Having shown more abstract images of a yellow-eyed grass (Xyris ambigua), it seemed only right to offer a more detailed look at this lovely plant.
Yellow-eyed-grasses not only belong in their own genus — Xyris — they also belong in their own family: the Xyridaceae. More closely aligned with grasses than with other flowering plants, they thrive in wet places, specializing in acid or sandy soils, moist pine or oak savannas, pine flatwoods, pond shores, ditches, and bogs. These photos, taken in the wetland pine savannah of the Big Thicket Solo Tract, might just as easily have come from surrounding bogs.
A relatively tall plant that often grows to a height of three feet, its conspicuous cone-like inflorescence can be more than an inch long; tightly wound green and brown bracts subtend the pretty yellow flower.
I especially enjoy the opportunity to see various stages of plant life on a single day. The experience brings to mind this passage from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay on self-reliance:
These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones… There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike. But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.