Monday, May 25, 2009

Whiskers Of A Different Sort

Clockwise from top left: Morning glory curls, wild grass,
bearded Iris, enjoying a pumpkin flower.
(Click picture for larger view)
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"Who would have thought it possible that a tiny little flower could preoccupy a person so completely that there simply wasn't room for any other thought...." ~ Sophie Scholl

One of the main characters...of the feline variety... in the mystery series The Cat Who.... books is Koko, a Siamese who yowls when mayhem is happening elsewhere, who always seems to know when the phone is going to ring bearing bad news and whose acrobatic antics result in books falling off the bookshelf with titles that have an uncanny relationship to the crime. His owner, the other human main character, is convinced that the intelligence of a cat is directly related to the number of whiskers... and of course Koko has a disproportionately higher number than most ordinary cats. (Aside: Yes, I know these are not great literature and would be classified as "fluff", but one can only read so many scientific articles and Russian classics with over 2000 pages before it is imperative to add a bit of fun "fluff" just to keep sane. This is my "fluff".) At any rate, whiskers preoccupy the cat... they groom them, keep them straight, twitch them and go nuts if a small piece of sticky tape attaches to one... (no, I never did this on purpose)

But, whiskers are also found on other forces of nature... plants and flowers. The morning glory shows off its delicate, translucent tangle of whiskers in a bloom ready to open... in just another day this flower will have been radiant and then gone. Then there are the whiskers on this wild grass... more sturdy and staid.. each one attached to a small seed, waiting for that strong gust of wind to propel its precious cargo to adjacent soil.

Of course, I love the iris and ours are the bearded variety. This fuzzy little caterpillar growth of whiskers make a platform for the pollen to cling to. This iris was a pale lavender color. My grandmother didn't care for them so she dug them up and threw them over the back fence where they took hold on the bank of the drainage ditch, thrived and multiplied. I brought some of these to our new place as well as the golden yellow variety.

Lastly, the pumpkin flower blossom. I grew pumpkins in the flowerbed at our old house... it was a saga for sure. A bee was gathering the pollen and you can see all the tiny whiskers along the sides of the bloom... the red-eyed fruit flies seemed to enjoy these flowers too. (If you ever took a genetics class in college you will be familiar with these critters... and no, I never saw any white-eyed varieties on the bloom.) If you are interested in a fairytale pumpkin saga... you can find the links to the series here.

These are all whiskers of a different sort and my post for MacroMonday today.

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