Cat tails are really an interesting plant. Indigenous folks used to use the heads dipped in oil or fat as torches, the fluffy inner head filling as an insulator and the roots were dried, ground and made into a nutritious flour.
Our pond has a lot of this plant around the edges, and the strong stalks make great hiding places for birds above the surface of the water, and for small fish down beneath. Cat tails are pretty plants all year – but I love them in winter as they stand up to the arctic blasts, straight and up-right against the winds, and provide shelter to small mammals.
On a hike this week, I noticed this patch of Cat tails growing there with ice all around them. Some small birds, white-throated sparrows, had lit on the tops, which is what first drew my attention, but in the light the plants themselves are just incredibly delicate looking, yet actually so sturdy.
Beauty, even in the depth of winter and ice.
Cat Tail Head