Monday, June 29, 2015

Weed Ambivalence.

As I photographed plants around Dellinger's Pond, I tried to put myself in their shoes.  Do they feel thankful for humans' proclivity for creating habitat for them by building roads, and railroads and for letting them hitchhike or stow away on our airplanes and freighters?  Or do they hate us for our going back on our apparent invitations and thinking up ghoulish ways of killing them?  Maybe they are ambivalent - like me.  I love plant-pollinator interactions.  One of my favorite settings for photographing insects and spiders is Tansy, a weed.  Another is the White Sweetclover (above), also a weed.
The cute little Spanish Clover is a native plant, but many people I've led on nature walks say "it looks like a weed."  I have yet to figure out what a weed "looks like."
Here's a recent view of Dellinger's Pond.  Lots of native plants visible - Pond-Lily, various rushes and sedges, and willows.  Much less water than a couple of weeks ago.  More mud showing.  It's a man-made pond trying to return to a meandering creek, a wetland, finding its own way to Spanish Creek rather than being confined to man-made channels.  But then Spanish Creek now flows in a man-made channel, so maybe it's hopeless.
Spearment along the edges of the pond, not a native, but nobody seems to mind. 
Some kind of prolific thistle which nobody likes, but provides a great setting for photographing visiting bugs and birds.
Mountain Spiraea, a native shrub, that will probably become more popular for landscaping if the drought continues. 
The Tansy are blooming around the pond, and the ones that were cut back during Spring Semester are recovering.  Some of my favorite insect photos were taken on Tansy.
A goose feather on the wood chips.  Lots of goose poop along the dam, but no geese in sight on this hot afternoon.  Maybe hiding in the shade nearby, or maybe on a flight to a cooler clime, like up to Bucks Lake.
Rein Orchis, a native orchid, found fairly camouflaged among grasses, sedges, and rushes in roadside ditches.  These were along the watershed that feeds the pond.  I've visited the pond during several extremely hot afternoons.  I think I'll make my next visit early in the morning when it's cooler and see if things look different. 

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