edited 11/15/12 - This is not a sexy post. I've been off my blogging routine the past few weeks thanks to major headlines occupying my morning internet time: Giants winning the 2012 World Series, Sandy, elections, Petraeus resignation, all interspersed with gruesome murderous plots. I've wanted to write about Buster Posey's incredible comeback one season after his horrific leg injuries, big companies and local neighborhoods utilizing the reach of social media to provide immediate help in the aftermath of Sandy, like Duracell's Rapid Responder, Google's Crisis Map, and Occupy Sandy (ARC could learn a thing or two), Nate Silver's statistical forecasting of elections, post-Petraeus implications for the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and how cooking human flesh has become the fashionable way to murder (case in CA, case in NY)... but they're not appropriate for Nature ID.
One thing that has hit home for me is "news" these days is mainly compiled of opinions, speculation, and reporting other's reports. It becomes a real-life game of telephone. The facts are few and far between, and by the time they're reported, in many cases in a matter of a few hours in the race to be ahead of the competition, they're disturbingly distorted from the actual truth. It's unfortunate, but I've seen this with nature information, too, albeit at a slower pace. What one author states clearly in a scientific paper is a wild guess gets referenced, second referenced, down the line until finally another group states definitively that what was once a guess is indeed fact. Then it gets put into textbooks and field guides. Lovely, eh? Because of this spectacle, I consciously try my best to focus Nature ID on my first-hand observations rather than rewording "facts" from books or sites. This practice makes my blog appear to lack content, but at least it's original.
So, getting to CA bulrush. I've largely ignored grass-like plants on Nature ID, since I have a mental block around them, like with trees, and find them very difficult to ID. I had to look up the difference between grasses, rushes, and sedges just so I knew which families to search. I narrowed down the above ID by using the published plant list for the Frog Pond. It's impossible to tell how tall these bulrushes are from my pictures, but here's a comparison photo with a small human. Now that I have the basics of this sedge ID, I can look into more information, like these amazing Peruvian tortora horses made out of this plant (tortora is the name for a South American subspecies of CA bulrush and the horses are actually reed boats). Cool!