Can anyone identify mystery slime?

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After yet another wet and windy weekend, post winter depression is starting to set in.

It’s not cold or snowy, but you still can’t get out for a decent walk without coming back looking like a mud wrestler.

On Saturday morning, I managed an outing before the next depression arrived, but it was far from pleasant.

I decided it would be nice to have a walk round the Loch of the Lowes, but I was seriously mistaken.

Setting off along the hillside behind the Glen Café, the wind was blustery and the rain clouds were gathering behind the snow-capped hills.

By the track, my eye was attracted to a strange slimy substance draped over the bracken and grass.

On closer examination, I have to confess I have never seen anything like it before.

It covered an area of about a square foot and was made up primarily of a clear jelly-like substance.

Interspersed through it were several clear, short, curved tubes, a bit like macaroni and a few black lumps containing small white particles – a bit like owl pellets.

It is too early for sheep afterbirth or frog spawn and it has really got me puzzled. I would be extremely grateful if any readers could suggest what it might be and tell me if they have seen anything like it.

In the meantime, I have posted a picture on the excellent Ispot website which is great for sorting out wildlife mysteries.

I will let you know next week if I am any further forward.

Meanwhile back on the walk, there was very little else of interest to report.

Underfoot conditions along the lochside were atrocious and very slippery and just as Tibbie Shiels Inn came into sight, the rain started in earnest.

Not my most enjoyable outing.

I was impressed by the “Picture of the Week” on page 2 of last week’s paper, but as some other readers have pointed out to me by e-mail, the bird of prey was definitely not a peregrine as stated on the caption, but a sparrowhawk.

Sometimes birds of prey can be difficult to identify, but there was no sign of the peregrine’s black lobe-like stripe from beak to eye and the fact that it had killed and was eating its prey in a garden, was a sure giveaway that it was the more common sparrowhawk.

Tomorrow (Friday) sees the start of the weekly Garden Moth Survey for 2014, so this week I will have to get my moth trap cleaned out and all my related bits and pieces ready for the big day.

I look forward to my Saturday morning sessions in the shed, poring over my overnight captures, looking for that elusive rarity.

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