Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fun With Cattails

Delighted by the cattail explosion I described in Monday's post, I set out today to obtain some more cattails to try that trick again and this time attempt to capture the action on video. Lots of cattails grow along the Spring Run trail in Saratoga Springs, so that's where I went to find some.

How lucky we Saratogians are, to have such a lovely, accessible trail right in the middle of town. It runs along an old railroad right-of-way through woods and marsh, and today the trail was so well-packed from use that I didn't even need snowshoes to walk on it. As long as I stayed in the middle, that is. Any step off to the side found me sinking in snow to my thighs.

When I first saw these bushy "flower heads" along the trail, I thought they must be the dried remains of some spectacular blooms.

But then I saw this cluster of blooms sprouting from the stems, and I realized that those fat clusters on top were the remains of goldenrod galls.

There are two very common galls that form on Canada Goldenrod, one that causes a globular swelling in the stem and another that causes an explosion of leaves at the top, clustered tightly in a leafy bunch that looks like a green chrysanthemum. It was that kind I found the remains of today, capped with a fluffy snow bonnet.

Lots of cattails grow along the Spring Run trail in low marshy spots where they compete with encroaching phragmites. At first glance, though, it looked as if all of the sausage-shaped heads had already exploded.

Luckily, I found enough intact heads to perform the exploding cattail trick again. In this video, it's my husband doing the pinching while I operate the camera. I had to make several videos, reducing the resolution each time until I obtained one that my blogger would accept.

Well, obviously it still didn't work. I managed to post a video on Facebook, but I can't figure out how to make it work on Blogger. Anybody have any suggestions on how to do it?

Update: Huh! I'm getting word from several readers that the video works when they try it. It doesn't on my screen, but I'm glad that some of my readers are able to enjoy the show.


suep said...

Guess what - I am hoping to post a video on my own blog for the first time, too !
I signed up with YouTube, posted a video there,
then when I used the "movie" button on blogger, it went right to that youtube page, with the video all ready to be selected !
We'll see if that worked -- when the blog gets posted by tomorrow...

tintin said...

The video works for me.

Ellen Rathbone said...

Wee! What fun! And did you look for the critters within when you were done!

How delightful to hear your voice again, too!

Wayne said...

Thanks for all the work on the video -- it is delightful! It does seem to cause some glitches. The video would not run a second time without restarting the Web site, and then after working OK, the software wanted me to sign in before commenting. But all the problems are fixed by restarting the Web site.

Bill and dogs said...

It worked just fine for me and I found it fascinating. I'll try the cattail trick myself the next chance I get.

I post YouTube videos all the time and simply hit the "embed" button, copy and paste the code into the body of my blog. I can then check it by hitting the preview button.

Louise said...

Oh, that looks like so much fun. I've just got to try it.

Anonymous said...

Great video!!! I love it!

threecollie said...

That is really neat! Thanks for the demo. (Video played fine)

Jens Zorn said...

Video works fine for me (Mac, with Firefox browser). Your blog has long shown how images and text together can create more than the sum of their parts, and now.... with your addition of video to the mix we will now anticipate ventures into 3D.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Oh, I'm so glad that the video worked for my readers. Funny, if I come into my blog through the archive list, I can see it too, but not if I enter my site through my bookmark. Computers remain a great mystery to me. Thanks to everyone who left a comment.

Ellen, I would have loved to poke through that fluff to look for critters, but the fluff flew up at a breath and floated all over the kitchen, so I corralled it the best I could and shook it outside.

I hope now everyone goes out and finds a cattail to squeeze. Just one of those little amusements to get us through the winter.