Friday, November 13, 2009

Capsule of life

I dig seeds. Not only my own garden seeds, but seeds from wild, uncultivated plants. I am entranced by them. Each little seed is a tiny capsule of life waiting to grow. It can lay dormant for months, years, decades even. Then one day, given the right amount of warmth and water, it suddenly becomes alive. To me, that is truly amazing.

On one of my recent walks through the park, I looked for seeds. At this time of year, they are easy to spot.

Some plants use animals to spread their seed to new areas. Of these, some grow fruit that animals eat (and then poop). I did manage to see a few hardy fruit on my walk -- rosehips still red on the stem, and tiny hard grapes wrinkled on the vine.

Other plants grow burrs that will stick into an animal's fur. Plants like burdock, cocklebur and foxtail grass all do this. Burdock grows abundantly in my yard, especially near the chicken coop. Woe betide the person who wears a knitted sweater while visiting my chickens.

Many plants have adapted their seeds to be spread by wind. It seems many prairie plants have this characteristic, which makes sense given how windy it is on the prairie.

The seeds of the maple tree, with their insect wings that catch the wind.

Seeds from the ash tree, which 'helicopter' when they fall.

A fuzzy mass of cattail seeds.

Milkweed seeds, each one attached to thin strands of silk that float away in the breeze.

Well, that's my park naturalist program for the day. Hope you enjoyed it!


Mama Pea said...

What a down-to-earth simply lovely post!

Jo said...

Thanks, you two! :)

Karen said...

No doubt, seeds are cool. Right now I have a really fat squirrel hanging upside down pulling out seeds from my "squirrel-resistant" bird feeder!!!

Jo said...

Hey sweetie! Have Phill make one of those electric zapper things like Grandpa used to have. That'll learn 'em! I remember watching those poor squirrels get zapped when they climbed on his birdfeeder. They learned fast, tho.

Karen said...

I remember that thing too! That was a HORRIBLE memory! I hated that machineofdeath!!! I thought it was terrible that Grandpa would even think of something like that! To this day, I willingly feed anything that wants to eat!!!