Thursday, January 24, 2019

Goldenrod Project

            Back in December workers at the Royal Botanical Garden's Herbarium were debating on what they could do to take part in the Spider exhibit that was upcoming in January. I suggested making a model of the Goldenrod Spider and some Goldenrod flowers. Guess who got the job.

            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.

I decided to use dowel sticks for the basics
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.

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