Sunday, July 9, 2017

Grass Flowers

I've been practicing my macro shots trying to photograph some grass flowers.  They only bloom briefly, and they never stand still, as the slightest breeze blows them back and forth.  It's a challenge to get clear pictures, even with a tripod!  And unfortunately I have had no luck learning to identify grass species, so these are all anonymous!


Grass flowers are wind-pollinated, and so specialized that an entire separate vocabulary is used to describe them.  Gone are things like the petals, replaced with bracts and awns.  But they still have stamens (the long yellow pieces here), and stigmas (the white feathery parts).  The stamens release the pollen, the stigmas try to catch it.  You can see the green bracts, and the sharp-pointed awns that extend from them in the second picture.

These two grasses were nearly 6 feet high, and at first I thought they were an ornamental grass in our garden.  Turns out they were just invading grasses.

 Both the entire plant, and the individual stamens in this picture were moving with the breeze.

A similar bunch of stamens, but a different species of grass.

Not sure what grass this is, but it shows the stamens (yellow) and the stigmas (white) really clearly.  The whole thing is about 1" long, just one small piece of a grass seedhead.

Both the stamens and the bracts are obvious with this species.  I don't know what draws me to grasses, but some year I'll spent some time and try to learn them, and get better pictures.

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14 comments:

  1. Lovely photos but they make my eyes itch just looking at them! I used to suffer from awful hay fever and grass flowers were the worst thing possible for me. My only ever sporting success was making the final of the egg and spoon race. The final was scheduled to be held in a field on Hampstead Heath. Oh dear. Waiting to take part my nose started streaming, my skin started itching and my eyes clamped shut. All the lovely symptoms of hay fever. No more sports day for me!

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  2. Beautiful macros. The feathery grass, we have one similar down here in the Second to last and last photo.When I was a child, my Dad taught me all the grasses by name, but those memories are almost all lost. Plantain, clover, rye maybe, but they all have their own beauty.

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  3. These are wonderful shots...specially when I know how the wind just never stops!

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  4. Nice job! And a lovely day to take them in.

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  5. I think your pictures are really good! And I've learned something I didn't know about grasses. Thank you for sharing these great shots. :-)

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  6. Some excellent macro shots you got there, a good camera really helps for sure.

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  7. Well done, beautiful macro shots. Happy Monday, Enjoy your day and the new week ahead!

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  8. how beautiful...i love this series!!!

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  9. Beautiful and elegant macro photography of the grass floral ~ lovely ~ ^_^

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  10. Great macro shots of the grass flowers..... I see that stuff in fields and woodsy areas --but never thought about taking a picture... Great idea --especially for a macro shot...

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  11. Grasses intrigue me too. I have some shots that I haven't posted yet. I find it easier to cut them off the stalk and lay them on a solid surface and shoot away.

    excellent images.

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  12. Nice photos. You might get a copy of Field Guide to the Grasses, Sedges and Rushes of the United States by Edward Knobel, it's a thin little Dover reprint of an old book, mine cost $2.00 a number of years ago.

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