A Lot of Gall / Bluffs: November 30, 2018

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Pine Cone Willow Gall

These growths, which resemble pine cones, are often found on willows.

Pine Cone Willow Galls

Galls develop during the growing season and are typically found in the terminal buds of willows.

Pine Cone Willow Galls

Here is a terminal bud without a gall:

Galls provide food and shelter for the organisms living within them.

Pine Cone Willow Galls

A gall midge (Rhabdophaga strobiloides) causes the willow bud to develop abnormally.

The growth that we see on some willows is called “pine cone willow gall” and is the temporary home and food supply of the midge.


At certain times of the year, there are countless midges in the air at places like Col Sam Smith Park.

Midges caught in spider web

Salix eriocephala, which is commonly called Heart-leaved Willow or Missouri Willow, is always laden with galls and can be identified by this characteristic.

Pine Cone Willow Gall

Here is the interior of a gall:

Pine Cone Willow Gall

Some views of the Bluffs on this 0 degree morning with light snow falling:

There were few birds except in the duck pond and at the feeding rock:

American Black Duck

Herring Gull

Trumpeter Swan

feet of Trumpeter Swan

Dark-eyed Junco (male)

Song Sparrow

Downy Woodpecker (male)

Northern Cardinal (male)

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

Species list: trumpeter swan, Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, bufflehead, long-tailed duck, herring gull, ring-billed gull, mourning dove, rock pigeon, downy woodpecker, blue jay, American crow, common raven,  white-breasted nuthatch, black-capped chickadee, house sparrow, northern cardinal, house sparrow, dark-eyed junco, American tree sparrow, song sparrow (22 species)
Miles Hearn
                                               NATURE POETRY
In the cloud-grey mornings
I heard the herons flying;
And when I came into my garden,
My silken outer-garment
Trailed over withered leaves.
A dried leaf crumbles at a touch,
But I have seen many Autumns
With herons blowing like smoke
Across the sky.
  – Amy Lowell (1874–1925)



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