Posted by arctangent (Ann Arbor, Michigan - Zone 6a) on Sep 28, 2020 7:43 AM concerning plant:
This is a bunchgrass that grows in small tufts of short leaves, a few centimeters in length. Under certain conditions the plants produce woolly masses of fine white fibers that form when excreted solutions of mineral salts evaporate. Hence one of the common names, woollygrass. It is native to the U. S. desert southwest.