26 Sep
2013
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Galls

I have spent most of the week busily report writing and have had little spare time for wildlife watching, so, today, Izzy and I are staying close to home as we search for plant galls, those amazing, abnormal growths produced by plants as a reaction to mites, parasitic wasps, fungi, bacteria or other organisms.

We follow the footpath alongside the railway and more than once the tough web of a Garden Spider catches across my face.

Before long, I realise that every single oak leaf we pass is covered in Common and Silk Button Spangle Galls. And they are not the only galls to be found – a Dog-rose is decorated with a Robin’s Pincushion and the acorns of another oak tree are covered in Knopper Galls. We continue along the road below a hedgerow containing Wild Service Trees and elms with Blister Galls on their leaves.

Nearing the pig farm, we hear the distant tune of an icecream van and Izzy becomes increasingly cross with me as I try to explain that I can not capture the sound of it in a photograph.

As we return to the village, we find Marble and Artichoke Galls on a little oak and I am amazed that we have found so many different types on our walk.

Checklist

  • Artichoke Gall (on Pedunculate Oak)
  • Blister Gall (on Elm)
  • Common Spangle Gall (On Pedunculate Oak)
  • Knopper Gall (On Pedunculate Oak)
  • Marble Gall (On Pedunculate Oak)
  • Robin’s Pincushion Gall (on Rose)
  • Silk Button Spangle Gall (on Pedunculate Oak)

Practicalities

We walked from Yeoford train station, along the railway line footpath, turned left at the road, left at the T-junction, past the pig farm, up the hill to North Down Farm then left back into Yeoford. The footpath along the railway line can be muddy and unsuitable for buggies.

Other places to see galls

So, what do you think?