It amazes me how so many natural sightings are time sensitive. Just the week before, Ken mentioned a distinctive slime mold (which is not a fungus btw) called wolf's milk. Then, Cindy also included some nice pictures in a recent blog post. Fun name, no? So, when I found these, I knew exactly what they were. I've only ever seen the creeping plasmodium of other slime molds before, not the aethalia (aka sporangia stage) like these pink balls are. I squeezed a couple, and sure enough, pink milk squirted out, reminding me of Pepto-Bismol. Oft-repeated descriptions of the milk being a thicker consistency of toothpaste was not my experience. These aethalia were probably too young to be thick. They're like pea-sized pink paintball pellets (apologies for the excessive alliteration). Apparently, our wolf's milk don't know they're only supposed to be out June-November, yet another oft-repeated statement that doesn't match my encounter.
It wasn't until I got home and looked at my pictures of the wolf's milk that I noticed the tiny grey disc clusters. I probably should start carrying my reading glasses wherever I go (ugh, one more thing to haul around). I thought I'd never get an ID on them, but a couple days later during my blog reading, I found Skev's B.L.O.G. had posted Mollisia cinerea from across the pond. Oooh, a lead. I'm not sure if what we have in CA is the same found in the UK, especially considering there are several grey-colored Mollisia spp.