View from Bierstadt Moraine | Estes Park, Colorado 2017. One of my favorite hikes at Rocky Mountain National Park. This was our last day in the park on our honeymoon. The switch backs were super narrow and steep but the views were well worth it.
Yes, I know I'm infatuated with mountain-mahogany seeds of the species Cercocarpus montanus. The spiraling pattern is endlessly fascinating, of course, but it also serves an important function for the plant.
The seed part of the organ is sharp and dart-like, as one of these photos shows. When it falls from the bush, the dart is weighted in such a way that it sticks into the ground. Then, as the atmospheric humidity rises and falls, the plume portion of the seed winds and unwinds. As it does so, it effectively screws the seed deeper into the soil.
In addition, the plant practices nitrogen-fixation, where it takes atmospheric nitrogen that enters the soil and absorbs it into root nodules, where it is converted into nitrogen usable by the plant. This in turn makes the relatively-poor soil more fertile.
How amazing are the life-forms with whom we share this incredible planet of ours!
Photos: Mountain-mahogany seeds in the foothills just west of my home in Larimer County, CO
FORT COLLINS- LOVELAND RESIDENTS:
I am now selling my first book, "The Contemplative John Muir" (published in 2012) at the Wild Boar Cafe as a part of my photo exhibit. A display copy for your perusal is located next to my greeting cards to the right of the order counter. The copies for purchase are available through the baristas. The price is $20 per book. Wild Boar Cafe has great food and drinks and is located at 1510 South College Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80526.
The Home Instead Senior Care quarterly non-profit donation was gifted to Catholic Charities! Joseph Hall, Regional Director-Larimer County, accepted the gift on behalf of our organization. Thank you Home Instead Senior Care!