Monday, April 27, 2015

Intimate Moments with a Filaree Storksbill



Catching the spring loaded seed propagation

One of the first spring wildflowers to bloom in the Southwestern U. S. also happens to be one of the smallest, the Filaree Storksbill.  


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Native to Eurasia and in the Geranium Family (Geraniacea) this plant was brought to America by the early Spanish settlers.

Considered by many as a bothersome weed that must be extinguished, the tiny pink flowers of the Filaree provide a valuable source of nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies that are just coming out of winter.  Furthermore, I have observed the ladybug alligator-shaped larva being drawn to the plant in early spring.  

The Filaree plant is entirely edible and has a flavor similar to parsley.  Its root was used by the Zuni Tribe to relieve stomachache, sores and rashes.


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Growing in clumps, tiny pink flowers which are not much more than a centimeter in diameter are supported on slender red stems that are around 5 centimeters in length. 


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One of the most interesting facts of the Filaree is how it propagates its seeds.  The seed-pod of the Filaree is shaped like a stork's bill and is approximately 3.5 centimeters in length. 


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As the seed pod ripens, it begins to twist into a spiral which will then create a spring-like effect that launches the seed-pod from the mature plant. 


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After the seed is launched, it floats through the air on feathery parachutes.  When the seed contacts the ground, it becomes self-buried and a new plant will develop.


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Learning all these fascinating facts about the Filaree has broadened my appreciation for this prolific plant.  I am always amazed with nature's diversity, come next spring I will be taking an even closer look at the tiny pink flowers and green fern-like leaves.  Until then, check back and follow my blog to see what intimate moments my macro lens is ready to share.

 
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No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.


"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"


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Many of these images are available on our website.
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring's Arrival of Painted Lady Butterflies



What's Buzzing on the Brussel Sprouts Blooms


One of the highlights of spring 2015 has been an influx of Painted Lady butterflies, Vanessa cardui, to my yard in western Nevada.  I do not recall these butterflies arriving in early spring, because they are usually here in late summer when the rabbit bushes are blooming.  I first began to notice a few butterflies landing on the wet dirt when I was watering my garden plants. Then I noticed numerous Painted Lady butterflies drawn to my Brussel sprouts plants, which I allowed to flower since they did not not produce any sprouts over winter. .  

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One afternoon as I walked by the yellow flowers, I saw so much activity that I grabbed my Nikon with the 150mm macro lens and waited nearby.  

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Not only were the blossoms attracting the butterflies, numerous worker bees were buzzing around, collecting the pollen.
 

While focusing in on the butterflies, I noticed a large number of moths coming to the flowers. From my research, moths also serve a very vital function to the environment along with butterflies and bees as pollinators. 

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A Painted Lady with its straw-like proboscis unraveled, eating nectar from the flower. 


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 Painted Lady butterflies use their feet to taste food.


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As far as my Brussel sprouts plants goes, I think I came out way ahead by allowing the plants to flower, even though I did not get to eat any fresh sprouts.  What a fun and exciting photo opp this has been.  And by the way I did enjoy many of the plant's leaves in fresh salads during the winter.  


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No images on this blog are within Public Domain.






With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.

 All rights reserved, world-wide and images protected by Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All photography, graphics, text, design, and content is copyrighted by Bonnie Rannald and should not be copied, down-loaded, transferred and re-created in any way without the express consent, in writing to Bonnie Rannald. For information on Bonnie Rannald licensed, right-managed images, please submit a written request.


"Reflecting Nature's Artistry"


Follow this blog for upcoming post!
Photos Make Great Gifts!
Many of these images are available on our website.
We now offer Gift Certificates and Digital Downloads in addition to the
"Off The Wall" custom matted and framed images.