgiving. If you get into an argument about whether you purchased yams or sweet potatoes at the store, chop one in half before cooking and look for milky white sap bleeding off the flesh. Only sweet potatoes do that. But if you don’t see sap, that might mean you just have an old sweet potato, so don’t place large bets when doing this. More useless trivia at “Yams versus sweet potatoes“.
Posted in Biology, Education, Food, Photography
Tagged latex, milk, sap, sweet potato, sweet potatoes, white, yam, yams
Posted in Biology, Education, Food, Photography, Science
Tagged Africa, agriculture, America, baked, color, confusion, Convolvulaceae, cultivar, difference, Dioscorea, Dioscoriaceae, family, flesh, Ipomoea batatas, label, misnomer, orange, plant, potato, potatoes, purple, recipe, related, root, Russet, same, skin, Solanum tuberosum, species, starch, starchy, stem, sweet potato, Thanksgiving, tuber, United States, USDA, variety, white, yam
Mutant robin (Turdus migratorius) with mask of white plumage. I suspect the leucism was congenital because the patches were located on several parts of the body (injury and parasites can sometimes cause regrowth to be white). Regardless of cause, it’s a good look. Spotted on the campus of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
Robins seem to be famous for leucism (Gross 1965), as a Google image search will confirm. If you’d like to see some even stranger birds, check out this page from Cornell University.
Posted in Biology, Photography, Science
Tagged albinism, albino, allele, avian, bird, color, coloration, development, dna, evolution, gene, grass, hopeful monster, leucism, mutant, mutation, natural selection, partial albino, patches, radiation, robin, sectoring, Turdus migratorius, variation, white