Phragmites : (Phrag – my – tease)
Every November, in the northeast, when the air is crisp and strong gusts sweep against a quilted sky, Phragmites will jettison their seed in one spectacular and wondrous event that can easily be mistaken for the first snow flurries of the season. But their legions are on the move, quietly increasing their ranks.
This event happens in the first two weeks of November and I was only one day off this year–my predictions are getting better. If was supposed to be very cloudy today, but as you can see, these are the steel grey bottom clouds I was speaking of. Ironic that today is Friday the 13th.
During lunch, I took to the streets, walking along the infected, the seeds were everywhere and inconspicuous. People were just minding their own business and busy on their way. I watched as store doors opened and the seeds ushered in around the people entering them. The invasion, quiet, concealing, and spreading rapidly. I had reports from a friend in Colorado (yesterday) who claimed to see the seeds in the air. This is their time.
As a former Marine Biologist, this was and still is my personal holiday. I look forward to this event each and every year, like clockwork. I also look like a crazy person on the streets of NYC, holding my cell phone in one hand, trying to capture the seeds on video, while the other grabs at imaginary objects in the air. It must look quite comical. But I have yet to capture this digitally. They are fleeting, clever and elusive.
If anyone can capture this on film, send them my way. And most importantly, thanks for reading my work. Here are two images from a friend’s terrace furniture in NYC. I even saw one seed floating around in a subway car yesterday. There is no escape, but a beautiful thing to see.