Monday, June 30, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Infestation!

I figure that since I'm doing this picture thing, I have to put something up here today. I can't say that I'm in the mood, really. It's a gorgeous morning here. It's one of those perfect mornings, actually. It's 70 degrees, there's a hint of a breeze. There's a lilac tree blooming in the backyard to mask the scents usually wafting off the baked hot garbage bins of my neighbors. So, the distractions of sitting outside in the shade with nothing more than a cup of coffee and the morning paper are overwhelming.

So, here's a picture for your Monday:

Freakin' Aliens!

This is one of the many leaves on my maple tree.

It's a nice, earthy green. There are some drops on it from the recent rain. It is, in fact...

What's that? The pointy, little, flesh-colored tongues sticking up?

Well, that's called "spindle gall." It's freakin' creepy, and the result of some sort of damned parasite that, several years ago, found its way to my tree to, thankfully, do nothing more harmful than ugly it up.

The spindle gall is an odd thing, I'm learning. They can spread from tree to tree, but only on this kind of maple and not, say, my neighbor's red maple that's only about fifteen feet away. His is perfectly lush and healthy while mine is lush, healthy and thorny. My maple tree has gone goth, and I can only imagine the conversations those two trees are having.

"Why must you look like that?"
"Dude! You'll never understand my art!"

All-in-all, though, it's just nature doing nature things, and I really can't complain too much. There are ways to combat the gall of the galls, but it requires smearing myself in the blood of a freshly slaughtered chicken and some slick voodoo chanting while spraying toxic, insanely lethal chemicals at midnight during the third full moon of the year, and I just can't be bothered with all that.

So, my tree will remain spikey, and I don't mind. After all, fleshy thorns or not, it still does its job of blocking out the streetlight.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 6/30/2008 09:42:00 AM

1 comment:

  1. I guess it's too late to obtain a resistant maple (one of their recommendations).  That is rather interesting, and something I've not seen previously.  Oh, the little ball types, sure, but not these.

    Enjoy your great weather scented day.........  I love lilacs.