Ha! Made you look. Because there is no way you can hear that name and not say, “Whaaaaat?” Then once you discover it, Dog Vomit Slime Mold quickly becomes a part of your vocabulary. Is there any string of curse words you can think of that would have the sheer visual impact of Dog Vomit Slime Mold?
And there is a visual impact. Because there is a real Dog Vomit Slime Mold. I know, I know. I, too, was once unaware of this phenomenon. Now I’m a believer. I’m a seeker. And when I find it, I call out my new version of Eureka: DOG VOMIT SLIME MOLD!
My awareness started with what I thought was an escalation of our ongoing battle with the foxes here in Sonoma. Although I have two dogs who are the product of centuries of breeding to produce the perfect fox killers, they haven’t received the memo. When the foxes surround the barn at night producing their eerie barks, my Smooth Fox Terriers burrow under the covers. We awake to nibbled vegetables in the raised beds and little territorial trails of fox poo marking what the foxes are claiming as theirs.
Then suddenly there were yellowish slimey piles of goo around the barn.
Refusing to believe that the foxes were spewing up their hard-earned meals just to spite me, I resorted to Google. Just one search on “What looks like dog vomit in Sonoma” brought up an identifying picture and this discussion of Dog Vomit Slime Mold or Fuligo septica. The septica had me worried, but I can find nothing that tells me this slime is dangerous. Just kind of icky and nasty.
Turns out you most often find it on mulch. Check, right near my raised beds. And where there is abundant water. Check, vegetables being irrigated.
Now this was all back when we were having our incredibly late and wet El Niño spring. Now that days are over 100 degrees, I’m not seeing a bit of slime mold.
Ah, but the memory lingers.
And the next time I need a good curse, you can bet I’ll be yelling: DOG VOMIT SLIME MOLD!