Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spear Grass Time!!

 Before TV, before radio and when children still played in field and pasture there was that early summer grass that gave youngsters so much entertainment and sheep farmers so much grief.....Spear Grass Nasselia leucotricha, or also called "winter grass".   There are far to many memories of this grass for me to publish here,  and sadly many of the younger readers now will likely never fully grasp the hours kids in the past could spent with this species as a primary "toy" in season. But did we ever have so much fun during recess at school when we found these in patches along the property edges. We threw them like the little spears they were at each other, even at the girls, often returning to class when the bell rang, recess over, with the "spears" still hanging from our clothing.
   A native species, it's highly specialized seed gave non-native animal species at times serious problems in the past, but less so these days as everything is mowed or treated.  I once spent 100.00+ dollars at a vet having one "spear" surgically removed from the eye of a dog I owned. And oh my, how so hard they were to pick out of our socks.  For those that remember those fun days....This is a photo of the special patch that I save for the memory of those days on the property.  The patch did poorly the last 4 years due to the drought, but has bounced back incredibly this year.   Here, the seed heads are ripening, just a couple of weeks from maturing, then the entire stand will dry, brown and go dormant in mid June not to sprout again until late December.  Seed available on request :-)
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