The night we decorated our tree, Lillee found a little gift under the tree as she was placing baby Jesus on a limb. I found her discovery the next morning when I was vacuuming pine needles from the carpet. It was this odd little pod. It had a texture similar to a wasp nest, but was shiny in places, not dull like a wasp nest. I thought it may be sap that had leaked from the tree because one end almost looked as if it has been oozing out of something. It was attached to a branch, not the trunk of the tree and felt very light, and I assumed hollow as I shook it and heard nothing.
We decided to cut into it to see what we might find. I expected a worm, an insect, an egg of some sort. Instead, there were layers of the outer material and no room for a worm, insect or egg....so I thought. I squeezed it a bit and yellow fluid began to seep from the layers. Then I saw black specks coming through the yellow fluid.
After further examination with a flashlight, we found the layers were actually divided into cells....fascinating!
We searched for an hour on the internet, using very descriptive terms but came up empty handed. Within 5 minutes of posting on one of my homeschooling boards, someone told me it sounded like a mantid egg sac. Sure enough, it was a mantid egg sac!
I love discovery, research and answers! Science is such fun and I hope my kids will continue to enjoy and have a love of exploration and the desire to find answers without fear.