Thursday, August 27, 2009

Breather after Blueberry Weekend

Hey all! Blueberry Festival weekend has come and gone, and it was a fun time! It did rain up at the Point for most of the afternoon on Friday, causing some programs to be cancelled, but the rain held off for Saturday. The rockhounds found at least one agate, and the folks who came on the Blueberry Stroll definitely found blueberries! It seems to be a good year for them.

Other berries we came across were bunchberry and huckleberry. Both are edible, but bunchberries are apparently pretty bland and kind of mealy. At least, that is what it said in the wild berry book I looked them up in. Huckleberries, however, are delicious.

Bunchberry is in the dogwood family and has an unusual attribute. Its pollen is contained in springy filaments that snap upward in order to release the pollen (yes, the plant moves). The unusual part is that it takes less than half a millisecond for the motion to happen. This is one of the fastest plant motions so far discovered. You would need a camera that can shoot 10,000 frames per second in order to capture it. The pollen shooting off the filament experiences 800 times the force the space shuttle does during liftoff. Nature is so cool, huh?!

~ Sarah

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