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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/376

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356
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

are the spores, and twisted are the filaments with many a delicate spiral wound, the coils running transverse to certain finer striæ, as if the whole structure did but make appeal to some aesthetic eye. Slime-mold it was before, Trichia chrysosperma now, and, so far as may be seen, simple evaporation has wrought the change.

Fig. 6 illustrates the fruit of another slime-mold which, during the present year, has been extremely common in this vicinity. Abundant rains during the summer were, perchance, the stimulating PSM V35 D376 Cedar apple and spores.jpgFig. 4.—"Cedar-Apple" and Spores—the latter highly magnified. cause. On oak-stumps of four or five years' standing there appeared glistening patches of the size of one's hand, by no means attractive to the casual observer; rather the reverse. Presently the entire mass heaped itself up, becoming, say, four tenths of an inch in depth; a thin film covered all, and desiccation began. Shortly the entire mass had been transformed. Hundreds of slender columnar receptacles, each mounted upon the most delicate little, black, shining pedicle or stalk, and crowded with spores, completely replaced that mass of slime, leaving scarcely a trace. The upper film breaks away, and a thousand delicate, plume-like structures wave a diminutive forest (Fig. 6). Each tiny stalked receptacle is a spore-case with lace-like walls of richest color, and is at first packed with unicellular sporules of the same deep tint. The entire fruit resembles somewhat a stamen, hence the name, Stemonitis (like a stamen). Other fungi, of the same type as

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