Pussytoes!

I’ve always been fond of tiny flowers, and ephemeral things (like dewdrops and shadows), so I’m always trying to get the camera lens right in there, to get the closest possible shot, or at least a different perspective.  As a benefit, I’ve come to appreciate things in a new way.
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plantain-leaved pussy toes
Antennaria plantaginifolia
Asteraceae

 

 

 

 

Things like pussytoes, which have never been a favorite.  I’d spent some time trying to get good pictures of them, without much success, then one day last week I spotted a stand of pussytoes that looked… strange.

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Like the flower heads were coated in spiderwebs.

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It wasn’t ’til I got the lens closer that I saw what was really happening – they were going to seed. Quickly. A light breeze was pushing the seeds away as I worked.

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This plant is a low-grower, a small basal rosette of gray-green foliage coming up in dry, rocky soils in full sun, with an inflorescence that might stand as much as two feet tall; the flower heads are small, and clustered tightly together.  About three dozen species of Antennaria grow across the US, six of which can be found in the mid-Atlantic.

Another common name for this species is woman’s tobacco.  I have no idea why.

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