Friday, May 23, 2008

Prairie dance

I love the abstraction of flowers. The styles emerging from the anther tubes of this Skeleton Plant flower look as if they are involved in a dance. Lygodesmia texana gets its common name from the fact that the leaves are so small the plant has the appearance of being leafless. In my opinion, a terrible name for something so lovely.

On closer inspection, they are dancing with the ants. The Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies use them for nectar. Don't you wonder what a glass of this stuff might taste like?

These flourish in our short grass prairie, where the Earth offers up a seemingly inhospitable terrain of limestone crushed by the waters of eons past. They tower above the rest and give a good showing after a rain. Their seed head is much like a dandelion, delivering its progeny to the wind. According to flower essence theory, this flower would be categorized as exhibiting the qualities of Air.

My neighbor doesn't understand why I don't keep this remnant of 'weeds' mowed. Long ago he seeded his side with a monoculture of invasive exotic Bermuda grass and uses a lot of fossil fuel to keep it manicured for no apparent purpose other than he likes it that way. Many people don't realize that the American prairie is more endangered than the rain forests of the Amazon. Most of them have sadly been turned into subdivisions.

We celebrate diversity, and seek to make additions, not subtractions on our property. I'd rather dance than mow.

1 comment:

Dana Jones said...

that purple one is so lovely. The center looks like fibers all tangled up together. hmmm, could be just me looking at my ball of tangled yarn too long.

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