Let your heart be a portal for the songs of the universe.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Joyous Yellow

It’s a fortnight since the last rains. The Llano Estacado Plain simmers under 100°F temperatures. Some of the prairie grasses show signs of imminent greenery. Wavy Leaf Thistles, Silver Leaf Nightshade and Texas Blueweed stir to life. Yellow wildflowers seem to dominate the open environment and full sunlight of the prairie. Red and blue flowers are relatively rare in the plains environment where bees are a common pollinator. Bees favor yellow since they cannot distinguish between red and green.

Flowers pollinated by birds tend to be red and white. The vertebrate eye sees these most clearly. Night pollinated flowers such as the Prairie Evening Primrose is white, which is most luminous in low light conditions.

Recent research shows flowers may use color and subtle color variations to discourage pollinators from hybrid matings by mingling pollen of similar species. Science Daily has an interesting synopsis in this area of research in an article titled “Wildflower Colors Tell Butterflies How To Do Their Job.”

© Ilija Lukić 2011

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