Small Mysteries

by Carl Strang

Even when distracted the mind notices, finds questions.

Some remain intractable. Why has Culver, Indiana, become turkey vulture central?

Vultures roosting at the Culver town park on a morning last week.

Vultures roosting at the Culver town park on a morning last week.

There have been times in the past decade when 30 or more vultures circled above that part of the town.

Other mysteries are more easily resolved. Back at Mayslake Forest Preserve this week, I noticed a polyphemus moth cocoon on a small tree.

The oval shape, pale color, and loose attachment to a twig are distinctive.

The oval shape, pale color, and loose attachment to a twig are distinctive.

There has been no sign of this large species on the preserve in the years I have been there. But this tree was planted just last year, and checking my notes I found that it was installed in November. Obviously the cocoon had formed in the nursery.

On another day I was startled to see a red cedar decked out in structures like Christmas tree ornaments.

These are the spore-producing structures of the cedar-apple rust, which cycles between the cedars and apples or crab trees, and can impair both host species.

These are the spore-producing structures of the cedar-apple rust, which cycles between the cedars and apples or crab trees, and can impair both host species.

It seems the cool, wet weather promoted the rust’s development on that tree.

A questioning attitude becomes reflexive when one practices inquiry and spends time out-of-doors.

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. Aileen said,

    May 2, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Where do i find more info on this and how do I treat it. What is it called. Rust Spores?

    • natureinquiries said,

      May 3, 2016 at 5:51 am

      You can find more information by doing a search on “cedar apple rust.” My quick read of some of that material suggests that all you can do on the cedars is remove the galls as they appear. The photo in the blog post shows the spore-disseminating form. There is another form that is more ball-shaped and gray or brown in color. Mentions of fungicide seem to refer strictly to apple trees, which are the other host in the fungus’ life cycle.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: