Myxomycete Stemonitis fusca
I have photographed [i]Stemonitis[/i] before but they have been [i]S. axifera[/i] or, more often, [i]S.flavogenita[/i]. This was my fist encounter with [i]S. fusca[/i].
This was on a dead leaf on the ground, whereas the other species had been on rotting wood. That was a clue, as was the pink, rather than yellow, colour of these immature sporocarps. The lengths of the stems relative to those of the spore capsules was a further indication that this was something different.
I held back on confirming the identification until the spores had been checked. Thanks to Mike Harrison for doing this.
This was handed to me during a fungus survey at Heath Lake Nature Reserve.
It was a huge colony, with many more spore capsules than any I had seen previously. As it was attached to a thin, dead leaf of little mass, it was top heavy, such that it readily tipped over. This caused the very soft, gelatinous bodies to coalesce to a large extent. So the only whole-colony shots were obtained in the field, where the effect was minimal, with some stem detail added later.
Olympus EM-1, (aperture priority), Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro, 1/100 at f10 ISO 1000 or 800, hand-held.
Olympus EM-1 (manual mode), Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5x-5x ultra-macro 1/60 at f11 ISO 800, twin TTL flash hand-held.
The stereo is crosseye.