I found another treasure yesterday.
Rare Treasures from the Library of the Natural History Museum.
DO NOT ROLL YOUR EYES!
It is NOT just a book.
It is a book of art about art in a box with art. JACKPOT!
There are thirty-six , 10 x 13 prints of famous paintings.
I have studied many of these works for years in my reading about plant hunters and their rare finds.
I feel like I have the whole world in my hands.
And now they are MINE…ALL MINE!
There are enough prints in here to cover every wall in this house with beauty.
Art with a story behind it.
The who, the what, the when and the where.
It cost $19.95.
SEE…. I did win the lottery. Sort of.
There are tiny treasures all around you,
but you can’t see them if you are stiff-necked and straight-backed.
You have to get closer.
You are high-up and they are lowly.
If you can’t bend, you will miss them.
Lean in to look at the little jewels.
You wouldn’t hold a diamond out to examine it.
Tiny does not mean insignificant,
nor does big mean important.
Beauty trumps size.
You are missing things up there.
I am so glad that I am NOT a Kalanchoe daigremontiana.
This plant reproduces both sexually, by flowers, and asexually.
The ends of its leaves are covered with tiny “plantlets” with needy, draping roots.
Can you imagine trying to live with little”adultlets” hanging off of your arms?
Mother of thousands? Two progeny has about done me in.
The Kalanchoe babies do eventually drop off, but to where?
The same pot, that’s where.
So now, Mama Kalanchoe has to share her soil and water with all those “independent” plantlets.
Talk about “Not far from the tree.”
Next time you are feeling overwhelmed by motherhood, consider yourself lucky not to be a Kalanchoe daigremontiana.
Think how it would be to drop little clones of yourself all around your house and yard.
Now, there’s my next nightmare!
The “Old Woman in the Shoe” had it way easier than this mama.
Plantlets available…by the thousands.
I think of him when the wind blows.
I have his chimes.
I listen to their notes and wonder.
Is he sending me a message.
Is he spelling it out in the musical notes A, C, E, F, B?
What is he telling me? Is he calling my name?
Or do the notes just bring me back into this moment,
away from my plans for tomorrow, back from my worry of yesterday?
You can’t see the wind. You can only feel it and hear it.
Is it an unseen proof of faith?
I hear it singing. I watch its moving shadows.
He was here.
Now he’s not.
Or is he?
Where would we be without our fungi friends?
They turn all those stumps and sticks into soil.
The lichens are greenish colors,
but the fungi may be any color from black to orange.
Some are slimy,
while others are brittle.
Some are ugly,
but others are really beautiful.
Some grow solo,
while others form a “Charlie Foxtrot” (Cluster Fungi)
There are even groups who go out on a limb to have a Fungi Fiesta.
Fungi are Fun!
Follow the Flower!
I need bright colors when the weather is dark and dull.
What can be brighter than this Kalanchoe blossfeldiana?
Cultivars may also have flower colors of pink, yellow and red.
The deep orange bloom clusters just keep on coming for weeks in the winter.
Kalanchoes want sunshine. They need a window to sit in to get this happy.
Let them dry between waterings.
This plant is a fireball of a bloomer.
Were you expecting an arrangement in a vase?
You forget. I am a biologist.
So when I cut a flower, I cut up a flower.
I removed the two sets of 3 petals from the base.
Then, I cut longitudinally into the green calyx and ovary to expose the seed-forming tissues.
Here’s a little lesson in flower parts.
The long, single pistil is the female part.
The top end of the pistil is called the stigma. It is sticky to capture pollen that lands on it.
Cutting the ovary in half exposes the developing seeds.
The six stamen produce yellow pollen on the ends. Pollen acts like dust if you shake or touch it.
Pollen looks like rice on 40x.
Pollen is also sticky and sometimes stains clothing. That’s why some florists cut off the stamen. Ouch!
The petal coloring shows up in cells looking like pixels on 40x.
Don’t get mad at me for dissecting my Amaryllis flower.
Your Valentine’s bouquet will die, too. Might as well learn something before you toss it out.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
I love plants and fungi.
So how could I not like a lichen? It is both plant(algae) and fungi.
This is called symbiosis.
I hate to admit that I picked this up, stuck it in the pocket of my coat and forgot about it.
Later, I reached in and found this dried up wad.
Amazingly, it plumped back up when I put a few drops of water on it.
I chopped it into pieces to put under the microscope.
Do not worry about its survival. All the pieces are happily growing in one of the terrariums.