Hickory explained to me that this day is another special feature on The Squirrel Nutwork, the guess a mystery day. I’ve given this one a lot of thought and picked something that is not found only on the Eastern Shore, but all over the eastern United States.
So, you make guesses and I’ll give the answer sometime late in the day.
This odd plant is Mistletoe, and as you should be able to tell from the swollen limb of this tree, it’s not helping the tree one bit.
Mistletoe is a parasite, feeding off the nutrients of the host tree. It doesn’t usually kill the tree, because of course the mistletoe would die as well. Those leaves you see? They aren’t doing a whole lot of photosynthesis for the plant, just a little to make ends meet.
More often mistletoe is so high in the branches all you see is it’s ball of leaves when the tree has none.
Thank you, Hickory, for inviting me and thank you human readers for not dropping this blog because someone new came along to write about someplace different for a week. I hope you learned about a different squirrel and may come out to see me at the refuge.