#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
This morning's muggy walk in buggy woods under clouds ended most cheerfully with the discovery of milkweed in the meadow – three plants in three stages of flowering.
I'm particularly grateful for the nature writing and plant research by Craig Holdrege of the Nature Institute. His lucid, often lyrical, prose about the lifecycle of plants like milkweed and skunk cabbage is a revelation of the extraordinary gifts of common plants I cross paths with every day. Craig's fascinating article on the lifecycle of a milkweed plant is available at the link below to download as a pdf. I've borrowed his description of the milkweed flowers to share along with my morning's pictures:
Milkweed Flower Description [From: THE STORY OF AN ORGANISM: COMMON MILKWEED, by Craig Holdrege]
Above the petals is a so-called corona consisting of five cuplike hoods out of which extend little curved horns. The hoods hold the nectar that attracts so many insects on warm, sunny summer days. In between the hoods are little vertical slits. Each slit opens into a stigmatic chamber. (What it has to do with the stigma, we will see further below.) Above the slit there is a tiny black knob, the corpusculum. What one doesn’t see is that the corpusculum has two little arms (called translator arms) that extend into the two upper sides of the chamber. Each arm attaches to a golden package of pollen, called a pollinium. Each of the pollinia houses hundreds of pollen grains.
Photos copyright Kelly DuMar 2017