I have two new pets. Their names are Herbie and Matilda, and I'll be sharing my space with them over the next few weeks, talking about (and to) them, and keeping a track of their growth. I'm excited. I might have two more pets soon, or not. We shall see.
The weather had been exceptionally clear the past few days, so I've been out hiking a bit. I say "a bit" because I don't seem to get very far, examining every single fallen log along the path. I was excited to find this guy.It's colloquially known as the dog vomit fungus, and this particular "beauty" seems to be a plasmodial slime mold called the Enteridium lycoperdon, but the one person (working for the Bureau of Land Management) who could have given me the definite identification is unfortunately not working at the moment due to the government shutdown.
I didn't dare touch it then (at least not without latex gloves and maybe a bio hazard suit), but Frank assured me that it's perfectly harmless, and that I should poke it the next time I see it. And without gloves. I just might.
Other observations: Patterns and algorithms