Cyperaceae II

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Let’s return to the local sedges while they are young and beautiful, this time up close, and in expensive color.

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The pictures here are magnifications of what you see with the naked eye by a factor 5 to 20, depending on your screen size. They were taking with a macro lens that allows up to 5-fold magnification ratio of reality to sensor size.

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The tips of the flowers reveal unexpected branching into tripods, tendrils and further branching. Who knows how this will continue. Can they feel that gentle touch?

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This is our world. Why does it look completely alien? Is it just unwillingness to look, and to get used to it?

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Cyperaceae

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Summer in Indiana is warm and humid, which is good for insects, and bad for me, as my blood is apparently rather sweet. 

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The worst place to be then are swampy areas, which explains that I haven’t consciously seen the local sedge varieties, until today.

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In contrast to grasses the stems have triangular cross sections, and the flowers are wonders of architecture.

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There are over 5000 different species around, so if this becomes another obsession of mine, brace yourself for the next decade of posts.DSC 0836

The geometric complexity is astonishing. In one specimen of carex grayi (above) I counted 17 spikes, which is a strange number. How do they know where to grow another one?

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This little excursion probably cost me an ounce of blood (and subsequent itching). It has been worth it.

Writing on Water

This year I tried to explore a few new places that are not more than an hour’s drive away, at the cost of neglecting a few places that are really close, like the Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve.

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This is wetland, made accessible through slippery boardwalks. The grasses here make even more short-lived art than the sand art made by dune grasses.

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Either from the treacherous safety of the board walks, or right from the center of things,

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the grasses are at work, through gentle dipping of their stalks, or mere reflection. This is like writing blog posts. Words and images not to be bound between covers and shelved, nor streamed into instant oblivion, but just left there for a little while to wither.

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Then, finding the path back out of the forests becomes a possibility, because it is, after all, also only written on water.

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Beanblossoms Bottom Nature Preserve

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Southern Indiana is limestone country, and the rocky ground is sometimes less than ideal for farming. So people move north to Purdue, and the abandoned farms get converted into nature preserves.

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An excellent example is the Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve, fabulously maintained by the Sycamore Land Trust.

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The fact that we are in former farmland here means that the landscape is more uniform than in a natural wooded area, as all plants are roughly at the same age.

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Little drainage canals and ponds are perfect spots to witness rapid growth and decay.

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There is nothing spectacular here that would merit a visit say from New York. But if you are seeking a contemplative view, there will always be a new one.

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