#66 Slime Mold Maze

#66 - Slime Mold Maze - The idea for this maze started when I noticed a bright patch of yellow/orange as I walked across the bridge from the cottage to the little yurt.  Lying on the ground in the dead leaves was a chunk of tree branch that had fallen a couple seasons ago.  It was covered in the bright fruiting bodies of a slime mold.

I believe this is of the species commonly known as "Dog Vomit", Fuligo septica.

I got down on my hands and knees to take dozens of photos.  With those as a source, I cobbled together a scene and drawing plan for this wonderful maze.

This maze took just under two months to draw.  I used several variants of a spiral to draw the ends of the pendulous fruiting bodies.  The zigzagging paths define the shape of the cones as well as the pulsing exploratory channels that the slime mold uses to explore its environment.

Interestingly, during the time that was drawing this, slime molds came into the news in Wired Magazine .  It seems that slime molds' growth pattern makes it adept at solving mazes.  Well, I've turned that on its non-existent head: sometimes the slime mold solves mazes, sometimes the slime mold is the maze.