Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tickseed Sunflower - Hiding in Broad Daylight

Colony of Bidens aristosa, Tickseed Sunflower or Bearded Beggarticks.  If you've traveled any distance at all on a country road in the late Carolina summer, you've passed thousands of these plants,  tens of thousands of these showy golden dancers. Bobbing, weaving, swaying with every whisper of a breeze. But you may not have seen them...

Tickseed Sunflower, universal colonizer of ditches and waste places, field margins and marshy bottoms throughout the southeast.

So familiar, yet so little noticed. Our brains have a remarkable capacity for dismissing the non-essential, tuning out the "background noise" so that we can focus our attention on important tasks.

Perhaps we could regain control of the tuner for a moment. Pause for a closer look...

Even closer. Flowers within a flower. Classic disc and ray flowers, seven or eight showy "petals" or ray flowers surround a mound of miniature disc flowers, like dozens of diminutive daffodils gathered, a butterfly's bouquet of sorts.

Other creatures have more than a passing interest in our lovely discovery; aesthetics take a backseat to survival for arthropods in early September.

Tickseed Sunflower; tune in today...

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