Harts Pond / Fall - Lycopodium digitatum
Lycopodium digitatum, also known as fan clubmoss, like most primitive plants, reproduces with spores rather than seeds. These structures develop and disperse the spored. The threads may be spider webs covered with spores, or may be some side effect of the spore dispersal.
Spores, unlike seeds, contain little or no nutrient material for the plant-to-be.
In the early years of photography, lycopodium spores were used as flash powder due to their fine grain and combustibility.
The spores land on the ground and form a special plant called a gametophyte, which bears male and female reproductive organs. The gametophyte emits sperm which fertilize an egg. The egg becomes the sporophyte, which grows into the mature plant.
Flowering plants simplified this complex life cycle, which may be one reason for their outstanding success.