Native Grass

Grass seed heads on a dead leaf

Grass seed heads on a dead leaf

When Tisen and I walk the park, we pass an area planted with grasses that are apparently native to Tennessee.  I don’t know if they grow in Ohio–I don’t recognize them.

They grow in tall bunches and produce lovely seed heads that look decorative from late summer all the way through winter.  In the spring, the park landscape crew clears out the dead grass and they grow fresh green sprouts and start all over again.

Tisen is fond of these grasses.  They have the obvious attraction of providing a place to leave his scent that’s fairly high off the ground.  This, however, creates a problem related to the second reason Tisen is fond of these grasses:  he likes to scratch himself by throwing his body against them and/or swaying his rear end back and forth under their curving stems in a weird sort of move that makes one wonder exactly what his intentions are.

Now, the problem is in that he’s rubbing himself against the very same grasses he has previously . . . uh . . . watered.  Fortunately, he has the wisdom not to water and rub in the same place.  He wants to leave his scent behind, not carry it off on himself.  However, as I mentioned, we walk the park 3 times a day.  He doesn’t really keep track of where he “watered” on the previous walk.  As such, we sometimes return from walks with a slightly smelly dog, but at least not a wet one.

In any case, a handful of seed heads from these grasses had fallen onto the sidewalk.  Since those still attached to the grass were blowing around a rates of speed that just weren’t going to work for a macro shot, I set up my tripod and camera so the lens was pointed down and directly over the seed heads on the sidewalk.  No sooner than I got completely set up, my four-legged photographer’s assistant decided to stand on my subject.

So, for this particular shot, I arranged the seed heads.  I picked up one strip of seed heads along with a dark brown dead leaf and laid them down on the sidewalk where Tisen wouldn’t step on them.

They look better against the dark brown leaf than they would have on the gray sidewalk, so I guess Tisen really was assisting.  At least he didn’t eat them.

Tisen is actually a very good assistant.  Most of the time.  He patiently waits while I shoot.  He usually doesn’t walk on the subject unless it’s for a good reason.  And, he makes me feel perfectly safe walking around a park late on a winter afternoon carrying my equipment.

To tell the truth, I’ve always thought my gear would make a pretty good weapon in a worst case scenario, but I feel like I won’t have to risk damaging my camera with Tisen around.  Although, I’m not sure how seriously people take him as a protector when he’s carrying his yellow duck in his mouth.


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