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Showing posts from February, 2015

The Elymus of Imagination

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Elymus is a wonderful genus of grass to study. Most of its members exhibit beautifully complex breeding systems that challenge, stretch and contort what would otherwise be our oversimplified and redundant definitions of species. Those interested in how and why such breeding systems emerge again and again from the natural interface of organisms and the environment are encouraged to read "Plant Speciation" by Verne Grant. It's an older reference, but it is still relevant and is far from outdated.

You know how in the movie, based on the Stephen King book, "Christine" the nerd slash soon-to-be vigilante hears the car he loves telling him that it can repair itself after the jocks trashed it and pooped on the dashboard? How he says "okay.... show me." and then the headlights come on with eerily piercing music? I feel like that when I find an Elymus in the field. My heart races faster and I breathe deeper, like something out of the ordinary is going to happe…