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Amabella Catston
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« on: 12 May 2013, 02:11:47 »


Picture: http://www.santharia.com/herbarium/plants_small/pheasant_grass.gif

"Lýth’bél berries are brightly adorning this "Jeyring" of Pheasant Grass, seen here newly placed upon a door before the colour has changed to korwyn gold. Picture by …?"

a) Categorization: Grasses

b) Basic Overview of the Plant: Tawny plumes of seed heads decorate this longstemmed wild gold grass. Also a major component of the plains ecosystem, Pheasant Grass grows from one to two peds high in small copses or thickets. It dries quickly and is very attractive, keeping its shiny golden colour and not dropping seedheads everywhere. Birds thrive on the grain, and horses enjoy the cut dried "pheasant hay" in the winter.

The earliest known usage of the name "Pheasant Grass" is from the Centoraurians, who noted that the variegated shades of the grass resembled the colours of pheasant plumage when the plant first begins to bloom. Pheasant Grass is called injèr'echár in Styrásh (literally "sun grass") due to its golden hues.

c) Description: This warm-season perennial grass grows in clumps up two peds both tall and wide under optimal conditions, with most grass growing between one and one and a half peds tall and wide. The roots are equally as long as the stem or slightly longer, typically two peds long and wide. This flat stemmed grass has long and slender leaf blades. These smooth, needlelike leaves grow to 2 to 4 palmspans long by 1 grain wide.

Pheasant Grasses grow most rapidly in the spring, and they are in bloom between mid-summer and fall (From Burning Heavens to Passing Clouds). The hue of the leaves and stems during these seasons may vary depending on the degree of sun exposure the plant receives, but most varieties are a styruine blend of green and gold. Its flower heads, approximately 1 to 3 palmspans long, contain korwyn gold spikelets. Each spikelet is about 2 grains long.

Seeds emerge less than a month after the flowering stage begins. The stalks droop until the heavy 1-2 od seed heads touch the ground. Pheasant Grass is particularly striking in the winter, because its luster does not fade when it becomes semi-dormant. Instead, the stalks and leaves turn the same korwyn gold colour as the heads.

d) Territory: Pheasant Grass grows best in climates where winters are mild. Pheasant Grass needs full or partial sun to thrive, and it grows in climates with moderate to slightly arid humidity. It cannot thrive in damp environments, since excess moisture can damage the roots. It also cannot thrive in densely wooded areas where the canopies of trees block out the sun. Pheasant Grass is found predominantly in open grasslands and in sparsely wooded areas throughout the Southern Sarvonian continent. It grows prolifically in the Aurora Plains, where the golden grass contributes to the colour of the landscape in autumn. Patches of Pheasant Grass also thrive within the Narfost Plain, where it grows in sunny areas upon the steep hills of the canyons.

e) Usages: Pheasant Grass contributes to the ecosystem of its habitat both above and beneath the ground. The long roots help to retain valuable nutrients in the soil of the open plains. This hardy plant also provides a source of food for a variety of wild and domestic animals who eat the stalks or seeds.

It is specially cultivated by Centoraurians in the Aurora Plains to feed their horses in the winter, particularly when frost covers the grasslands. While Pheasant Grass retains moisture well when it is planted, the stalks dry quickly into “pheasant hay” once separated from their root system. The seeds are also used to feed domestic birds such as taenishes. Pheasant Grass is attractive enough to be used as an ornamental grass as well, and stalks of Pheasant Grass are often bundled together to form a wreath.

f) Reproduction: The plants reproduce by means of its flowers, which are pollinated by wind. Pheasant Grass seeds take approximately 22 days to germinate.

Although the seed heads are are occasionally carried by wind or rain, the dispersal of its heavy seeds is mostly dependent on birds and small seed-eating mammals. These seeds are frequently eaten by varcosparrows, kuatu, fuzzles, and field mice. The seeds, which are slightly barbed at the tip, are distributed when excess seed is caught in their fur or feathers.  

