Sunday, August 15, 2021

Whale Burps

Here's another look at one of the natural world's curiosities (I posted about these oddities previously

Naturalists aren't 100% sure how these form and exactly what they are, but they seem to be vegetative fragments that get caught together in a repetitive swirl that somehow fuse together into a ball shape. They are sometimes whimsically referred to as whale burps, which really appeals to me! We've been finding a lot of them in our lake as we survey for invasive plants from our kayaks, or while snorkeling.

One of these looks a lot like a root ball, as if the roots of a fern have washed into the water. As you can see, each of these looks a little different, structurally and texturally. Nature is just fascinating!

We placed one on our boardwalk to display it, but kept finding it displaced each day we strolled past. We returned it to our chosen spot each time, until one day we found it totally shredded apart. There were just clumps of dry, loose pine needles as evidence - there was nothing to show what had kept it cohesively together.

And then, one left near the water got 'investigated' ... maybe they should be returned to the lake, where they're safe, or can at least remain intact.