Help - what is it ?

Andrew draganz at zfree.co.nz
Mon Jan 15 03:24:14 EST 2001

We live in Palmerston North (New Zealand) and this is approaching peak summer.
Our climate is temperate, rarely freezes (ave about 13C, range 5 - 28 C)
with ave 900 mm rainfall.

We have a Weeping Willow tree (Salix sp) stump in the garden, tree was cut
down about 3 years ago. Few days ago I noticed a bright yellow "growth" on
the stump. It was about twice the size of a credit card and consisted of
a layer of small spheres  - half the size of a pin head. The growth glistened
and was moist to touch. It appeared to have flowed over the uneven surface
of the stump. 
We noticed it about 7 pm (sunset about 8:45 pm}. By the next morning it had
changed colour to dark red - brown. It appeared now to consist of tightly
packed, very fine stalks ( 5mm long) supporting the small sheres that were
now also deep red - brown. The growth glistened in the sunlght. It slowly
dried and darkened during the day. By the next day it had shrunk and crumbled
when pressed, its contents were powdery.

The night following the appearance of the first growth we saw another, same
colour and appearance but half a credit card in size. It followed the same
sort of changes in a similar time frame as the first. 

We have photographed these growths and tried videoing the second, but don't
have good enough equipment for any useful records.

We guess its a reproductive phase of something - our garden has an abundance
of fungi. Anybody got any suggestions and leads ??
Thanks: Andrew


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