Wednesday, April 08, 2009

What is it?

These seed pods must have blown into our yard during the windy weather we've been having. They don't come from any of our trees and I don't recognize them. We first thought they were mushrooms, but then turned them over, saw the little stem and leaf, and realized they weren't attached the the ground. Zack broke one open and it's filled with tiny, dandelion-like seed fluff. I don't know how easy the scale is to discern here, but they are a little bigger than golf balls. They are also surprisingly light.

Now that I've been thinking about Vintage Chica's Summer Unschooling Project, I've started thinking we should pursue these little mysteries. Unschooling is the idea that kids (and everyone?) learn best by pursuing interests in a more natural way. It's learning, but without traditional schooling methods. It is a type of homeschooling but Vintage Chica is working on it as a "summer school", a method of exploring and learning through the summer with her children (who attend public school). [There is a lot of unschooling information around. I hope I've represented it correctly, being new to the concept. But there are links on the site I mentioned above if you want to understand it better than I could explain it. I guess that was a disclaimer.]

Maybe we'll be able to track down what these are - hey, we might learn something!
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  1. Deanna, I could be wrong, but I believe those are from an insect stinging the branch of a tree/bush. They sting it, and then sometimes lay eggs in it to be a nursery for their little bugs. I believe mostly wasps do this. Oak trees will drop balls similar to these, but they're harder and about the size of a shooter marble. It doesn't harm the tree, but It does grow from the tree in response to being stung. I could also be waaaay off on this, but I think that's what those are. Let me know if you find out otherwise!

  2. You are so right! I'll post an update with some info soon. Thank you!