Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Help Me Solve A Mystery

The other day when we were taking Holly for a walk, I found these strange things laying in the road.

There were several together in close proximity, but I've never seen anything like them before.

I'm thinking it's probably something that fell from a tree, but looking up I couldn't see anything like it on any of the overhead branches.

The middle is some sort of woody layer. The outside "prickery looking" kind of reminded me of deer fur. It was stiff, but not sharp like thistles (even though it looks sharp). The inside was short and soft too -- almost like velvet.

Have you ever seen anything like this before? I would have "googled" it, but I had no idea of how to begin describing such a thing for a google search. Please help me solve this mystery!

18 comments:

Richard said...

I can see where "Woody, Prickly, Deer Fur Things" might just confuse Google. Haven't a clue.

Mama Pea said...

Very, very weird, Ruthie! Kinda creepy, too, if you ask me. Animal, vegetable or mineral??

Sparkless said...

I'm going to take a guess and say it's something that falls off deer or elk antlers when they molt?

Guinifer said...

I was born a smart alec. The first thing that came to my mind was, "Umm. Well, that's a quarter...."

RuthieJ said...

You got that right Richard!

Mama Pea, I'm thinking probably vegetable.....

Sparkless, it didn't seem like something that was once part of living organism, but that's a possibility too.....

Yes Guinifer, you are correct indeed! ;-)

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I have absolutely no idea! Why don't you sent the pix off too Julie Zickefoose?

KGMom said...

It does sound like something for the Science Chimp.
I will check back to see if the mystery is solved.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Chinese Chestnut seed hull! Eee! Eeee! Eeeee!

Julie Zickefoose said...

But could also be American chestnut. I'm trying to find out which one has the fur inside. I'm thinking it's the American. Anyway, that's a start. ee. ee. ee.

Marianne, aka Ranger Anna said...

I'm thinking Chinese Chestnut--the American Chestnut is smooth inside.

RuthieJ said...

That's what I did Lynne & Donna -- Science Chimp solves another mystery!

Thank you Science Chimp!! I didn't even know there was a Chinese Chestnut, but checked further and found that yes, indeed, it is a zone 4 tree even. I bet squirtles in our neighborhood have been feasting regularly on these nuts and that explains why pieces of hull were laying all over the road.

Thanks for your confirmation Ranger Anna!

Meggie said...

So glad the mystery was solved. I've never seen anything like it.

Gaelyn said...

That's some wild looking seed pod. But don't have any kind of Chestnuts around here. Thanks Science Chimp.

mon@rch said...

Hmm, I will have to go find an American Chestnut Hull tomorrow. Never really worked with Chinese Chestnuts . . . but will compare my known american's to this one. Hey, any chance you can pick up a down leaf?

Dave @ Around Anchorage, Alaska said...

No Chestnuts here either, so I had no clue. Strange how we pick things up when we're walking and don't have a clue to what they are. :)

RuthieJ said...

Me too Meggie! Mother Nature always has some surprises for us!

You got that right Gaelyn!

Tom, I'll keep my eyes open for chestnut trees the next time I'm down that way -- hopefully there are still some leaves left somewhere.

Dave, I'm glad I picked this up and posted it on the blog. It's always nice to learn something new!

Fearless Farmgirl said...

It's highly unlikely that they are American Chestnut. That particular tree is practically extinct due to the lovely chestnut blight that ripped through the US many years ago, brought in by the Chinese Chestnut trees being imported.

They have been hybridizing the trees though and there may be some American chestnut still out there but.....

RuthieJ said...

Thanks for the info. Fearless Farmgirl. I have a chestnut tree planted in my backyard, but I don't know for sure what kind it is and it's still small and hasn't produced any nuts yet. I'll have to do some checking to ID it next spring (when the leaves grow back again).