June 29, 2012

green -- Phoenix Lake, part 1 of 2

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

On Tuesday, with slim chances for any sort of dramatic sunrise, I opted for an early morning hike around Phoenix Lake.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Close, but a million miles away. Phoenix Lake is nestled beneath our beloved Mount Tamalpais on its eastern slopes, behind the small and upscale town of Ross. The creek flows slowly this time of year.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Call them Horsetails or call them Scouring Rushes--these plants OBVIOUSLY came from Outer Space!

additionally, Wikipedia says they are very old:
Equisetum ( /ˌɛkwɨˈsiːtəm/; horsetail, snake grass, puzzlegrass) is the only living genus in the Equisetaceae, a family of vascular plants that reproduce by spores rather than seeds.

Equisetum is a "living fossil", as it is the only living genus of the entire class Equisetopsida, which for over one hundred million years was much more diverse and dominated the understory of late Paleozoic forests. Some Equisetopsida were large trees reaching to 30 meters tall; the genus Calamites of family Calamitaceae for example is abundant in coal deposits from the Carboniferous period.

It has been suggested that the pattern of spacing of nodes in horsetails, wherein those toward the apex of the shoot are increasingly close together, inspired John Napier to discover logarithms.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LOVE THEM HORSETAILS ... they always ready to pose for a first rate photo :)


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