Here are two surprising “Cat” facts on Bluestem Pond Farm.
1) Did you know how cattails grow? This is the second year growth on the pond, and this year we are getting lots of the flowers of the cattail, from which the name comes. I see that as the flower forms, there is first a column of pollen that forms and underneath it comes the thick brown cylinder that you know as a cattail. If you bump the stem when the pollen is ripe, you get a poof of powder showering over yourself.
2) Catalpa blossoms. We have one tree we saved when we cleared the fields of “volunteers” in 2009 (four years ago already!) It stands over the pet cemetery where we buried our previous two dogs, Duncan and Dolly. It is a Catalpa, a fast growing tree that is common in Michigan. The leaves are very large and the fruit of the tree comes in the form of foot-long beans as skinny and round as a pencil.
This time of the year, the catalpa produces the most beautiful blooms. Most of the time you can’t get close enough to see them in detail but you just see nice white blossoms up high above you. Our tree still has low branches, and look what is on it today…
Is that pretty, or what? We learned at the local beekeeper’s club meeting that these are very popular with the bees and that they have the potential to generate a good deal of honey if the catalpa trees are plentiful. Maybe we should get more of them growing.