Cattails are tall reedlike marsh plants with velvety, cylindrical, and dark brown heads. It almost looks like a burned corn-dog. They are also known as bulrushes. Strange as it may be, I am always fascinated with Cattails and can't explain why. Cattails can be easily found by ponds, by the roadside in pooled water areas, and irrigation run-off.
The Native Americans use Cattail leaves and stalks for weaving mats and baskets. Roots and pollen are turned into medicine herbs. Cattail downs are a source for moccasin-shoe lining and reportedly pillow stuffing.
Cattails are perennial plants. In late fall, the ribbon-like leaves die, but the cattail heads stand tall until the break, sending thousands of seeds into the air. I took these photos at a nearby pond as the sun descends behind the mountains.