Friday, June 6, 2014

Attending to Grasses

Today, our first good walk in three days (the dogs and I a bit rain-shy), I made a mental note to mow the front lawn.  But first I needed to take a better look at the grasses before mowing them down.  That led to the idea to attend to grasses on our walk.  A fair number of grasses are in flower, and more have finished flowering and are setting fruit. 

 The grass above is still in flower; you can just make out the stamens dangling from diminutive flowers.
The grass below is finished flowering, and its fruit developing.

Passers-by watched a strange guy crouch on the sidewalk with a camera intent on who-knows-what, while two small dogs tugged at their leashes.  The movement of the delicate stalks with the slightest breeze made the photography challenging; and I quickly decided on plan B: pick a few stalks of whatever looked different, and add it to the growing bouquet in my shirt pocket. (The stranger with camera and dogs got stranger still.)

I lay my finds on the kitchen table, trying to eliminate repeats.  I still find it a little amazing how many different grasses my little suburban neighborhood hosts.  Even the most manicured of lawns usually has a neglected corner--a bit of wild that begins to redeem the property in my eyes.

 The entire pocket collection.  A dozen-odd species, I think.


What are their names, you might ask?  I don't know myself.  Call them Tom, Dick, Harry, Hermione...  Their being matters more than their names, after all--just as yours does.  But familiarity is difficult without a "handle"--just as it is in learning people.

So it might be time to brush-up on grass ID.  Subject for a future post, perhaps?

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