Tree pods

I’ve been on the road a bit lately, researching for a book.  It means I get to use my cute little tent, camping in new places. I do like the freedom of being able to stop as and where I like — affordably.

My first night was spent at Coolah, where for $7 I got a great camp site, access to a campers’ kitchen and clean amenities with hot showers. Plus the shade of a beautiful spreading tree, which was very welcome as I sweated and struggled to erect the tent in the late afternoon.

Camp set up, glass of wine in hand, I began to look more closely at my surroundings.

There were willows by the creek, and cows — and a bull — in the adjacent paddock, separated from me by a single wire that I assumed was electrified.

I don’t have much knowledge of introduced trees, and was wondering if the beauty under which I sat was an elm, when I noticed some seed pods suspended within reach. Might be nice to grow a tree like this at home!

They seemed to be the only ones on the tree; luckily I refrained from picking one long enough to realise they were not seeds. Like Indian clubs, these smooth creations were hanging from a criss-cross of spider webs.  I could just see the spider’s legs protruding from its dry leaf shelter (circled).

Once home, my I.D. attempts tell me this is a Bolas spider. The egg sacs are described as being like spindles, but the photos show them to be as rounded as these. Given that the egg sacs were about 50mm long, I was surprised to read that the spider is small — the female is 12mm and the male 2mm!

If you want to identify that spider, the Findaspider website is the place to visit.

6 thoughts on “Tree pods”

  1. Hi Carly,
    Glad you’re enjoying the ‘walk in my gumboots’ via my book. The new one is taking me off the mountain more than I like!

  2. I’ve never seen anything like those before! Nature is always full of surprises, I guess.
    Care to share any info on the new book Sharyn? Haha. I’ve already started reading The Woman On The Mountain – fantastic!

  3. Hi Gaye,
    Unfortunately it tends to be one-night camps with all the joys of early starts and damp tents! But yes, I like Coolah too.

  4. Hello Sharyn,

    very interesting spidery egg-sacs, indeed!

    I envy you off camping. I have enjoyed camping at Coolah many years ago, and over that fence was a couple of friendly horses that delighted my small children.

    I travelled through Coolah 2 weeks ago, and the countryside is so beautifully green and attractive.


  5. I haven’t done it much lately either Catherine– but then having lived in a tent here in the early days for 15 months with two small kids– I had my best time then!

  6. They really do look just like seeds. I can only imagine how surprised you would have been if you had picked one! Gosh it’s been a long time since I’ve been camping. I am very envious.

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