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Mystery Photo Submissions

Mystery Photo

12-16-12  mystery photo - yellow birch tree photo (15)Do you know what caused the delicate black etching in this yellow birch?


Mystery Photo

Do you know what plant produced these fruits?  All guesses welcome.  Tomorrow’s blog will tell you the answer!


Mystery Photo

Today’s Mystery Photo was submitted by Phyllis Katz, of Norwich, Vermont.   Do you know what the whitish part of the photograph is?  It appeared overnight in her garden and it measures roughly 12” by 6”.  Identification will be revealed tomorrow.  All guesses welcome!


Mystery Photo

The subject of today’s Mystery Photo was submitted by Jeannie Killam of Barnard, Vermont.  It is approximately 1″ long, and 1/2″ in diameter.  Its identity will be revealed tomorrow — all guesses welcome!


Skunk Cabbage Fruits

After the flowers of Skunk Cabbage, located on the knob (spadix) sitting inside a modified leaf (spathe), have been pollinated and fertilized, the fruits begin to mature. The spathe withers and dies, and the stalk that carries the fruit head elongates, growing along the surface of the ground. Initially the fruit head is green and dark purple, measures 2-3” in diameter, and has a convoluted exterior resembling that of a brain. Inside this compound fruit a circle of 10 to 14 seeds lines the periphery. By August the fruit heads will have fallen apart, and the seeds will lay on the ground where they will likely germinate or be eaten by squirrels, ruffed grouse or wood ducks. (Congratulations Liz, Josh and Deb on correctly identifying yesterday’s Mystery Photo!)


Mystery Photo

Today’s post was submitted by Thomas Hodgson of Martha’s Vineyard. Tomorrow’s post will identify it; meanwhile, guess away!


Leafcutter Bee Cell

Congratulations to those who recognized yesterday’s Mystery Photo!  The tiny green cells are made from the leaves of almost any deciduous trees, and are cut and folded by leafcutter bees (Megachile genus). These solitary bees are about the size of a honeybee, but are much darker, almost black. They construct cigar-like nests (often in soil, holes in wood made by other insects, or plant stems) that contain several cells. After gathering and storing a ball, or loaf, of pollen inside the cell, the bee lays an egg and seals the cell shut. When the egg hatches, the larval bee feeds on the pollen and eventually spins a cocoon and pupates within it. An adult bee emerges from the cocoon and usually overwinters inside the cell. In the spring the bee chews its way out of the cell. Leafcutter bees pollinate wildflowers, fruits and vegetables and are also used as pollinators by commercial growers of blueberries, onions, carrots and alfalfa. (Photo submitted by Jan Gendreau.)


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