Today finds one last image from last Saturday's visit to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. The image shows a close-up of the male pollen bearing flowers on a Loblolly Pine, sometimes erroneously called catkins. These are a major source of all that yellow pollen on your car in the Spring. Earlier images have represented the flowers from deciduous trees which often have what we more typically think of as flowers where the male and female parts are both present. Conifers, such as the loblolly pine, are evolutionarily more primitive and the male and female (the cone) flower parts are located separately on the tree. These trees depend upon the wind for pollination which is obviously not as efficient as having pollinating insects capable of transferring pollen from one part of a flower to another on the same flower or an nearby flower. Thus the pine, and other conifers, must produce lots of wind blown pollen resulting in your yellow car. I would add that the loblolly pine is one of our most important commercial trees as it is utilized in much of our lumber and paper. Setting aside the botany lesson, I found the image just appealing. Olympus OMD, [email protected] mm, macro mode, 1/160s, f8, ISO 800.