Monday, August 05, 2013

Just Grass

The sight of grass often reminds me of a few lines in Max Erhman's famous poem, Desiderata:

"Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. 
Neither be cynical about love; 
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass"

I am not very sure if love is "perennial" but that is certainly an apt word to describe grass. Even during the worst North Indian summers', when every bit of exposed earth has been reduced to bone-dry, crusty soil, the grass is still there just below the surface, holding out against the dust storms with its seemingly dead roots.

The tables turn with the arrival of the monsoons. Suddenly, seeds that swirled with the dust, strike roots and settle down. Tiny shoots that appear on wet, brown soil, and turn rapidly into lush green carpets.

A closer look at these carpets reveal amazing micro-ecosystems. Even in the smallest patches, there is a wide variety of grasses, each at its own height level and each with its own type of stalked flowers to toss spores into greater distances.

Yesterday, I found six distinct varieties of grass in a five-foot patch. What are they called?

L > R  (work-in-progress!)

1. Smooth Brome
3. Crowfoot Grass
4. Indian Crowfoot Grass


Flowers of India - Grasses -

Yamuna Biodiversity Park --

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