In order to maintain an ample supply of hay each year, Centoraurians leave the grasses completely uncut in copses and thickets within Asloriath field. The seeds are easily dispersed by the many native forest animals living in the area.

g) Myth/Lore: A Pheasant Grass wreath is used to decorate the house cheerfully during harvest time, when the intermittent showers of rain called “Jeyriall’s Tears” are falling. The wreath is a simple decoration to make, since the stalks are already highly curved due to the drooping of the seed heads. On the first day of the month of Jeystar, it is traditionally hung on a door or exterior wall. The wreath is sometimes called a "Jeyring" (initially by the Centoraurians), and some elves call it an "echár’sú'ufán" (in Styrásh, literally a “grass weave”).

When a cornplat is constructed for Jeyriall in the harvest season, the wreath may serve as a frame or as an anchor to help secure the cornplat against the wind. The wreath is also traditionally adorned with berries or flowers which grow naturally in the local area. The most common decorations are lýth’bél berries, loriv berries, and floridus blossoms.

The tradition is many centuries old, and no one is certain why Pheasant Grass was originally preferred to make the wreath over other types of long stemmed grasses. Some say it is symbolic because Pheasant Grass is particularly susceptible to being damaged by excessive autumn rain. Others say it is for convenience, since the wreath may be unraveled and used as hay after the harvest season is over. But the most popular belief is due to the tendency of a Pheasant Grass wreath to change from styruine to golden as it dries. This colour transformation is seen as symbolic that “Jeyriall’s tears have dried” at the end of the season, and she is no longer weeping for the cut crops.
« Last Edit: 18 May 2013, 01:55:12 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

Amabella Catston
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« Reply #1 on: 12 May 2013, 02:31:50 »

Not sure where to post my questions about pheasant grass, so I am posting them here:

1) Are there any pheasants living in Caelereth? I'm trying to figure out what to write for the etymology of the name. If there are pheasants (even if there is no entry) where do they live? (that is, would the Centoraurians know about pheasants to name the grass after the bird, or would it have to be another tribe?) I can use the variegated colour of the grass as the origin of the grass name, otherwise, if there are no pheasants, I can just say that the source of the name is ambiguous. Answered by Seeker

Remaining questions 2-6 answered by Artimidor

2) I'm not sure if I did the Styrásh for the grass and wreath correctly.  buck I would like to have a Styrásh name for the wreath, as I'm sure curious elves passing by the doors of Centoraurian homes would want to call it something, or perhaps even practice the custom of hanging a wreath themselves.

When I combined "Sun" and "grass" it produced a double vowel injèrá'echár, which looked a bit awkward to me. Since it looked like the first vowel was dropped in the similar word for desert (injèr'cál) I made the grass name "injèr'echár". Again, I'm not sure if this is quite right... :P

3) I am not 100% sure which words should be capitalized, and which words should not.  undecided The capitalization has been changed...

4) Not sure if I should describe the location of my grass as growing in the "Aurora Fields" or "Aurora Plains". I arbitrarily picked "Aurora Plains" to match the entry.

5) Do I list cross referenced compendium entries here?

Pheasant grass (overview and picture, the decorations on the wreath were interpreted as Lýth’bél berries here)
taenishes
Centoraurians
Southern Sarvonia
varcosparrows
kuatu
fuzzles
field mice
Jeyriall (The terms/rituals about "Jeyriall's tears" and "Cornplat" were taken from this entry)
Lýth’bél
floridus
horses

6) I'm not sure if I would also assist in writing the picture caption...maybe it would be something like, "Lýth’bél berries are brightly adorning this "Jeyring", seen here newly placed upon a door before the colour has changed to korwyn gold. Picture by …?"
« Last Edit: 16 May 2013, 11:53:20 by Amabella Catston » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: 12 May 2013, 02:33:18 »

Nice work Amabella.   thumbup  I like that you are giving a full entry to one of the grasses mentioned in the grasses overview.   You incorporated what was given in that short description very well.  I also like that you tied this to the Aurora plains.  I don't think they specified in that entry which type of grass was growing there.  This fits well to the description in the Aurora plains and maybe  Artimidor can insert a mention of the Pheasant Grass there.  Finally you seem to have picked up on the Santharia measurements and all.

