Nostoc commune – Is it a fungus? Is it an algae? When I first came across this strange toffee coloured, jellied mass covering the entire roof of a garage complex, I had no idea what it was. At first I thought it was an algae, especially as most of it appeared to be thriving in pools of stagnent water, and then finally decided it must be some species of jellied fungus. I was also reminded of an old movie called The Blob starring Steve McQueen, but I was wrong on all accounts. After some Google investigations I discovered to my utter surprise that it was in fact a bacteria, a cyanobacterium, to be precise.
You can learn much more about this remarkable organism via the Witches Butter page.
© Peter Hillman ♦ 9th January 2013 ♦ urban garage block, Staffordshire ♦ Panasonic DMC-FZ38