Sunday, November 27, 2011

this is a photo of Wolf's Milk.....they are often mistaken for puffballs but they are the aethalia of a plasmodial slime mold called Lycogala epidendrum.  i spotted these on a ramble in the woods behind my house. now, why am i posting photos of myxomycete reproductive structures?  well, i felt like it.  i've tried several times to "bait-and-trap" Wolf's Milk but haven't had any success. 
this is a crappy pic snapped with my phone of Brown Witch's Butter or Tremella foliacea.  this is a true fungus and is parasitic on another fungus called Stereum which is not apparent in this photo......some of the Stereum fungi are "bleeders" and exude a red liquid when cut....remember any horror stories of bleeding trees?   i think there was one by Algernon Blackwood, but my memory is a suspect thing these days and it's just as likely that i'm remembering a story by Sheridan LeFanu or H.P. Lovecraft
i find i'm baffled with folks not susceptible to transports of scientific geekery.  one can find sufficient fascinations in one's own back yard...so one can reliably and cheaply be transported into geekery at any time.....consider the Wolf's Milk:  it is something that confuses our definitions of what is a plant and what is an animal.  so, 'either/or" doesn't really apply but maybe "a little of this, some of that" or "was that, but now this."  the last actually stems from my thinking about the apicomplexan parasites like Plasmodium spp. (cause Malaria), Eimeria, Babesia, and Toxoplasma gondii which at some point in their evolutionary history started out as red algae (dinoflagellates, not kelps). i've got apicomplexan parasites on my mind because i'm clearing a backlog of OCP exams and i have found 2 patients rotten with Cryptosporidium parvum.   
 
i'm reading 3 books:
 ,    , and   .  unfortunately, i'm having to put the pleasurable reading-things to the side while i complete a revision of a departmental procedure manual.....each policy and procedure has to be checked and referenced against the published standards of practice, relevant federal regulations, and explanatory notes to enhance transparency of the policies and procedures are to be provided.  it has turned into a massive time- and energy-suck.  i hate things that don't suck in "the good way." 
 
sometime, during all this..."fun" i have to work on getting my scanner to co-operate with my 'puter.  i wanted to scan a postcard Dr. S. Kr. sent me and post it here so my legions of readers (there are 3 or 4 if the STATS are credible) can be so jealous....she found it in San Francisco's Chinatown.  the card depicts a 1930's calendar from a Hong Kong liquor and cigar emporium.  everytime i tried to scan, the 'puter would tell me that some unknown device was trying to talk to it and it just wasn't going to have it.   well, the 'puter-fixer-dude works for pop-tarts and cheap beer so i hope he can fix whatever the hell is going on....i'm hardly savvy....i'm the guy who recommends "beat the battery with a stick" if something doesn't work.