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Strange feathery object – ID needed! Help!

August 16, 2009

Chers Amis,

I hope you can help me with an identification.  Pippin and I found this object on our back deck this afternoon.  It was roughly 1cm by 1 cm, bilateral, light aquamarine.  Sugar ants were trying to take it away.  When I first found it it had these feathery appendages extending from each side of a central line. I tried to pick it up to move it for closer examination and it broke into pieces.  Each piece is at most 5 mm long. I noticed that the dark ‘feet’ were slightly sticky and clung to my pencil tip. Does anyone have an idea what it may be?

–Marjorie

close up of object

Object from the underside

object3 object2 objects

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2009 3:21 pm

    Oh my goodness!! I have never seen anything even close to that!! Is it a creature from outer space come to take over our planet which reproduces by breaking into segments?? lol Seriously, please keep us posted! This is a frist for me!…Debbie

  2. August 16, 2009 4:06 pm

    Oops! That should be a first!

  3. lapazfarm permalink
    August 16, 2009 9:10 pm

    Hmmm. I am thinking flower parts? Ant trees blooming right now that might be dropping something similar?

  4. lapazfarm permalink
    August 16, 2009 9:11 pm

    Whoops! That should say “any trees” not ant trees.

  5. lapazfarm permalink
    August 16, 2009 9:12 pm

    Speaking of ants, can you follow their trail and see where they got it from?

  6. August 17, 2009 9:47 am

    We have so many ants around I can’t see where they came from. I do think whatever it is could have fallen from the trees. We live in the woods and our deck is about 8 ft off the ground and surrounded by trees, some even reach out and nearly touch it. I don’t know if anything is blooming though. Most of our trees are spring bloomers: redbud, hawthorn, American beech, oak, red maple, tulip poplar, dogwood, etc. I haven’t seen any more of the objects and the ones I found have dried up since yesterday and look very ‘seedy’ with a little black ball/pip attached to a fluffy plume. At first I thought it might be part of a caterpillar that had been partially consumed by the ants, but I never saw any innards or goo. (That is a scientific term:-) The color was so shocking last night I started wondering if it was not part of a lost Barbie costume blown onto the deck from the neighborhood that backs up to ours. Mais non. Still searching for an answer!

  7. September 2, 2009 9:25 am

    Amazing photos! Did you ever find the answer?

  8. September 4, 2009 5:56 pm

    No, I never found any identification, but after a few days the feathery blue fronds dried up leaving a fluffy plume attached to a black ball. It must have been some type of seed. Very strange! I would still like to know what it was exactly!

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