Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"Pollen shed"

It’s a hot one today. But the southwest breeze is picking up even as a fog bank moves in from the ocean. Tomorrow will be even hotter. And, of course, I ran out of Allegra so I am sneezing and snurfling as whatever is in the air has taken me over.

Speaking of pollen. There is this thing about the corn that I never really understood. Somehow I thought the corn was fertilized by the tassels rubbing together. For weeks now I’ve been in the garden thinking “I have to look up how corn pollinates,” but never got around to it until yesterday morning. This is significant because I have these huge platter sized blue hubbard squash leaves and they are (were) blocking the silks from receiving the pollen from the tassels. But since I thought the tassels fertilized each other, to me there was no problem. I KNEW that each kernel was created by a pollinated silk, but my old tassel to tassel paradigm hadn’t budged. Once I got it straight that the tassels need to reach the silks, I cut back the obstructing blue hubbard squash leaves … and just in the nick of time.

Then this morning I saw “pollen shed” in all its full glory. About 8:30 I was looking into the sun and I saw one of the anthers explode and release a shower of pollen that got carried on the slightest breath of a breeze in what I would have called a dead still morning. Then another and another. Sometimes they would be aided by a bee, sometimes they were spontaneous. The garden continues to amaze me.

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