I started by looking for Goldenrod flower photos:
We had a field full of Goldenrods in September.
I had some close-up photos.
I had a book with drawings of Goldenrod parts.
Even though it was December,
I found a Goldenrod in bloom
and put a flowerhead under
the microscope for a close photo.
I found a photo on the internet
of the two kinds of florets in a flower head;
a ray floret and a disc floret.
I took two photos of disc florets
and photoshopped a grid over top
to see relative sizes.
I found drawings with labels so I knew better
what I was looking at in the photos.
of the disc florets. I cut them into short pieces
and rounded the tops by sanding them.
I used a hand drill to make a pilot hole in the dowel.
Then I used a Dremel bit to make the hole larger.
I marked each large dowel in 5 places to replicate
the corolla points and then used the Dremel bit
again to carve down the edges. To some of the
corollas I added in a smaller dowel to act as the
anther cylinder for open disc florets. Then I painted
all of the dowels to act as disc florets.
I used rubber bands to group the dowel disc
florets together, then added clear threads with tape
to represent pappus hairs before using hot glue
to put them all together. Next, I cut paper strips
to use as the strap-shaped ligules (ray flowers) and other
pointed strips to use as the green phyllaries.
I cut some short pieces of hanger wire and used hot glue
to bind them together. I painted the ray florets and the
phyllaries for the flower heads and then used hot glue
to attach them to the hanger wire that acted as a stem.
I used coat hanger wire, some styrofoam, paper mâché,
and caulking compound to put together a crab spider.
(I made a sticky mess of myself and said a few nasty
words to that spider before giving up and deciding that
I really liked making flowers more than spiders. Perhaps
I should start working on spider and insect models in
the future to improve my skills?)
Here is the finished project.