oddities ~

Mother nature does toss in some oddities at times ... such as a the piebald deer.  What is a piebald deer?  A piebald deer is a white-tailed deer; but this also happens with others of the deer family, such as with elk, caribou, mule deer, etc...   It's a genetic variation where the animal has more white fur than normal.  It might be in big large patches, or almost covering the entire body.  It is not an albino. No one really knows why this genetic variation happens.

Piebalds are not very common ~ and hunters and outdoor enthusiasts may go their entire lives without seeing one.  So if you've never seen or heard of a piebald before, don't feel bad.

We have a piebald in our neck of the woods.  It's been around for about five years now.  I have seen it on several occasions; but never have the camera with when I do.  The other day, Dear Son InLaw happened to spot it down the power line and managed to snap off a photo.  Not the best shot ... but you can still see it.  It was standing to the right of the other two deer that it usually is seen with.

Even when I tried zooming in on the picture ~ I can't seem to get a decent clear photo of it ... sorry.

We came across another oddity of nature yesterday while out blackberry picking.  It was this willow.  I don't know what kind of willow it is; or if this is how it's suppose to be and I'm just not familiar with the species.

On the tips of the branches were these leaf clusters, almost resembling a cone; but they weren't cones.  They were made up of the leaves.  I wish I had taken more pictures of the bush.  It wasn't just the one branch of the bush that was like this ~ the whole bush, which was about 6 feet tall, had these leaf clusters on the ends of all the branches.  I've been searching online to identify this; but so far haven't figured it out.  It was quite a ways out in the woods where we came across this species (whatever it is).  I'm half tempted into taking another drive out there before the leaves drop and get more info on this.  Who knows ~ maybe I discovered something????  Or maybe you already know what I'm looking at here and have it growing in your backyard and your thinking I'm the oddity of nature??  We looked around for more of this same type of bush; but only saw what we call willow brush.  They had the same type of bark, height, leaves, etc... with the exception of the curly pine cone shaped ones on the tips like this bush did.

Oh well ... I guess we just don't always have the answers as to why mother nature slips in an oddball once in awhile.  I suppose, to keep us guessing??

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


  1. I have never heard of a piebald deer but it is interesting. I used to go hunting with my husband west of San Antonio which is in the city of San Antonio now. Thanks for showing the picture even if it isn't clear.

  2. Never saw or heard of a PIEBALD DEER either. How interesting. haven't a clue about the leaves and bush you discovered. Good Luck identifying it.

  3. I have never seen a piebald deer. I will just have to believe you!! As far as the bush, I have no idea either. Do you read the blog of Far Side of Fifty... she's quite the expert on flowers weeds and things of nature.

  4. Have not seen that cluster of leaves/cone tip before but have seen a piebald. He was practically all white, on the way to Conners off W when we were kids. You must have been asleep in the back seat.
    There is also that one north of town off Agenda...gotta take a ride. Randy just saw 3 nice bull elk on 77.
    Fun nature out there. Now, if only I could see an elk...never have in all the years they were transplanted here.

  5. I thought Piebald was a type of horse, I think I remember reading it in some cowboy novels.
    If the Willow or what ever has the Girls from the North country stumped, it must be exotic, imported from Serbia, or sommers. LOL. Neat entry, but then they all are.
    Love from Bangor Maine, me, Sherry and Roger MIller.

  6. I have seen pictures of the piebald deer but never seen one for real. The picture I saw were several together. No idea on the shrub or tree.

  7. That growth on the willow is called a gall and was made by an insect. I have some on my willows as well.
    Have never seen a piebald deer or critter of any kind.

  8. RE: Cicero Sings ~ After a little digging around online I came across the Rabdophaga Salicicbrassicoides ~ or more common name ... the Willow Rosette Gall Midge ~ You're RIGHT ... it is an insect gall. I guess I'm going to be destroying that branch instead of admiring it:) Although, it is pretty cool looking. The galls look like little roses made of up of leaves.

  9. Very interesting....I haven't seen one of those....

  10. Hi Mel, Great to hear from you. Yes--Mother Nature does give us oddities sometimes...

    We have had the mildest August I can ever remember. However, we did have one of the HOTTEST and DRIEST June/July's that I can remember... SO--I guess it all works out!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing your 'oddities'...