Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for October 27th, 2021

Kin to corn

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As “Plants of Texas Rangelands” notes, eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) “is kin to corn, but has both male and female parts in the same spike.” You see that in the top photograph, where the orange male flowers dangle from threads at the right, and the brownish pipe-cleaner-like female flowers are on the left. Each flower-bearing segment is called a spikelet. As the female spikelets age, they whiten and break into bony joints. You see one above, which must have come from a more mature spike and somehow gotten snagged on this fresher one. The middle picture shows some typical aged female spikelets. (The species name dactyloides is Greek for ‘resembling fingers’; you can decide if this looks like desiccated finger bones.)

I’ll add that in a region not known for fall foliage, we get some warm colors in our aging native grasses, as you see from the way red has begun to appear in the eastern gamagrass below.

These photographs are from the Arbor Walk Pond on October 8th.

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Nobody alerted me that October 19 this year would be International Pronouns Day!
Let me retroactively declare my preferred pronouns for last week:
Wondrous one and His majesty.
And just in case you think the failure to notify me is something I take lying down,
I’ll add that my prone nouns are recumbency and prostration.

© 2021 Wondrous one and His majesty

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 27, 2021 at 3:47 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , ,

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