Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Is This?

My beloved sister, Jean, is back in Austin. WooHoo!
She always brings us fun stuff she's found along her travels. One year, she brought a dried up agave leaf. It looked just like it came from a sawfish. She knows we're nature weirdos at our house. :)

Anyway, all we know is that this little something came from New Mexico. She was laying under a tree, taking a break from driving and looked up. The tree was covered in these little corkscrew looking things.

Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. My Office Assistant, Hobbes is very interested in what it is as well. Unfortunately for him, this is his first and last look at it. He tends to make mincemeat of items that come in from outside. I think he's jealous because it has been outside and he has not.


  1. Not a clue. Just Weird.

    OR--or maybe it is an alien's chicken's foot.

  2. Alien worms? Pods? Worm casings? Beware!!!


    Last page of this pdf file shows this as the "fruit" of a screwbean mesquite tree.

    Wow! I had fun finding it.

  4. P.S. Well, it has dawned on me that you might be wary of that link because you do not know me. I googled New Mexico tree ID, and found nmenvirothon/forestry (etc.). The info appears to be from a Virginia Tech site that looks like it represents lots & lots of work. Anyway, thought I'd share that much. I'm not too dangerous - just a grandma in the midwest without a google account.

  5. Pretty cool looking thing! When I first saw the thumbnail of your post, I thought for sure you had found some rare spider I'd never seen :) LOL

  6. Leenie, Alien chicken foot looks very close. :)

    MomL, keeping the alien theme going? They really do look like worm castings.

    Grandma in the MIdwest you are a girl after my own heart! I consider myself the queen of Googling and gave up after a half hour of looking. I kept typing in variations of "corkscrew and trees and New Mexico" I got lots of information on trees they use for cork.
    Thanks so much for hunting down my mystery tree!

  7. Poor Amy. I'm sorry I've been sharing too many of our creepy crawlies. I'll admit, the tiny picture does look like something of the eight-legged variety. Good news, the monarchs will be here to photograph in about 2 weeks. No more spiders.

  8. I've got an entire shelf of them. My daughter likes to shake them. They grow wild around here and in AZ from mesquite....I think they're called screw beans?

    You need a collection of Devil's Claws to add to your interesting collection, too. hehe!


  9. Way to go, Grandma in the Midwest!

    Very cool... I've not seen these before. :)

  10. Wow, who would have known it was the fruit of a screwbean tree? Pretty neato, though!