I noticed these wonderful woodpile inhabitants while moving some firewood into a stack last month. Now I'm burning the wood to heat the house. So I'm posting a quick overview of these members of my woodpile's ecosystem.
On one of the pieces of wood ...
...was a forest of blue lollipop trees.Actually, these are extremely small spore-bearing structures (stalked sporangia) of a slime mold.
The photo below shows what they looked like the next day.
On another log...
These orange-colored sporangia weathered a frosty night...hence the flattened, sour-cherry look. I should have taken the photos sooner.
Interestingly, when I was looking at the photos, I noticed I missed seeing a whole village of insect larvae on the Phlebia. Here is a close up... I counted about two dozen larvae (clear-colored), a few pill bug droppings, and one very small beetle in this frame.
I fetched my hand lens to observe this globular springtail.
While "chasing" the globular springtail, I noticed a variety of colorful fungal growths. The mixture of colors and textures reminded me of snorkeling on a coral reef.
An iridescent glitter caught my eye. This humpback, iridescent springtail came by, but wouldn't hold still for its picture.
Pill bugs (Armadillidium) were abundant as well.
Below the firewood in the moist ground were a masses of snail or slug eggs.
Hanging underneath a piece of wood in a sheltered spot was this tussock moth or tiger moth cocoon. It is covered in the caterpillar's hair
Okay, so maybe that was more like a dozen wonders from the woodpile...and there were plenty more!
But hey, I was stacking wood and couldn't get too side-tracked.
Hopefully, I can post more details on some of these woodpile wonders another time.