Field of Science

Alternate Reality

TPP thinks that maybe just maybe he and his travelling companions have slipped into an alternate reality.  Three-wheeled bicycles, most of them electric assisted, suddenly out number cars, and the bike riders either have on white bonnets or broad-rimmed hats and beards.  Palm trees abound, and everything is quite green.  Silly as this sounds it is apparently the local reality.  This alternate reality seems to be normal for Sarasota Florida and it is all the result of celery.  Hey, TPP does not make this stuff up. One thing TPP knows for certain, you will not catch him moving to this area, no way, no how.  Although the "we survived the 60s twice" Phactors actually fit the local demographic (gray hairs abound) this is not our idea of a life.  The break from winter is a nice thing, although the F1 thinks, a mink or wolverine is making tracks in the snow on our patio back in Lincolnland winter, this is not our thing.  And raccoon or fox is a lot more likely on the patio. Water the bonsai trees, kid.  Thanks.

photographic field guide to roadside prairie plants

BrianO, a long time and valued correspondent, asked TPP to review this field guide, but no time to do it right now (getting ready for a road trip)(but wrong season and wrong place to try this out).  But I know that a lot of impressive plant people lurk in the back ground of this blog.  So here's the link BrianO provided, have a look see and report back.  TPP will let you know about his initial reaction in a bit, when time permits.  

Friday Fabulous Flower - Cactus

OK in an effort to get a day/date disconnect resolved, TPP thought why not do something unusual like do a FFF on an actual Friday.  People won't expect that.  One of our favorite house plants is in full bloom and it is so very cheerful,  Hatiora salicornioides.  This is a epiphytic or orchid cactus that used to be in the genus Rhipsalis.   The specific epithet is sort of interesting because it means it looks like a well-known halophyte Salicornia.  This particular plant has gotten big, probably 50 lbs big and the largest and oldest stems are quite woody.  At any rate there are hundreds of drooping stems and each one bears a golden yellow flower at its terminus.  Each segment has a slender portion and then a thick succulent portion.  

Now here's an image of some Salicornia growing in a salt marsh at low-tide.  It doesn't look like this very much except for the many segments and the succulence.  

A slightly belated Happy New Year

It was finally obvious that the solstice holidays were over a few days back when the last cookie was eaten, a sugared nutball.  They have excellent longevity and TPP had made a double batch.  Now there are still cookies around because people had purchased several varieties and gifted them to this writer.  Hmm, that might say something about the image he projects.  One variety was Newman's own, a mimic of oreos, but Newman's own should have stuck with salad dressing.  The mimics just don't have the deep dark chocolate flavor that the cookies should have.  And then the unevenly applied white filling is denser and not as creamy as the stuff in oreos.  NOs are not bad cookies but they are not nearly as good as the originals unless you are committed to organic flour and organic sugar, and want to spend more so that some of the profits go to a charity, TPP says don't bother.  
The January weather has been mild so far and only slightly wintry. Hellebore buds are beginning to poke up as are the shoots. It was windy the other day as this latest front arrived, so it will take some time to walk the gardens and pick up twigs and limbs.  It is a bit hard this time of year to be productive.  Don't much care what the British royals do.  And TPP doesn't like basketball.  The political posturing of both the inept POTUS and those that wish to replace him are not interesting beyond the worry they create.  This latest sword rattling episode with Iran clearly shows that trust and integrity is a WH problem, and the danger of such rash action is not understood.  2020 is not starting out well.