spike rush

Spike Rush, flower . . .  (Eleocharis acicularis: Greek: elos = marsh; Latin: acicularis = needle-shaped)  
A circumpolar species and native to North America. Notice the wonderful generative chaos of male (tan anthers)
and female (translucent silver feathery pistils) flower parts!

At home along the edges of open water, I smile every time I encounter
this humble Sedge. (Pictured here very much enlarged.) For me, some
plants are signs, are reminders. For something lost, for something forgotten,
for something to come, perhaps. The sight of the Spike Rush instantly takes
me back to the high-country of the Alps, where it is also native. I have frequently
had basecamps above treeline, close to little alpine pools or glacier tarns.
Waiting sometimes for days for the weather to clear so that I could make
a climb or cross a pass, I'd crawl out of my tent and venture to the pool
to fetch water, because of mist not seeing more than a meter or two. I'd
look back to my tent just to make sure it hadn't disappeared. And I'd  look
down to the water, and there I would find the diminutive Spike Rush, which,
despite its off-the mark common name, seems so wonderfully rough-and-ready
and at home in its world, prepared for anything a radical change in weather
might bring.

(Photograph was made Wednesday, the 19th of June, 2002)

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Photograph by Cliff Crego © 2002 picture-poems.com