Sputnik Pea Gall



This fellow traveler took off sixty years ago and it was the first of its kind. The second one carried a dog and the photo shows one of several found down at Goldsland Farm. Confused? Well, the first artificial earth satellite was, of course, Sputnik, which is Russian for Satellite or Fellow Traveller and this was launched in 1957. Later that year Sputnik 2 went into space with the dog Laika on board. And the gall in the photo is the Sputnik or Spiked Pea Gall and it is usually found on Dog Rose which was the case down at Goldsland. It is caused by a small wasp which lays its eggs in the leaves – each gall houses one grub. The Sputniks were launched in Kazakhstan which is the home of the apple – over many hundreds, possibly thousands, of years they worked their way to the west along the silk roads and with the help of traders and the guts of animals. After years of putting up with the mouth-puckering crab-apple, finally the sweet apple arrived and for our ancestors it was a life-changing event.