In recent weeks, we've been noticing more and more leaves around the garden that look as though someone's been going around hole-punching them. And while seeing punctured foliage usually elicits a sense of concern about pests and disease, something about the smooth, skillfully-crafted shape of these holes makes them seem benign to me... artful even!
A potter wasp mama puts the final touches on her vessel-like clay nest, and lays an egg inside. These beneficial insect ceramicists are not aggressive and can help protect nearby plants from caterpillar damage. So if you see a tiny pot appear unexpectedly in your garden, you might want to leave it be!
A couple of weeks ago, Seán found a mysterious, silvery pod on the ground beside the house, about the size of a lime. It appeared to have been there for a while, as it was very light and seemed dried out. We took our guesses: was it a plant-pod? Some kind of egg sac? I thought it might be an owl-pellet, due to it's hairy outside texture, shape and size. We decided to lovingly refer to it as the “alien pod”:
There was only one thing to do in order to solve the mystery – cut it open: