Another day at the office…

These folks didn’t brown bag their nectar and pollen, they’re lunching out.   After reading through the material on The Great Sunflower Project’s site I’ve been paying closer attention to the population in my own yard.  http://www.greatsunflower.org/four-easy-steps-participate

 

Little shop of horrors…

These two images, seemingly disparate are linked in my mind.  Analyze that one.

I’ve been hiding out from the midday temperatures by revisiting my carnivorous plant obsession.  That and Henry and I have joined the YMCA.  Yes, like the song.  I think I’m going to like it as apposed to the fancy pants gym whose membership I just dropped. I popped in yesterday for my ‘orientation’ which essentially was a workout lite.  While nodding my head and half listening a senior who I’m guessing was in his late 70’s clambered onto the machine next to me.  His skinny legs were incased in the requisite ribbed white knee socks, there were violently colored golf shorts and a nondescript oversized t-shirt.  “This is my favorite machine, I highly recommend it.  It’s going to give me smaller buns.”  was addressed in my direction.  All that came out of my mouth was “I’ll keep that in mind.”   On that note I really do think it’s going to work for us.

rosetted Sundew or Drosera spatulata "Frazier Island"

Henry in I believe 2004

In all fairness…

I didn’t last very long at the Marin County Fair.  The heat, dust, odd array of snake oil and plastic for sale left me wilted.  Wandering through the art exhibit and sitting with Henry while he scarfed down something resembling nachos was almost it.  The people watching is excellent although I was having trouble moving the brain cells away from the visual of our collective obesity.  My fixation, my bad.

All of the 4H exhibits are excellent.  Kids with ernest expression and green kerchief  exhibit their prize animals that always go by first name.

I very much want one of these.

that will do pig

 

And a couple of these.

bleet

Before preciousness…

This past week there was an article in the New York Times about the rooftop gardeners who were up there back when rents were in the hundreds not thousands of dollars in Manhattan.  That would be the 1970’s. There was not an inherent self righteousness that can happen to the best of us today in growing some edibles or greenery.  It was just gardening.   One such cultivator, an actress was cast in “Liquid Sky” a collegiate favorite film of mine.  Check out the slide show of the gardens, and the trailer for a now dated film.

from the New York TImes

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/garden/on-city-rooftops-scrappy-green-spaces-in-bloom.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&ref=garden

 

 

 

 

Flakes, Bizarres and Piccotees…

Flakes and Bizarres has me squirming as it could possibly be descriptive of my sporadic dating life.  When one adds in Piccotees we are talking about Dianthus or carnation varietals.  This is a relief because I’m not quite ready to write that other blog entry.  Carnations have a bad reputation and I don’t mean the naughty, slightly wild good kind of bad reputation.  I’m in agreement when confronted with the my man has enough testosterone to send flowers to, note the white carnation head on that beer.

yes, you really can order this online

Santa Venetia Middle School memories also surfaced of the long stem red and white variety.  Valentine’s Day, a fundraiser for something, the popular kids could and did send the other popular kids a single carnation which naturally would be delivered during class.  While I had ingenuity to end up in the director’s office of Marin Ballet for tormenting my best friend’s twin sister I had not thought to coordinate with her on the sending of said long stem beauties to each other thus in a round about way raising our social status.   Note, my second best friend at the time was the school librarian.

And if that’s not enough Katy Perry when embarking on her World Tour 2011 said “no carnations” when it came to her requested pink dressing room decor.

The point of delving into all of the above is that I adore old fashioned varietals of Dianthus so named by the Greek botanist Theophrastus.  I like to visualize him strolling through a fragrant garden wrapped in  his toga,  Crocs on his feet.  They were made of leather in those days.  It felt like a forever wait to see my Chomley Farran bloom.  Really just over a year ago not realizing that I was at the rare plant table I picked up three of those plants, parted with $38.85 plus tax and went home to bide my time.

your man, my man Theophrastus

The Chomley Farran falls under the varietal Bizarre and according to Annie’s Annuals they were popular during the 1700’s – 1800’s.  More currently, perhaps something to do with the floral industry carnations have been assigned symbolic value.  A mixed hue carnation has associations with unrequited love.  They are a bi-color smoky lavender with streaks of hot pink with a faint spicy clove scent.  Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself.

Dianthus coryophyllus or Chomley Farran

I’m having fun with them as a cut flower.  Annie’s website currently says that this plant is not available but I do know that they have other varietals that I will soon be adding to my garden.

Solstice on ya…

I feel safe in making the gross generalization that the days of yore, the ones where our survival as a parasitic species was circled round the wagons of sensitivity to the cycles of mother nature are behind us.  There’s the notion that our cells come full circle every seven years which begs the question on a cyclical basis, “Who am I?” when doing the bundled like a burrito, or strewn like the contents of a handbag morning wakeup, alarm or no alarm.

Yesterday was hot, as in first stroll to the community pool, fry an egg on the sidewalk debate hot.  I’ve never tried it, the egg bit but there’s not a shortage.  Ended up sitting in the darkness of a friend’s backyard around a blazing fire pit one beer in.   The highlight according to Henry being the spray of gasoline needed to start the fire.  I missed that.  There was something comforting about the warmth and light coming off the fire and the warmth of the day still in the air and on my back.   Marshmallows were on fire, chocolate was exchanged, texting, conversations about Facebook passwords, jokes about condoms but that’s a thirteen year old’s prerogative.  As convoluted as its become, new self or not I vote for the cellular memory of something ancient.

 

A zen state of mind…

I’m on vacation revisiting what a state of relaxation is all about.  Henry’s got two lady friends who happen to be in the desert  Spring Breaking at the same time so is off on a shopping, lunch and swim date. This means  I’m allowed to use my very own laptop for a few minutes.  I think it’s actually been quite healthy that its been commandeered  I’ve done, with much success not much of anything besides ordering ice tea in the last hour.

What did catch my attention is that our San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a proposal regarding urban agriculture zoning that makes it easier for urban farmers not only to farm but ends the permitting nightmare for selling one’s produce.  We join, I believe Detroit and Seattle in making things less of a hassle. As someone whose name starts with an “M” who did a bit of time would say,  “It’s a good thing.”

Palm Springs

Here’s a link to an article about the zoning,  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/04/07/EDQA1IS8CB.DTL

Bring out the crime scene tape…

We lost one of our Silver Laced Wyandotte’s sometime during the night. It’s our first, but probably not last death.   I’d long ago stopped doing a head count when latching our coop as the girls truly put themselves to bed around dusk.  This was after orating on this virtuous trait of the bird yesterday to friends Jay and Anna who are going to be chicken, rabbit and dog sitting so I can leave town and regain some semblance of a sense of humor. A scattering of feathers triggered my peaking over the edge of the planter box and it was a grisly sight.  Naturally I want to share.

Thankfully I’d fortified myself with half a cup of coffee as opposed to fortified coffee before this headless discovery.  And yes, I’m keeping the feet.