Thursday, April 16, 2009

mistletoe and depression, both parasitic

Birds enjoy eating the fruit of the mistletoe plant. These fruits contain the mistletoe's seed encased in very sticky flesh. Once a bird has had at it, the seed can take one of two routes.

If ingested by the bird, the seed will pass through undigested and emerge still coated with its sticky outer covering. If the mistletoe is very lucky, the unctuous mass will land on the branch of a host tree.

Alternately: a bird finishes his messy snack, and stops to strop his sticky beak across a branch, leaving the seeds pasted in place.

Either way, there the seed begins its business, anchoring itself to its new host, over time forming a graft like the one pictured below.

This particular mistletoe's leaf greatly resembles the gum (eucalypt) tree it was residing in. We might have let it be, except that it had grown low enough to block the view of traffic when exiting our driveway, so... bummer.

Although Im sure the gum tree doesnt mind.

I want to make a joke about how mistletoe can be like depression, something along the lines of:

A little crap falls on you, and SNAP! Youve got psychic parasites!

Obviously the joke needs more work, still, Im sure you get my point. Be good to yourselves till next post!


sandy said...

Enjoyed the post and photo and I'll be back to catch up.

BetteJo said...

The only interesting thing happening in my yard - is watching the squirrel who lives in our birdhouse chase other squirrels away. Snore ..

As far as parasites are concerned, they are rarely good for the host. Damn!

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

That was hilarious :)

Forehead Stamp

kj said...

lavender,would you mind walking over here so i can give you a hug and a little smooch?