Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

On the chain link fence we have wild grape plants growing.   But mixed in with the grape vines is another type of vine that has pretty yellow flowers.   A very intense yellow color.   The bright sun caused the picture to make the flowers too bright.   I said that the flowers were an intense yellow but not quite this intense.
Perhaps this picture from the internet is better.
I managed to identify the vine as Bitter Melon.   What a funny name.   An orange color caught the corner of my eye.   It was a seed pod of the bitter melon vine.
What a strange looking pod with all of those bumps all over it.   Don't ask me why but it reminded me of the pods in the original version of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  
I know, too much imagination and watching too many science fiction movies.   But what do you think?   Do you think that they look at least a little bit similar?   Make me feel good and say "yes".
But that isn't all of it.   There is more.   One of the pods had broken open to reveal the seeds inside.
Inside the pod were these bright red seeds covered in sticky slimy stuff.   Why is it in sci-fi movies the giant ants or giant monster spiders are always drooling sticky slimy saliva from their mouth?   Well, the seed pod had lots of the same stuff.   Yuk!
Seeing those bright red seeds put me on the alert because in nature the color red means danger: like red fire coral, red sponges, and of course red velvet ants.
Doesn't the red velvet ant look pretty?   But the red color means danger.   What looks like an ant is actually a wingless wasp which has the largest stinger that I have ever seen in an insect.   I saw one in  South Florida once and thought that it was cute until I saw the size of the stinger.   Not something to be trifled with.   So in nature usually something that is red is best left alone.   So what about these red seeds?
I just let them lay out to dry.   I checked them in a few days and they were all gone but these three.
It looked like something had been eating on them.   And where had the other seeds gone to.   Insect fodder?
I found another seed pod and removed the seeds.
I found that the red coloring could be wiped off of the seeds with a paper towel to reveal that the seeds were actually white.   Do you see the seed in the foreground which still has some of the red stuff on it?     Pardon the pun, but could these seeds have been a sheep in wolf's clothing?   Do you see the three old seeds mixed in with the new seeds?
That is my tale of my experiences with the Bitter Melon vine.

Would you like to see something really wild and unusual?   Then you have to go back to my blog of November 26, 2011 titled   cannonball hole?
Have a nice day and feel free to make comments on the blogs and don't forget the blog about the cannonball hole.    Lew
UPDATE:   Remember all of those seeds that I had collected and cleaned?    Well, they are all gone.   Something has to be eating them.... I guess that I will have to put them into a jar with a lid to protect them.    Lew

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