I went down to Mom’s last night to read (we’re still reading Edward Rutherfurd’s NEW YORK–we’ll probably be reading it for the next five years; it’s longer than HARRY POTTER AND THE FILL IN THE BLANK) and saw this. I thought it was just dead bits that had fallen and caught on the branches, but it looked very artistic, so I took a snap.

Then I was like, “That isn’t stuff caught on the branches–it’s only on the tips.” So I went closer.

So what IS this stuff? It looks slimy and feels squidgy, like one of those rubbery toys kids love to hold onto a bit of and bounce around until the bit rips off.

Yes, I touched it and no, I didn’t taste it. There are some things even I won’t eat. Unless I know for a fact it isn’t poisonous.

Apparently, the squidgy bits dry up and either fall off or melt into air–into thin air and, like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind.

Well, maybe a little rack. What’s left is this ominous-looking remnant.

I called the local Purdue Extension Agent and got an email address and sent in pictures. The woman who spoke to me said she’d seen it before, based on my description, but I’m sending pictures to make sure I can identify it.

And city people think life in the country is boring.

MA

writing prompt: If your main character saw one of these things, would he/she a)cook it and eat it  b)paint it  c)send it to a friend  d)send it to an enemy  e)name it and try to keep it for a pet?

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