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John P. has a PATREON. / King-Cat 82 is OUT.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Just a few mysteries the boundless universe has thrown my way recently:

I spotted this gelatinous green ball in March, at Highbanks Metro Park, Lewis Center, Ohio.  What is it?

You'd think this unique looking flower, photographed May 11 at Big Hill Park in Beloit, Wisconsin, would be easy to identify.  But it's not.  It's the only specimen of its kind I've seen.  Can you help?

I was on the park bench at Beckman Mill, watching the sun set with my pal Charlie the Chipmunk, when I noticed this little black beetle sucking blood out of my left hand.  I brushed it away, and the next day this reddish rash developed.  Now, a week later, it's turned a delightful raspberry color.  It doesn't hurt or itch, what in the wide wide world of sports is goin' on here???


  1. The flowers look a little like the flowers of a hobblebush, but the leaves are different. It's very pretty, whatever it is. And I'm pretty sure the gelatinous ball is raw soylent green dough. (It's people!) - Laura S.

  2. Huh. I figured the flower was some kind of hydrangea. It looks a bit like an oakleaf but has the flowers of a lacecap... so it didn't look quite right. In fact, though, I think it's viburnum trilobum, an apparently very pretty native shrub that I'd never heard of. Thanks, I learned something!

  3. Thanks guys, yes it looks like it's Viburnum trilobum (American Highbush Cranberry), just a baby. They grow to be 10'-15' tall, this one was about 12".

  4. Hi John, I just discovered that you are one of my own blog followers. Thanks for signing up. I shall return the favor. Your friend Matt is correct about the Highbush Cranberry, a viburnum with a new name, now called V. opulus var. americanum. That green ball is an oak gall that will later turn brown and hollow. I forget what insect causes it, but if you google "oak galls" you will probably find it, since it's very common. Oaks have more galls of different kinds than any other plant I know of.

  5. Thank you for the Oak Gall info-- I found this great article about them, which curious readers will want to check out:


    Meanwhile, I'm beginning to think my "little black beetle" was a biting midge, which somehow I've never had the pleasure of meeting up till now.

  6. so was the green ball a fruit? I saw a plant that looked like it was in the mint family that had (I kid you not!) spring loaded seeds! my 84 year old Neighbor who is a big time gardener offered that it is proof of intelligent design. He is a retired pastor, so he is inclined towards that. I do think if I was given infinite time and all the elements I would still need a really good manual to make a plant.

  7. Green ball was an oak gall, see link above.

    Spring loaded seeds make me think it was Spotted Touch-Me-Not?



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