Workday reminder, December 16 2017
Travis monthly workday, Saturday December 16 2017, 9 am – noon.
Meet at the education center (the old farm house) behind the Beach Rd car park at 9 am.
Bring your own gumboots but don’t worry if you don’t have any we can loan you some.
All gear provided.
We will be working along the Beach Rd entrance driveway.
There will be a bar-b-q afterwards for those that want to stay for a chat.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year folks.
In recent months five species of slime mold have been found at Travis, all of them quite different from each other.
Slime mould is a name given to organisms that can live as isolated cells, but often clump together to form multicellular structures. They used to be classified as fungi, but are now classed in a catch-all group of things that are neither animal nor plant nor fungi. There are many species of slime mould all over the world and often they will exist as a jelly-like slime for some part of their life cycle. Some species occur in sizes up to several square metres and can appear to move as a single body! This can happen when food is short and drastic measures are necessary. In this state they are sensitive to smells and can detect food sources. They can readily change the shape and function of parts of the colony and may form stalks that produce fruiting bodies, releasing countless spores, light enough to be carried on the wind, or hitch a ride on passing animals.
They feed on micro-organisms that live in any type of dead plant material. They contribute to the decomposition of dead vegetation, and feed on bacteria, yeasts, and fungi. For this reason, slime moulds are usually found in soil, lawns, and on the forest floor, commonly on deciduous logs. However, in tropical areas they are also common on flowers and fruits and in the canopy of trees. In urban areas, they are found on mulch or even in the leaf mould in rain gutters, and also grow in air conditioners, especially when the drain is blocked.
When a strand of slime mould moves it can reach speeds of up to 1.35 mm per second which is the fastest rate recorded for any micro-organism. When a slime mould mass or mound is physically separated, the cells find their way back to re-unite. Not surprisingly in a 2014 British documentary about slime moulds called The Creeping Garden a connection was drawn between slime moulds and the films Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Blob.
(This information was taken from Wikipedia)