Western Galls and Squalls, but no Gulls with Gals.

Or –

The Walk we Took to Find a Bug – but Found a Cool Fungi with the Same Name Instead. . .

We interrupt our report to sing a song. . . . .

So sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a cabin fevered crew, that started from this Northwestern Port, aboard a faithful Subaru Go Cart.  Aboard our Faithful Subaru Go Cart. The leader was a mighty nature lover, the puppy brave and true, 4 passengers hit the road that day for a 1 hour beach walk, a 1 hour beach walk. . . .

Our Journey started on the first of January – when our faithful Nature Science director thought it would be fun to send us to find a bug we have never heard of before – and promise that it would fit in the Outdoor Hour Challenge guidelines – that you could find it in your back yard – or nearby park.  Which bug you ask?  A Gall.

I saw pictures on her website, Handbook of Nature Study , and I was encouraged by my favorite Science Teacher on her Oregon lovin’ Website Academia Celestia , so today – my cabin fevered crew set out to find one here.  We started with an internet look up – and found that Galls are common on the Oregon Coast, in Shore Pines – so it only made sense – to Head to the Beach! [edit for clarification – the Gall is the round ball, different insects, parasites, and fungi create them in trees for their homes, most popular – Wasp]

Once we knew what we were looking for – We found them right away, and in abundance:




Singing again:  The Weather started getting rough, we could see it comin’ fast, we ducked in the trees for the hail and then we ran to the covering fast, we ran to the covering fast!

Wait – are we studying Galls? Or Squalls? I’m confused . . . . This is what you Don’t want to see at the beach, those down streaming cloud parts were DARK grey and headed to the beach fast!




So we took some time to look at our collected galls. At this time, we were thinking that an insect had come to make a dwelling, and we wanted to smash them open to see what was inside.



This morning I spent some time looking at the websites from yesterday – and found out that the Western Gall Rust is actually a Fungi, not a critter bug/insect. The websites below talk about the actual Gall which is the same object we were supposed to be looking for – as created by other invading insects, our just happens to be created by Fungi! (By the Way – the Gulls or Gals part – was how long it took to explain to the boys we were looking for Galls, as in Squalls, and not Gulls as in Flying Beach Rats. When I did the look up yesterday for Galls, I left out an L and found a lot of really cute pictures of Western Gals. Fun. But Not for the Boys to look for right now. . . . )

a rust disease that produces conspicuous, perennial, globose galls on the stems of hard pinesnote 1. eastern gall rust (also called pine-oak gall rust) is caused by Cronartium quercuum which is closely related to fusiform rust (a disease caused by Cronartium quercuum that forms spindle-shaped galls on the main stem and branches of two- and three-needled pines —note 1. fusiform rust is common in the South —note 2. the pathogen is a macrocyclic, heteroecious rust with Pinus and Quercus hosts) and is heteroecious on jack pine (Pinus banksiana), oak (Quercus), and chinquapin (Castanopsis) hosts —note 2. western gall rust (also called pine-pine gall rust) is caused by Entocronartium harkenssii, which is autoecious (a type of life cycle in rust fungi in which all stages occur on one host) on hard pines, including jack pine” – Dictionary of Forestry

Angie’s Dictionary – A globe that is created by a fungi that has a two year life cycle and can spend it’s time on one host, instead of alternating hosts and is all over our Western Shore Pines – and is really cool.”

2554230385_267cdef370_mNow this is the tale of the Nature Crew, they’re here for a long, long time, they’ll have to make the best of things, it’s an uphill outdoor climb. The OHC and Pebblekeeper, will do their very best, to make the readers comfortable, in the NW Coastal nest. No 3G, no Umbrellas, no fancy cars, not a single luxury, like Robinson Crusoe, as primitive as can be. So join us here each week my friends, you’re sure to get a smile, from 3 stranded Nature Lovers, here on the “Outdoor Hour Isle.”

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
This entry was posted in Outoor Hour Challenge, Some Schooling and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Western Galls and Squalls, but no Gulls with Gals.

  1. I loved your gall post. I only learned what galls were through this month’s study. So exciting. I plan to collect some for the kids to examine.

  2. Makita says:

    Awesome as always! 🙂

  3. zonnah says:

    Loved the song, so creative.

  4. Simply Taunya says:

    Angie, that is so amazing! I love it. I’ve never heard of a gall before. And you’re not going to start telling me their actual name is. I’m still recovering from the sea gulls.

  5. I am still chuckling…love it! You always do such great work on digging up something interesting. That was a rain storm! Man you are dedicated to your family nature study….huddled underneath the shelter with your galls. 🙂

    Thank you for the additional info on galls of all sorts in your part of the world.

  6. Diana says:

    Fabulous entry! Love your humor. I need to update my blog with last week’s nature work, and my son needs to get over his cold so we can get out there again this Friday! 🙂

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