Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - a "rare" orchid?

 Orchids are funny, and a number of even botanists are obsessed by them.  It is one of the largest families of flowering plants.  Among the species of orchids found in here in Lincolnland they are described as "rare", "very rare", "uncommon", and one such plant has shown up in our gardens.  

The upper image shows the whole plant, all seven inches or it from a small whorl of slender basal leaves its terminal spike of white flowers.  The lower image show the flowers a bit bigger, all of 2-3 mm long.  This a Ladie' tresses orchid, the genus Spiranthes probably S. ovalis.  This orchid is "not common" and it found our gardens' on its own.  However such plants flowering here in september are easily over-looked, so quite inconspicuous, if not actually rare.  It woes make TPP happy just to know it's there; 4 or 5 plants in a patch some foot in diameter.  Oh did TPP mention that most orchids have quite small flowers of rather small plants.  Enjoy.

Salt potatoes

 TPP has been occupied, so sorry.  Having technical problems with images.  Here's part of the back log that doesn't need illustration.  While looking for items for a together the Phactors hit on the idea of salt potatoes, a common item from our youth, so many decades ago.  So how many if you have ever had salt potatoes?  They used to come as a bag of New potatoes, which is to say small whole potatoes in a bag with a decent sized package of salt.  Basically you boil them in a brine until tender then let them dry forming a crust of salt on the skin, then you serve them hot with melted butter.  In those days we didn't use fancy stuff like parsley or chives.  The recipe isa about 1 1/2 cups of salt for 4 lbs. of potatoes.  When looking this up TPP was very surprised to find them referred to as Syracuse salt potatoes.  Apparently, this is an upstate New York thing, and we all knew Syracuse (Mrs. Phactor's home town near enough) was famous for salt.  Important that you understand the potatoes must be whole with the skin intact.  So  the Phactors had quite a laugh of this blast from the post.  

Other up coming items: new cat, fall flowers, and more.