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My slimeball mystery

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Jody Bourton Jody Bourton | 10:13 UK time, Monday, 20 October 2008

Things are hotting up here as we get ready for the new series of Autumnwatch - and I can't wait.

This year, presenter Simon King will be witnessing some truly amazing autumn spectacles and trying to unravel some great wildlife mysteries. Expect small ninja deer in surprising places and a gargantuan conger eel plus a few surprises in between.

In the mean time, I seem to have stumbled across a mystery of my own - which I'm hoping you might be able to help solve.


While out strolling last week I noticed a strange glob of goo underneath a tree in the side of a wooded valley. It was about the size of a golf ball and see-through. It wasn't the only example either, with quite a few other gooey goblets scattered around the place.

So what on earth could it be?

Well, according to my friend Brett Westwood, presenter of Radio 4's World on the Move and general wildlife guru, it could be a pretty strange find indeed.

Brett reckons it looks like something the Welsh used to call 'powdr ser' or star-slime.

"Medieval people thought it was the remains of fallen stars," he said.

"In fact, it's actually the oviducts of frogs which have been eaten by a predator, a polecat or mink maybe. There are some very odd algae and slime moulds to be had - but this does look like 'star-slime' to me."

I've also put the question to some other knowledgeable nature folk who thought it may be too early for frogs. The Wildlife Trust agreed that it was an odd time of year although frogs have been spotted in parts of Gloucestershire, Hereford and Powys.

So over to you. Any ideas at all about the glob of goo?

In fact, it would be good to hear about any of your weird or wacky wildlife sightings - especially with Halloween coming up. So, if you've spotted any strange or spooky goings on, drop us a line using the comment form below.

In the meantime you can listen to a clip from the Out of Doors programme on BBC Radio Scotland. They've been inundated over the past few weeks by listeners sharing their pictures and stories of a mysterious jelly like substance. It became more complicated and intriguing after listener Ronnie Leask told them about a journey he made in 2004 with geologist Bill Baird. Presenter Euan McIlwraith managed to track down Bill, and a fascinating story...

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