Interesting Fungus, Stemonitis splendens; Chocolate Tube Slime?
Click on photos to enlarge.
I saw this fungus while on the dog walk. It's growing on an old stump and one that I've never seen before in my life. I looked it up in my mushroom book and I think it may be Stemonitis splendens; Chocolate Tube Slime. It was the only one in the book that looked vaguely similar.
I queried Stemontis splendens and found this U.C. Berkeley site which has many photos that resemble the ones I took minus the blue colored tips but bluish purple pockedmarked understructure instead. Here's another photo on the Pbase photosharing website.
My National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms states: "This common, abundant species resembles delicate, densely packed, miniature pipe cleaners, giving rise to the alternate common name, the "Pipecleaner Slime". Interesting that it's a common fungus but this is the first time I've ever seen one.