I really don't have much to give by way of improvements.  Your writing seems well done, I didn't catch spelling errors or grammar problems (not that this is my forte or anything) and I simply refuse to be picky or opinionated about grass.  We can save that for more complex entries later on. grin

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« Reply #3 on: 12 May 2013, 02:41:37 »

We do not a pheasant developed yet however there have been a couple mentions of pheasants in some entries.  So I think it is safe to say there are pheasants but we don't know much about them.  However I think it is safe to say Centoraurians would know about them.  It is harmless anyway and wont cause a problem if we just establish that fact.
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Amabella Catston
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« Reply #4 on: 12 May 2013, 03:19:04 »

Thanks Seeker - I will add the pheasant reference to the entry. Both Pheasant grass and the Aurora plains grasses were described as being "golden" in the fall, so I was hoping it would work.  ;)

As an aside, I had no idea how little I knew about grass until I did research for this entry.  :D

In order to focus on the major points, I tried to leave out minute details that may not have much relevance to common people harvesting the grass (Such as whether the grass has auricles or not, etc)
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« Reply #5 on: 14 May 2013, 17:18:14 »

Amabella,
I need to admit, that I have only skimmed over your lovely grass, but it seems, that it would grow in the Narfost Plain also, and maybe I could change that entry a bit, so that the alth'ho is not the predominant grass there. Would love to have it :)
If you just could mention the Plains, that would be fine, I will adjust the entry later.

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« Reply #6 on: 15 May 2013, 04:21:10 »

Ok, Amabella, here are a couple of answers to your questions you posted for now - I'll check the entry tomorrow:

2) Styrásh: Your word construction is perfectly fine. We've done it similarly often times, assuming that double vowels and even certain word parts are simply eliminated through time despite their roots. That way a vocabulary of shorter words resulted, which are easier to pronounce, better sounding and/or generally more beautiful. Styrásh words have that tendency ;)

3) Capitalization: It works that way that the topic of the entry when mentioned in the text is capitalized, in your case that is "Pheasant Grass", but the rest of the references is not. Unlike we're dealing with a proper name that is. So it would be "kuatu" and "field mouse", but the "Warnaka Mountains" e.g. would be capitalized.

4) Aurora Plains should be fine, yup :)

5) You need not worry about the references, as basically when I'm uploading the entry I go through the whole thing and add the links to other existing entries. In that process I also usually do a final check for spelling or mistakes regarding formatting issues and things like that, giving the entry a final polish.

6) Assisting with picture captions is also welcomed, sure! I would suggest to put that also in the first post, along with a link or at least a mention which picture you want to use. That way whenever I update the site I can always check the first post, and it's all in there, and I won't forget anything posted way further down.
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Amabella Catston
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« Reply #7 on: 15 May 2013, 13:19:56 »

Hi Artimidor and Talia, thanks for the feedback  :)

The picture has been added. The picture that I definitely want to use is the original one in the overview...but I don't know where the full picture is, only the round portrait there. (I get "page not found" when I click the link on the original Herbarium request page)

Sure - I think those steep hills on the Norfost Plain where the loriv and lythian are thriving would be ideal locations for pheasant grass to grow. With lots of sunshine, not too much humidity, and probably small animals to disperse the seeds (the birds on the plains) I pheasant grass could possibly fit in very nicely with the "golden carpet" already there. I added the Narfost Plains to the description, and I also added loriv berries to the list of local wreath decorations, in yellow.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2013, 11:53:57 by Amabella Catston » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: 16 May 2013, 04:10:29 »

Ok, now for some further mainly technical comments regarding the entry. I like what you have here and you've done your research and followed the laid out guidelines just fine, so not problem in general with the entry. Just a few pointers:

- Here in Santharia we actually use British spelling (color --> colour, stuff like that), because this sounds more medieval. Needs a bit to get used to, but this is part of our tradition. :)

- I see you use not only Santharian measurements, but also colours very effectively. Exactly as it should be.

- Make sure to write "Pheasant Grass" throughout, you have a few instances of "Pheasant grass" or "pheasant grass". Just to stay consistent :)

- The "Norfost Plain" is actually the "Narfost Plain" by the way :)

- If you write "call it an echár’sú'ufán" or "call it a Jeyring" you usually put the word in question between quotation marks.

