IN THE FIELD: Old Timers


Recently I came across a group of plants growing in a bog garden I have never seen or even heard of before. They are known as Rough Horsetail, or Scouring Rush Horsetail. The botanical name is Equisetum hyemale. This species of plant is actually a living fossil and once dominated the late Paleozoic forests about 100 million years ago. Along with many other species of plants and animals from that era, it has survived and continues to flourish even today.



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  1. July 29, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Very well captured, David! Their simple yet beautiful and slender figures make them stand out. I’ve seen the same group of plants at the Botanical Gardens here, and they really are eye-catching.

    • July 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

      Thanks Gracie, they are cool looking aren’t they? I still can’t figure how with all my days of fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and time spent on the water I have never seen these before. Supposedly they rather common. Who knows….

  2. July 29, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Jurassic bog park? Nice capture and information.

    • July 29, 2013 at 10:45 am

      I had to be really really quiet when I was photographing this stand of plants…the ground was shaking from the giant creatures nearby. Plus those huge butterflies were in the vicinity!

  3. July 29, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    It’s pretty stuff. Plenty of it here.

    • July 30, 2013 at 8:53 am

      I still can’t get over the fact that I have never seen this plant before…especially because of all the time spent on the water and hiking and camping and fishing and….

  4. July 30, 2013 at 4:23 am

    The image has a lovely calming and cooling feel about it. I think these must be what we call marestail over here.

  5. July 30, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Ya know….It is rather calming…maybe that’s why I keep staring at it. I had no idea what this was so I had to do some research which turned up fascinating tidbits of info on-line and it is fairly widespread around the world.

  6. July 31, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Very nice graphic image, David.

    Roughly how close were you the subject when you made this image?

    • July 31, 2013 at 8:45 am

      Thanks Kerry, If I remember correctly, I was about ten to twelve feet away. I had leaned the tripod against a split rail fence that was engulfed in some underbrush. The plants were to the left of where I was standing/leaning. The left side of the image has been cropped due to a broken stalk that was too distracting to the overall image.

  7. Steve
    July 31, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I like this shot!! The pattern is cool; the color gradation is beautiful. Nature sure has ways of making the ordinary, pretty, doesn’t she? 🙂

    • August 1, 2013 at 9:37 am

      She sure does! I didn’t see these at first since the were growing near some cattails and other tall water loving plants. But when I did see them, I thought…how unusual…gotta get a shot of this!

  8. August 1, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Lovely! I am sure I have seen these, or something similar, here in this country too.

    • August 1, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Wow really? …I must live in a bubble…apparently these are rather common…just not in my travels LOL.

  9. August 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Looks like a cross between asparagus and bamboo!

    • August 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Hmmm add a little steam and some butter and you have a pretty tasty dish!

  10. August 3, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Oh my, nature is simply amazing 🙂 What a lovely shot, I’ll use it as my screen saver, with your permission 🙂

    • August 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks Kristinta, and of course you may use it.

  11. August 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    I like this pic. Kind of a challenge for DOF. Something different. Great desktop photo

    • August 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks Gerry, DOF was challenging…and deciding which stem to focus on! You’re welcome to use the photo if you’d like.

  12. September 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Very nice photograph – I like the simple approach you took. We have a lot of Equisetum around here, but usually they have stiff tufts of foliage sticking out from the joints on the stem, and thus don’t photo nearly as nicely as this.

    • September 17, 2013 at 8:44 am

      As common as this plant apparently is, I still can’t believe I’ve never seen it before…especially since I am usually near a water source of some sort.

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