Nature Blog Network

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

All Out of Gall Puns

(Maybe I could start spelling it Gaul and making France puns? But it's not that important.) Anyhow...

I really didn't think I'd be able to find the insect inside these woolly oak galls that grow on the underside of the leaves. They are, after all, quite small, and consist mostly of fuzz. Beneath the fuzz is a hard kernel about the size of a sesame seed... and I managed to cut into it and find the larva inside (it's small and whitish, see it?). I should have been a surgeon.

These galls turn into wasps, I believe.
And speaking of oak trees, why are they so awesome? Among other things, check out these branches. They're twisty, gnarled, craggy, crooked, knotted, like the bony, arthritic fingers of a crippled old woman. I mean, look at those shapes!

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