Tuesday, June 28, 2011

cluster bombs and flammable bathtubs

Today has been occupied by two projects: coming up with my own names for grasses and sedges, and adding things to the communal burn pile out in the meadow.
I’ve decided to learn about grasses.
grass book The guide I’m using promises that I won’t need a hand lens or much experience with botany to identify species.  It will be a while before I manage to ID anything.

For now, my tactic is just to discern what the different species ARE, and to give them homemade names, so that I can recognize them from day to day.

I call this one “chevron”, because of the herringbone pattern of the flower bits.
You know how you can buy a Christmas tree that’s been tightly wrapped in mesh, and you bring it home and clip the mesh off, and then the branches relax away from the trunk?
This one’s “honey bunches of oats”. My question is, is it the same thing as chevron, but it’s been around a bit longer and it’s relaxed? Or is it a different species?
What about this one? It seems like the middle point of chevron and honey bunches of oats.

Hm. I only just got started and already, I have no clue. Yay! The cognitive dissonance that is necessary for learning and growth! I alternate between being annoyed, and being delighted. Much like life itself. Let’s move on, shall we?
Here’s green chevron – not an imaginative name, but hey.
Here’s one that I think I actually may have correctly identified – I’ve posted about it before – Timothy grass (Phleum pratense)

Here’s golden christmas tree. I don’t think it’s the same as honey bunches of oats.
This delicate one is pretty distinctive.
Oh! Here’s one that I may have ID’d – barberpole sedge (Scirpus rubrotinctus). I prefer my name for it: cluster bomb.
Backing up for a broader view, check out the proliferation of cluster bomb in the picture below:
Interestingly, not 30 feet away, the species composition of the unmowed part of the meadow we’re in is totally different: ferns and milkweed.
Earlier, Charlie helped me read the intro to my new book.
On to the other project du jour.
Today I crossed the line from just blithely observing and appreciating Nature’s Bounty, to deciding to kill stuff. Enough is enough with the one-seeded bur cucumber. ‘Tis a vine, whose primary purpose in life seems to be to take over the universe, or at least, the hillside along our driveway – the scene of all the siberian iris, ferns, playtex tampon applicator flowers, spiderwort, wild madder, jack-in-the-pulpit, raspberry, black raspberry, and wild rose. 
I filled up the back of the Escape TWICE with great mounds of this stuff. I dumped it in the burn pile out in the meadow, which is very close to just looking like an impromptu junkyard. What with there being a bathtub in it, and all. I’m not sure how flammable that thing’s going to be.

1 comment:

  1. Love the common names you've come up with and I'm sure you'll have good fun figuring out the botanical ones.