Stacked just like Smarties!

"Those who look closely at nature are likely to find hidden gems."

Facebook isn't usually a font of wisdom, but this post from Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area staff member Erin Taylor perfectly expressed  my long term source of serenity and inspiration.

And sometimes those who look close see Halloween candy. My young coworker shared my enthusiasm about a wetlands seed pod. "Whoa! They are stacked just like Smarties!" Nature is so incredibly efficient.

The Smarties seed pods below also remind me of rye bread cut thick. When I tried to open the pod, the seeds exploded out of their stack like a deck of cards in 52-Pickup. The seed pods are from yellow flag iris plants in our Texas Wetlands exhibit area.

Yellow flag iris seed pod
Yellow flag iris is used as an erosion control plant, and also in sewage treatment cells to remove metals from wastewater. It's a fast-growing, fast-spreading plant like cattails, and can form dense wetland thickets. It can become an invasive nuisance.

Albany, Oregon is getting smarty smart and using wetlands to cool and filter treated wastewater before it goes into the Willamette River. The engineered wetlands are  a haven for waterfowl, a hiking spot for people on a misty Christmas Eve afternoon. Here is the link to Talking Waters Garden.
Talking Waters, Albany, Oregon
Engineered wetlands waterfowl haven.

December 24, 2012, Albany, Oregon
I get to work in a very small man-made wetland, but North Texas has a large-scale engineered wetland. The Trinity River East Fork Project is 1840 acres of wetland where yellow flag iris, cattails, and other aquatic plants remove 95% of the sediment, 80% of the nitrogen, and 65% of the phosphorus from the water.

Oak Point fascinates me with amazing seed pods this time of year:

Red yucca seeds--Oak Point parking circle

Illinois bundle flower seed head--Oak Point Preserve

Sept. 24, 2014--unidentified

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