Thursday, June 26, 2014

How Did I Miss It?

 Only about ten feet from the pavement, and I walk by it every day.  Yet, I didn't see this Pine Drop until this morning.  A member of the Wintergreen family, along with the familiar Manzanita, it was in a shady spot surrounded by tall Douglas-fir.  Also, it was around 3 feet tall, so it must have been there for several weeks by now.  Maybe on most walks I'm in a hurry or my mind is elsewhere.  I still can't believe I haven't noticed it before today.
When you first see one of these Pine Drops, you'd never guess it could be in the same family as Manzanita.  But when you get close enough to study the individual flowers it becomes more obvious.
One major difference, though, is Pine Drops doesn't have chlorophyll, so it doesn't make its own food the way green plants do.  It gets its nutrients from the soil in much the same manner as the Fungi.  It's a saprophyte.

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