Oddities of Nature

Recently while out and about I have seen this oddity quite a lot. On a few trees I have seen red nodules growing on the leaves. The first time I saw them, I thought they were just parts of a flower that may have fallen or been blown by the wind. One day I looked a little closer and saw that these were in fact growths on the leaves. Of course I thought these would be great for some macro action. The next time I saw them on a leaf I whipped out my camera prepared with extension tubes.

Gall On Leaf-2

ISO 1250 50mm f2.8 1/125 Edited in Lightroom

The day was overcast and the light was quite weak and I didn’t have my tripod, although a tripod wouldn’t really work for these shots. To compensate I had to pump up the ISO and in some cases stop the lens nearly right down.

Gall On Leaf-1

ISO1250 50mm f2.8 1/160 Edited In Lightroom

What are these red of growths?  They are called Galls and are caused by parasites, with different parasites creating Galls in different shapes and sizes. For example, Oak apple Galls are caused by wasps who inject their eggs into the branches of the tree and then tree then grows a hard protective layer around the eggs forming a ball.
These Galls though are not caused by wasps but caused by mites. This doesn’t mean the tree is dying, just that the tree is trying to protect itself. You can read some more about Galls here.

Gall On Leaf-3

ISO 500 50mm f8.0 1/8 Edited in Lightroom

Nature takes advantage of nature and on one leaf while photographing the Galls noticed the dried corpse of a fly trapped in a spider’s web. I took the leaf from the tree and set it down on a bench to be able to have a longer exposure and see if I can get more light on the leaf being out of the shade of the tree.

Gall On Leaf-4

ISO500 50mm f/8.0 1/10 Edited in Lightroom

Wherever there are spider webs there has to be spiders. To give an idea of size the Galls are about a centimetre and a half in height and half a centimetre in diameter making this spider an Incy Wincy Spider.

Have you see any peculiar things in nature before? Let me know and link images you may have in the comment box below.

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