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I cotton to snake cotton

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I rarely come across snake cotton (Froelichia gracilis), so I got excited on August 2nd when I discovered a colony of it in a dry sump at the edge of Great Hills Park. On one of the snake cotton plants I noticed spiderwebs and soon saw the spider. Below is the picture I took of it using daytime flash and a small aperture; that combination gives the impression of dusk rather than broad daylight.

Then on August 14th out beyond Bastrop I found a few stalks of snake cotton
and was able to get a picture showing one of the plant’s small and inconspicuous flowers:

Here’s an unrelated quotation for today:
“Qui grate beneficium accipit primam eius pensionem solvit.”
“Anyone who receives a benefit with gratitude repays the first installment of it.”
Here’s an alternate translation (I wanted to make it sound more colloquial):
“If you accept a favor with gratitude you’ll repay the first installment on what you owe.”
Seneca the Younger in De Beneficiis (On Benefits).

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 28, 2020 at 4:32 AM

Snake-cotton

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snake-cotton-2040

Soon after we drove into Arizona from New Mexico along Interstate 10 on October 17, we pulled over at the Texas Canyon rest area, where I was pleased to come across some snake-cotton. When I searched online later I found that two species are native in that area, Froelichia arizonica and Froelichia gracilis. I can’t tell which one this is.

If you want, you can have a look back at the Texas Canyon rest area from our 2014 trip to the Southwest.

You can also review the only other post in which a species of snake-cotton has appeared here.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 27, 2016 at 4:52 AM

Snake-cotton

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Snake-Cotton Turned Cottony 2030

Okay, so you didn’t get cottony water yesterday, but here’s some snake-cotton, Froelichia gracilis. When I photographed a small group of these on August 7th in the fringe of Great Hills Park near the Taylor Draper entrance, it was the first time I’d ever found this species in Austin, much less my neighborhood, so I was happily surprised. Before then, the few times I’d found snake-cotton I was a bit east of Austin, near Bastrop. In preparing this post I was further surprised to learn that this species grows across much of the United States, as you can confirm on the USDA map. One more thing: I believe this is the first member of the amaranth botanical family ever to appear here.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 15, 2014 at 5:57 AM

A different kind of fluff

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pearl-milkweed-pod-and-seed-5349

In contrast to the fluff of the snake-cotton from Arizona that appeared in the previous post, behold the fluff I saw yesterday along Misting Falls Trail in my Austin neighborhood. I was driving to the store when I caught sight of a pearl milkweed vine (Matelea reticulata) hanging in some denuded tree branches. Several pods had opened, and as I watched them the breeze occasionally scattered bits of their seed-bearing fluff.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 28, 2016 at 4:53 AM

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