Monday, July 13, 2009

Gentlemen, Choose your Weapons!


When I was a kid our weapon of choice for fun-fights on the way home from school was either a handful of sticky-Jack Galium aparine
or the seed heads of this grass, wall barley Hordeum murinum. Used as darts, they’d sticky satisfyingly into the woolly school jumper of an opponent. These days, I tend to appreciate this common grass for its aesthetic qualities, especially when its long awns catch the early morning sunlight or are covered in dew.

8 comments:

  1. lol I remember throwing these as a kid too.
    And they always seemed to have tiny insects amongst them.
    A great reminder of childhood Phil; thanks for that, it really brought a smile to my face reading that.
    I never knew what it was called either.

    I've just gone back fourty odd years or more. lol

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  2. Beautiful images and the dew always enhances both webs and plants.

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  3. I must have led a more peaceful childhood! But I do remember being able to fold the stalk of a plantain in such a way that when you pulled it, the head flew off - it travelled about six inches if I recall, so it wasn't too dangerous.

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  4. Lovely pics; Wall barley is a personal favourite. Cleavers was known as Sticky jack in my childhood but my wife (from Scotland) calls it Sticky willy.

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  5. Thanks Keith, the tiny hooks on those long awns made them difficult to remove from clothing, didn't they?

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  6. Thanks Adrian, dew does add an extra dimension to everything, even if it does mean getting wet feet to appreciate it!

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  7. Hi Emma, I rememebr being shown the plantain trick too, although I could make it work very well either..

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  8. Hi Abbey meadows, we also new it as goosegrass when we were kids - I wonder if geese eat it?

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