Pretty Harmless

The brilliant red growth on the tip of this maple leaf is a batch of galls, caused by tiny mites. Initially, they are green, then red, finally black, but according to Penn State University’s entomology department, they’re pretty harmless. We saw this maple while dodging raindrops along the shoreline of Bowman Lake, in western Glacier National Park, last week. It’s good to know something so pretty isn’t going to kill the plant.

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