The sunlight reflected so brightly off this blob it kind of blinded me for a second. This picture in no way captures what I saw. It had the glint of a jewel.
I had to touch it but I was afraid it would burst like a soap bubble. I didn’t need to worry; the surface of the bubble was quite solid.
It was hardened resin and kind of looks like a tree’s version of the blisters I get on my feet.
I have heard that bees collect plant resins to make propolis. At least one scientist has found that propolis has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties for bee colonies. Maybe resin blobs are the apothecaries of the insect world.
Besides bees, other insects like ants and mosquitoes find resins attractive or so many wouldn’t have been caught in amber. Are they attracted to the bright light and colour as I was? When they see a bubble does it look like precious water?
Maybe there is a chemical component to the attraction. Some resins like frankincense and pine have strong perfumes. Even humans can smell them from far away. Do all resins emit perfumes to attract insects? Resins are hydrocarbons … and hydrocarbons are fragrant.
Maybe resin is a multimodal beacon or distress call.
Something wounded this tree; it might still be present. If the tree can attract an ant or well any predator to investigate maybe the intruder can be eliminated. Meanwhile, the resin will help keep the wound clean and protect the outer surface from further injury.
Multiple functions and multiple connections. I know I am hopelessly nerdy but I really do have fun trying to connect the dots.