Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Aliens in the backyard

I walk into the garden every day to check on my seedlings and plants. Why? Well, I want something to grow, dammit!  And by presenting myself as garden warden, those plants will be productive members of my backyard prison OR ELSE.  I also sing to them and talk encouragingly, begging them to grow quickly and beautifully. I figure a multi-faceted good cop/bad cop-in-one approach would be best.

This morning, I admired my lovely plants as I walked down the path Ryan built.

A seedling from the "gourmet bean collection" at Costco.  Katie wanted to plant some beans, so I pulled them out of the pantry.  Every last one has sprouted, so we'll see how it all works out.

Parsley I grew from seed, Basil I bought at the nursery.  

Mint in the tire I found on the side of the road.  This plant has doubled in size in less than two weeks.  Tip: Mint should be planted in a container because it will take over everything. Very invasive sucker, that mint.

What's that in the planter?  That soil looks funny.

Oh yeah, it's an onion scrap.  I didn't have any soil to put in the planter, so I put half-decomposed compost in there.  It was an experiment. Considering how happy the mint seems to be, I think I made the right choice.


I know I saw a cat back there this morning, and she loves to use my garden as a litter box.  Must be sick and spreading the bacterial or cancerous wealth for my own kitty cat.

There's more of it!

It's taking over!  That cat is dead meat!

I asked Ryan clean it up, which he graciously did, wisely using some large pieces of bark to dispose of this obviously toxic waste rather than contaminating a shovel.

And then he did what I should have done. He looked up "Dog Barf Fungus" on Google.  Yup.  This yellow stuff is called slime mold (although it's not considered a fungus anymore).  It looks like animal vomit and is actually protoplasm.  How awesome is that? I have protoplasm in my back yard!  

Turns out it's totally harmless, and that some people, way back in the day, would eat the protoplasm--kind of like scrambled eggs.  I'm not sure I'll be doing that anytime soon, but at least that gray and white cat won't be getting the evil eye from me...today.


  1. It totally does look like barf. Gross.

  2. I had to stop eating my cheese calzone til I was done reading. nk

  3. I was just going to say... having a sick cat... that certainly isn't cat sick. LOL It's disgusting and cool at the same time!


  4. Oh god, PROMISE me you won't try that on toast.... Ugh

  5. bhahaha! I once had a fungus growing in my mulch that didn't look like dog vomit. It looked like a dog's "red rocket." :) http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/oct2006.html


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