Friday, December 25, 2015

Scary Apples!

On the first Ned-less walk of the season, Jane took some photos to try out her new phone-camera lens, including this one we staged.

Photo by Jane Gellman 12/2/2015

I showed the Fantastic Four (Lyn, Fred, Bob, and Marty) this scary fruit on the 2nd walk, too; and staged another shot for Bob.

Photo by Bob Wenrick 12/9/2015

What is this bizarre-looking thing? I'm so glad you asked. It's the dried fruit of Balsam Apple (Echinopepon wrightii) (Echinopepon = from Greek echinos = spiny, prickly; pepon = large melon). Click the link to see photos of the tiny flowers and green fruits of this plant. There's still a seed in the left section in Bob's photo. On the right side in Jane's.

We first noticed this plant last year in the riparian area above the dam, and this year it has spread to several other areas. Good thing it's a native! I think the dried fruits look like little hedgehogs. Or maybe frightened porcupines!

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