Witches' Butter

Here's a nifty fungus I found growing in the woods near my house. It's called witches' butter, but to me it looks like macaroni and cheese. Legend has it that this is the vomit of familiar spirits who run about at night in the form of cats, doing errands for witches, pausing here and there to gorge on whatever food they find.

I've been especially interested in fungi these last few years, ever since I looked into cedar apple rust for Discover. The same magazine will soon be publishing an article of mine on lichens. A lichen is a symbiotic life form consisting of a fungus--and its slaves. I'll keep you posted.

Photo by Parker Grice.



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