- What's a "Complat"?

- I like the Myth/Lore part very much :) Fits right in, tells a lovely story, makes it part of a culture, lovely!

And finally of course aura +1 for you - splendid first entry, Amabella :D  thumbup I hope you still plan on doing the Heath of Jernais entry, now that you have made your first experiences writing an entry. Would love to get this one up as well, as it's quite key for the region.
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Amabella Catston
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« Reply #9 on: 16 May 2013, 12:42:05 »

Quote
Here in Santharia we actually use British spelling (color --> colour, stuff like that), because this sounds more medieval. Needs a bit to get used to, but this is part of our tradition. :)

Changed.

Quote
Make sure to write "Pheasant Grass" throughout, you have a few instances of "Pheasant grass" or "pheasant grass". Just to stay consistent

Looks like I missed a lot of them. shocked They have been changed. The only one I didn't modify was the phrase "pheasant hay", which was lowercase in the overview. I did capitalize "Pheasant Grass wreath" but I'm not 100% sure that this capitalization is right.

Quote
The "Norfost Plain" is actually the "Narfost Plain" by the way

Changed.

Quote
If you write "call it an echár’sú'ufán" or "call it a Jeyring" you usually put the word in question between quotation marks.

I think I fixed all of them...

Quote
What's a "Complat"?

It is a misspelled cornplat.  :D The spelling has been fixed to match the definition in the Jeyriall entry below. I can remove my reference to it though, if it is too confusing.

Quote
Farmers and peasants often also construct the Cornplat, a sheaf of grain plaited roughly into human shape, with the heads of the grain flowing upwards and out to represent hair. The Cornplat is then hung on an exterior wall where it overlooks the household until next year’s planting, at which time it is taken down, burnt, and its ashes scattered on the newly broken ground.

Quote
I hope you still plan on doing the Heath of Jernais entry, now that you have made your first experiences writing an entry. Would love to get this one up as well, as it's quite key for the region.

Yes, the Heath of Jernais is next. If it is listed under "Current Works in Progress" on my development schedule, I plan to do it (in roughly the order it is listed).   :)
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« Reply #10 on: 17 May 2013, 04:16:50 »

Excellent - I'll also upload this next update then, all fine from here!  thumbup
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« Reply #11 on: 18 May 2013, 07:21:21 »

Ah, I am too late to get this linked to the Grasslands of Hylach, I see.  But thank you for writing a grass, Amabella!
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Amabella Catston
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« Reply #12 on: 18 May 2013, 12:03:24 »

Yikes! I wish I could add it too.  :( When I read this in the entry, it sounded like an absolutely perfect description of Pheasant Grass:

Quote
Autumn has no dead leaves on the Grass, as there are no trees from which they might fall. Instead it is a season of heavy seed-heads and waving pollen-spikes which bow on their tall stalks...


May I please have the sentence below in yellow added to the territory section, or is it too late?

d) Territory: Pheasant Grass grows best in climates where winters are mild. Pheasant Grass needs full or partial sun to thrive, and it grows in climates with moderate to slightly arid humidity. It cannot thrive in damp environments, since excess moisture can damage the roots. It also cannot thrive in densely wooded areas where the canopies of trees block out the sun. Pheasant Grass is found predominantly in open grasslands and in sparsely wooded areas throughout the Southern Sarvonian continent. It grows prolifically in the Aurora Plains, where the golden grass contributes to the colour of the landscape in autumn. Patches of Pheasant Grass also thrive within the Narfost Plain, where it grows in sunny areas upon the steep hills of the canyons. Courtfordians have cultivated the tallest known varieties of Pheasant Grass in the grasslands of Hylach for hay, while the smallest known varieties are cultivated in quaint private gardens as an ornamental grass.
 
« Last Edit: 18 May 2013, 13:07:06 by Amabella Catston » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: 18 May 2013, 15:44:54 »

Sure, no problem - and already done :)  thumbup
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« Reply #14 on: 18 May 2013, 18:59:16 »

pet  Awesome!  Love to see my favourite places getting woven deeper into the Dream.   heart
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