Fall White Oaks Leaves

These natural floral oak leaf formations drop onto my yard every late summer and early fall. I am struck by their form and how naturally beautiful they are. No one could tell me what they were. So I am using them in floral arrangements on my tables and wreaths and such.

I decided I needed to study what they actually were and how they were formed: I mighta, shoulda done this first before I fell in love with them. So here is the story:

Oak Apple Galls

These are large (1- to 2-inch diameter) rounded growths that are filled with a spongy mass. A single wasp larva is located in a hard seed-like cell in the center. Galls are usually found on the petioles or midribs of leaves. They will dry to a brown, paper thin wall. Removing and destroying galls before they dry and wasps emerge from a hole may help to reduce the infestation. While large and spectacular, they cause no measurable harm.

So all this time I have been making arrangements and pretty gifts with WasPs in them. Ugh! But they'er so cooool.

I guess this is a gentle reminder that all that glitters is not gold. Check your gold for wasps before bringing them into the house or giving them as gifts. There has to be a deeper lesson here somewhere...My word, you'd think I'd learn after all these years.

I still see them as natures art. And cool. I just check for any stingy thing which  might reside inside before giving it to a friend. A not so good a friend, maybe not...Oh all right. I will AllWays check  for resident creatures if I must. Picky, picky, picky you all are. Love ya anyway.

Still think they're cool.