gall face

It’s blog carnival time! Hie thee over to Arboreality for Festival of the Trees 6 — Taking Root and Bearing Fruit, an exceptionally generous and well-organized link-fest. Take work off early if you have to.

I thought I’d get into the spirit of things with the above shot of an oak apple gall, made by — get this — an oak apple gall wasp. Last May, the parent wasp hijacked an oak leaf (still attached) and made it grow a brood chamber for her larvae, which eventually burst out, Alien-like, through the little holes at the front. Either that, or the holes were made by some predator going in. In any case, I was disappointed to see that my favorite invertebrate carnival, Circus of the Spineless, has been postponed for another week.

However, in scanning the list of just-published blog carnivals at, I was very pleased to discover a scholarly section of the blogosphere I had no idea about represented at the Biblical Studies Carnival. If you’re as turned on as I am by topics such as “When did Yahweh and El merge?”, “Were the Galatians already circumcised?” (a seven-part series!) and “Going Potty in Ancient Times,” then please join me in checking out this carnival. If you’re after lighter fare, though, perhaps the Carnival of Satire will be more to your liking.

If you’re a bird-lover, you probably already know about I and the Bird, but if you don’t, the latest edition (#37) offers an excellent introduction to one of the original inspirations for the Festival of the Trees.

By the way, if you’d like to help spread the word about the Festival of the Trees with a colorful badge in your sidebar, just like the one I have —

Festival of the Trees

or with a more minimalistic “antipixel” button —

Festival of the Trees

we have the code available for copying and pasting at the coordinating blog’s new Promote page.

UPDATE (3:00 p.m.): I’ve just finished reading all the posts in the Festival. I learned about a form of meditation in which people try and imitate trees; trees wrapped entirely in straw for the winter; fungi that kill animals and share the spoils with their tree partners; the amazing xylothek; a tree so toxic that the smoke from its burning wood can kill people who inhale it; and medlars that must be bletted. If you want the links, you know where to go.

7 Replies to “Carnival!”

  1. very cool! I’ve found some interesting galls.. some quite colorful. Nature never ceases to amaze me..
    and hey, thanks for the good words on my show- we’re under a winter storm warning, so just getting there is going to be a bit hairy.. but snow and all, I’m sure I’ll have fun. Thanks Dave :)

    (and I got my leetle tree badge, cool!)

  2. When the page of your blog loaded and I first saw that picture, I thought it was the mask of a Greek god, or demi god, or some such elusive creature. Cool!

  3. Thanks for the plug Dave, and for the support. The festival has been a really fun experience.

    I just love your oak apple gall face – it’s excellent! Perhaps you could place a hook through the top, and use it as an ornament?


  4. I’m overwhelmed, but will try to check out at least a little bit. Such interesting goings-on all the time that I don’t know about – thanks for spreading the word to those of us not in the know.

  5. Cindy – Hard to believe all that obstacles that circumstance keeps throwing in your path, but I’m sure you’ll make it to the art show and will be an effective missionary for wild nature. (Thanks for putting up the badge!)

    maria – I guess it’s the leaf bits on either side. To me, it looks like a cherub in one of those Victorian paintings, just head and wings.

    JLB – Good idea about the ornament; wish I’d thought of it! Any more I guess I satisfy my collecting urge just by taking photos — I hardly bring anything home.

    twitches – You’re welcome! That’s exactly the response I was hoping for. To me, the blogosphere must become more than just a glorified chat room with blogs only being read & commented upon by other bloggers in the same, small clique. We each have to keep expanding our horizons if we want to keep things from getting stale, I think.

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