Wolf's milk

Lycogala epidendrum

''Lycogala epidendrum'', commonly known as wolf's milk or groening's slime, is a cosmopolitan species of plasmodial slime mould which is often mistaken for a fungus. The aethalia, or fruiting bodies, occur either scattered or in groups on damp rotten wood, especially on large logs, from June to November.
Wolf's Milk - Lycogala epidendrum 
Small, pink aethalia that resemble fuzzy pink blobs. When you poke the, pink, gooey, slime oozes out.

The life cycle of slime molds is very interesting and complex. Here is a simplified description of what goes on...Slime molds form structures called plasmodia, which actually lack cell walls. Plasmodia are able to move up to an inch an hour - their motion being the result of protoplasm that flows through the organism in a rhythmic motion. The masses of protoplasm move around and engulf particles of food in an amoeboid manner. Eventually, when the plasmodia runs out of food, it transforms into sporangia, which (simplistically) are balls of spores. These "sporangia spore balls" are called the aethalia, which are the fruiting bodies of the slime mold. 

I never get tired of poking them:
https://vimeo.com/294435977 Fall,Geotagged,Lycogala epidendrum,United States,Wolf's milk


During the plasmodial stage, individuals are reddish in colour, but these are almost never seen. When conditions change, the individuals aggregate by means of chemical signaling to form an aethalium, or fruiting body. These appear as small cushion-like blobs measuring about 3–15 millimetres in diameter. Colour is quite variable, ranging from pinkish-grey to yellowish-brown or greenish-black, with mature individuals tending towards the darker end. They may be either round or somewhat compressed with a warted or rough texture. While immature they are filled with a pink, paste-like fluid. With maturity the fluid becomes a powdery mass of minute gray spores. The spores measure 6 to 7.5 Âµm and are round in shape with a netted texture and appearing ochre to lavender in colour. The pseudocapillitia, sterile elements in the spore mass, are long, flattened, branching tubes with transverse wrinkles and folds.


Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.