Posts Tagged ‘seeds’

Dandelions

It’s obvious why there are so many dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) around the yard.

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Each flowerhead produces a LOT of seeds …

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with a little help from the insects.

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Wind disperses the

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the parachute – like seeds.

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Each dandelion flowerhead contains both female and male flowers.

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Dandelions don’t actually need wind or insects to pollinate the flowers. If you look close at a female flower and follow it down, you’ll see that they each of them is in a tube. The tube is the male flower. So, the female flower becomes pollinated as it grows out through the male flower.

Chipping Sparrow

I sat near the picture window beside my computer.

A chipping sparrow started flitting around in the hackberry tree, and then

it seemed to be looking for something on the ground … I figure food.

It continued searching for seeds before it flew off to where I couldn’t see it.

Portrait of Foliose Lichen

This lichen grows on a tree in my backyard.

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It doesn’t know its name. I don’t know its name,

which in no way diminishes my enjoyment of its discovery.

Interesting Ants

I’ve been redesigning my reflexology stone path recently, and have spent a lot of time sitting near the catalpa tree in my special place.

During all this, I noticed ants on two exposed roots, and going up and down the tree.

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Why? What’s up there for the ants?

I started to remove the seeds from a pod so I could remove the papery covering down to the actual seed. A silky web covered what I thought at first was an egg mass.

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Cropping showed they were larval cocoons. They’re like eggs only much larger.

I have a new book: Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates by Charley Eiseman and Noah Charney.

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The larval cocoons were gone the next morning. I wasn’t sure, but it looked like a predator found them.

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The small form on the left looked like a larva.

At least I solved the mystery of why the ants hurried up and down the catalpa tree.

Flower-of-the-Hour

I took the first pictures of flower-of-the-hour (Hibiscus trionum) in mid- June. It grows in the corner of my butterfly garden.

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The buds

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 open around 9 a.m. daily.

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The flowers begin closing in the afternoon. Mine are shaded in the afternoon by a sweetgum tree. (Notice the bee on the left flying toward the flower.)

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The bee gathers pollen.

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Apparently it wears a lot too.

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 There’s no shortage of seeds for reseeding next summer.

Catalpa Seeds

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The clusters of 16-18 inch long seedpods

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  are quite noticeable on the catalpa tree.

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Wind disperses the thin, flat seeds. The lower seed flapped in the wind as I took pictures.

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The seeds stayed together in pods slow to open.

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Reluctant to turn loose and fly?

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I went out in the evening to take orb pictures, like I do a few times a week.

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The moon was three days from full and “hung” above the catalpa.

New Year’s Yard Walk-About

The sky cleared this morning, and light rain and snow are expected later this evening.

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The thought “yard walk-about” had me heading out the door. This milkweed seed obviously stood out where it was stuck to the ice in the water garden. I knew it wasn’t from the butterflyweed that grows in my butterfly garden. They released their seeds months ago.

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Ripples in the ice created interesting shadow designs.

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Feeding immature leaf miners left designs on this leaf.

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This climbing milkweed (Amplelamus albidus) is considered a pest. Monarch butterflies will occasionally nectar on its small white flowers, and will lay eggs on the leaves late in the season.

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Squirrels occasionally visit our yard. It stayed frozen on the limb of the elm tree, and hurried toward the trunk when I started walking.

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I might just have to do another yard walk-about this afternoon too.

If I remember right, there’s a law against doing housework on New Year’s Day.