Weekly Puzzler #100

Wow, 100 seems like an amazing number of puzzlers!  (Imagine fireworks noises now)


When I first started this category I wondered if I could even continue to come up with new puzzlers, but having gotten started, I discovered there are an endless number of potential puzzlers. The natural world is FULL of mysteries waiting to be solved! Have you been with me for ALL 100 puzzlers? Do you enjoy this category? How often is your guess correct?

In honor of the milestone I am going to start a new tradition. Four times during the year I am going to award a lucky blog subscriber one of my photo products–this will change each contest. Examples include greeting cards, calendar, tote bag, journal, dvd, magnet, print, etc. For this first contest I will give away a sampler pack of a few of my favorite greeting cards. To be eligible to win all you have to do is guess the puzzler correctly! Just use the comment box below the puzzler to write your guess. At the end of the week I will select all of the CORRECT entries and put them in a box. At the end of the quarter, I will pull one name out and send that person the prize of the season. It’s that easy!

So let’s get started.

Here’s the first puzzler eligible for the contest. Puzzler #100! The prize will be given after the spring vernal equinox–March 20th.(So you have a better chance to win since that date is not far away!)

If you’ve been following along, you might know that the answer to last week’s puzzler was A BEECH BLIGHT APHID. I talked a little about aphids in this post.

Ants and aphids seem to always be together

Ants and aphids seem to always be together

ants-So here’s the question. If you are a gardener you’ve probably seen aphids at some point in your garden, likely munching on the stem of one of your prized plants. Have you ever noticed that ants often seem to be where aphids are? Why is this? Do they harm or help the aphids?

The puzzler then is: What is the relationship of ants to aphids? Check back next week to see if your guess was correct!

Have a great weekend! Oh, and since we are at 100 puzzlers, I think this would be a fabulous time for YOU to let me know what you think of this category… is it too HARD, too EASY? Not enough of ? Or too much of ? Please tell me what you think! Is there something you’ve seen on your walks in the woods that you are curious about? Send me a note to let me know–or even a photo if you have one. I will do my best to help you solve your mystery!

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  1. Caroline February 27, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

    Answer to weekly puzzler 100 – I am assuming you gave a big clue… the ants eat the honeydew (waste from the aphids)- which might then prevent blight if there is no honeydew built up.

    • Sharon Mammoser February 27, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

      Caroline, thanks for writing! So yes, the ants eat the honeydew but do the aphids get anything out of the relationship? Or are they just used for the honeydew?

  2. Elena February 27, 2016 at 7:18 pm #

    For puzzler No.100- There is a symbiotic relationship between the ants and the aphids. The aphids are obtaining their food from the plants (as sap) and pass some of it (as nectar or honey dew) to the ants. As the ants should give something in return, they actually take care of the little insects and protect them from enemies.

    • Sharon Mammoser February 28, 2016 at 8:36 am #

      Elena, You are correct! I will enter you in the contest! Thanks for writing.

  3. Lisa M February 28, 2016 at 7:52 am #

    I love your puzzlers, Sharon! Happy 100th anniversary of writing them! 🙂

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  1. By Weekly Puzzler Answer #100 on March 5, 2016 at 9:31 am

    […] you know the answer to last week’s puzzler about the relationship of ants to aphids? Have you seen these two insects together in your garden […]