Archive for September, 2016

freespiritandmindaz: Nature is so beautiful… look at this…

Sunday, September 4th, 2016


Nature is so beautiful… look at this beautiful display of the prickly rose gall. These galls are a parasitic sack formed by the cynipid wasp. The wasp, like many other parasitic insects, uses the wild rose plant as a safe haven for its offspring. They inject a substance into the plant and then lay their eggs in it, as the larva grows, so does the gall and that is what the larva uses as a food supply and as a protection sack until they are ready to join the world. You would think this type of parasitic infestation would be damaging to the host plants, but research shows that the plants are not affected by these types of infestations.

I find galls very interesting and these ones in particular are one of my favorite… the wasp that created these galls was surely an artist… it used the leaves to create the perfect bed for its children <3 here is another perfection of Nature’s artistry…

#galls #insects #parasitic #parasiticwasp #cynipidwasp #natureswonders #naturesbeauty #freespiritandmind #art #artistry #plantgeek #plantlove (at Love Nature)

Diplolepis polita is the wasp’s scientific name. These galls show up in the California wild rose (Rosa californica) at the Carpinteria salt marsh; I love showing them off to tour attendees. Russo discusses the species extensively in Field Guide to Plant Galls of California and Other Western States.

I’ve always wondered if the spines (which are flexible at first, then become brittle with age) represent the wasp repurposing the genetic code that produces the rose’s thorns.

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It’s my day to lead the docent tour at the salt marsh….

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

It’s my day to lead the docent tour at the salt marsh. Lately it’s been hit-or-miss; sometimes there are attendees, sometimes there aren’t. I hope I get at least one person. I’ve learned that’s all I need to have a fun time.

I do the tour each month and have been doing it for years, so I’ve learned which months are my favorites. September is a really good month. The chaparral mallow is still in bloom, and the coyote brush has started flowering, with the yellow male flowers out in profusion and the white female flowers beginning to do their thing.

There’s a decent high tide (5’) at 11:30, which is right around when the tour will be ending (if it happens at all). The marsh full of water is the best.

I’ll have a nice time if no one shows. But I’ll feel sad that I didn’t get to share it.

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