My Weird Eye:
Arts 'n Crafts:
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"Naked Lotebush"(Zizyphus obtusifolia)
West Odessa, Texas
This is the season when the lotebush is nothing but spines. No leaves. No blooms, no berries. On this specimen there isn't even any overwintering ovaries. Just a plant of pure spines. This is a young specimen, with spines about two inches long. I've seen older bushes where the spines were longer than my hand, at about 6 or 7 inches. Nothing to sneeze at. Or, worse, accidentally trip into!
Actually, tripping in the desert rarely turns out well.
An interesting photo essay on Sibley Nature Center site, which includes this about the remarkable ovary adaptation:
"Lotebush is a common shrub species found mixed in with mesquite bushes and tasajillo (christmas cholla cactus). When it blooms in May and June many species of insects come to nectar on the sticky waxy flowers (which are half the size of an adult human's pinkie fingernail.) After it blooms, the ovaries remain as discs until the following April and early May when blue berries appear, 11 months after insects pollinate the flowers. One other species of plant (a cactus known as Mammalaria vivipara or chilipitin cactus) on the Llano Estacado also displays this adaptation to the rainfall regime in the region (heaviest in May.)"
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
"Milkweed, Some Moments Later" 1,2
Time 5:10:42 and 5:11:24 pm, 42 seconds
January 14, 2010
Race Field, West Odessa, Texas
After opening this milkweed pod, and seeing the seeds all lined up inside it, I thought of the children's hand rhyme, "Here's the church, here's the steeple. Open it up, and here's the people." The seeds look a little like members of a church choir, don't they?
This photo was taken at my second adopted citizen science location. I'm calling it Race Field because it is a large open field behind a horse race arena. I chose to adopt and study it because it's the epitome of an untouched West Odessa.
For now, anyway.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Some of you remember that my blog started off as "A Photo A Day." That was way back in February of 2007. This is now my 700th post. To mark the occasion, how about a list of the top ten things I've learned about taking photos since then. Nothing earth-shatteringly new here, mostly a reminder list, really.