Saturday, May 31, 2014

Blue Eyed Grass

Click to bigify all photos--these wee flowers (~1/2") are worth a closer look.

Just holding the plants up and together; they got a bit leggy and top-heavy.

What’s in a name? Not too much in this case... Blue-eyed Grass does have a flower that is blue, but the “eye” is not (I wouldn't call it "eyed", either) and it isn’t even a grass. It’s actually an itty bitty iris! (Or close enough as makes no difference. And, wonder of wonders, it's a native wildflower in the genus Sisyrinchium; we may have up to four species in NJ.)

While the blossom doesn’t have the typical fleur-de-lis look of what we think of as an Iris, the base of the leaves form a flat fan just like a “normal” iris. It’s how I managed to sort these plants out from the actual grass in my yard before they bloomed so that I could transfer some of the blue-eyed grass to my deck containers…

Tried it last year but didn’t use the best pots (far too small) and most of the plants didn’t survive until fall, never mind make it through that horrible winter we had.

So after finding that the yard still contains a goodly amount, I snatched a few more plants and am trying again (in larger, mixed-plant pots). Most came from a stone-paved sometimes-walkway and a heavily deer-grazed section, so in essence I was rescuing them.

Sitting on my deck leisurely taking photos sure beats tromping around the tick-infested yard. The plants came up early enough so that I noticed them when a yard walkabout was still enjoyable, but they always seem to bloom just when the ticks really get their game on…

These shots were all taken with my Lensbaby collection: Plastic Optic (for the soft fuzzy look), Sweet 35 (for a “sweet spot” of focus amid radial blur) and Edge 80 (for a streak of focus across the shot), paired with macro converter rings for the close-up work. (And yes, in some instances I'm not sure which is which myself. I really have to start writing these things down...)