12 September 2010

Take That, Cancer!



So today was the Race for the Cure, and I did pretty well. I finished in 28:47, which put me in 181st place overall and 23rd out of 31 in my age division. Considering I've been running for less than 6 months and this was the first actual race I've ever been in, I'd say that's a decent showing.

Thanks to everyone who donated! Maybe if governments spent the kind of money on good medical research that they do on wars, organizations like this wouldn't have to ask for donations. Until we can manage to put such a government in place, though, folks like you make a huge difference to people in need.


Strange Symbiosis

091210Yellow_Jacket

I've noticed this summer, that my crowder peas have been especially attractive to yellow jackets. As near as I can tell, the plants seem to be secreting something at the base of the pods that the wasps find irresistible (see the photo). I can't tell if it's maybe a tiny amount of fluid or what, but the effect is specific for yellow jackets. I've seen mention of the phenomenon on some gardening forums, but no scientific treatise on the subject that I've found, as yet. It does appear to be a symbiotic relationship, though. The wasps get something they want while the plants get some serious protection - I've seen zero predation on these plants, and I've been very careful myself when picking the pods.

7 comments:

Chris said...

Congrats on doing well in the race!

Lisa/knitnzu said...

I say congrats for even running, more for doing a race, yet more for finishing it, and even more for the reason you did it.

I'm guessing it's something sweet. They mob the pears that fall and start to rot.

Mel said...

Sweet is certainly a possibility, but you'd also expect other species to be attracted, if that were it. Since the plants are right out the front door, I've been watching them pretty closely. Nothing but yellow jackets, which makes me think some sort of pheromone-type secretion.

kmkat said...

Congrats on your excellent progress in your running endeavors!

textillian said...

Congrats on your run! I am still training for mine (and the training isn't getting any easier as time goes by.)

Mary W said...

I have an entire insect ecosystem living in my crowder peas, but until yesterday I would have sworn there were no yellow jackets. Wrong! I also saw some beautiful iridescent teal waspy bugs. Thanks for pointing that out and congratulations on your race finish.

Michelle M. said...

Congratulations on the race - I'm impressed with your placement!