Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Pasque Flower, Pulsatilla, Rocky Mountain National Park
West Side, June 1
Not all of my hairy plant photography was focused on leaves this summer.  I also photographed some pubescent* flowers-- both hairy and on the verge of sexual maturity.

Thimbleweed? Anemone, Yellowstone, June
Anemone, Banff or Jasper, June

Calochortus (Mariposa or Sego Lily),
 Rocky Mountain National Park Fall River Valley, July

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fuzzy Margins

Plant science is full of great words. This summer I expanded from fruit and flowers to photographically examine (and record for future classes) the surfaces of leaves.
Among my favorite words are the plant words for hairiness.  Plant surfaces can be hirsute, or pubescent or canescent.  They can be pilose, strigose, tomentose, or villous, or they velutinous when they are velvety.
How would you describe these?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

4 and 6: Growing and Glowing

Aster and Dianthus turned 4 and 6 recently.

They were lucky enough to celebrate with both sets of grandparents. Dianthus helped bake Aster's chocolate strawberry cake in Colorado, Aster helped with Dianthus's baked Alaska and then on Dianthus's birthday we drove to Kansas and ate more cake.   Here's some of the glowing and its aftermath.  Temperamentally, four is the new three, by the way.

That's a big baked Alaska.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Glowing Update

Glowing year hasn't quite sparked friends to action the way that other themes have.  Perhaps that is the nature of "glow".  I do, however, have some glowing things to report at this midpoint.

Glowing Creatures (resolution #2): The luminous jellyfish at the Vancouver Aquarium didn't transfix Dianthus quite the way the jellyfish at the National Aquarium in Baltimore had five years prior, but they were still pretty cool.

Rings of Saturn: We were camping in Rocky Mountain National Park (one of three visits planned during the park's centennial festivities) during the Night Sky Festival taking place the weekend of the new moon.  We tromped out into a field at the end of a dead-end road, watched the slowly fade, and impatiently waited for darkness to arrive.  While convincing the boys that it was too dark to work on their Junior Rangers Night Explorer patches but not yet dark enough to see stars, we looked through telescopes at Saturn.  Members of the Defenders of Darkness had all brought out their giant personal telescopes, several requiring step ladders, and during the late twilight, every one of them looked toward Saturn.  It was amazing.  It was the first time I'd seen the rings of  Saturn and they looked exactly like they were supposed to, except more glow-y.  It look like someone had a Saturn-shaped cut-out and shined a light through it, poking little holes for Titan and four other moons of Saturn.  Later we looked at several double stars and weird star systems, but Saturn was my favorite of the night.
Saturn looked just like this, (but smaller and with five moons).
(Image from Risa Horowitz's "Imaging Saturn" webpage.)

Books:  I've read a lot that I would like to write about.  Hopefully within the next week.

Women who glow (resolution #12): Flush with the excitement of watching the games and the US win at the Women's World Cup, my mother is starting to talk about excitedly about France 2019.  Join us?

Glow myself into shape (resolution #13): An utter failure so far.  I am re-prioritizing this, and did start out the day with a sweaty turn around the neighborhood this morning.

Glowing with beauty (resolution #6): I have had assistance in this realm.  My Brother and MSiL sent me "luminous lavender" products for my birthday.  If I haven't exfoliated enough cells to reveal my inner glow, then at least I smell great.
Two weeks ago (although it feels like much longer) I sought professional assistance (with my dear friend L) in the form of a consultation with the beauty stylist at Nordstrom's.  It was a pleasant and slightly surreal experience, as I pretended to be someone who might use multiple make-up brushes in the morning.  I purchased some new foundation and L is helping me to up my glow is the form of bronzer and concealer (I hope it is the "luminizer"), or would be if only I could convince myself to use them (I am not wearing Trish McEvoy products to do laundry and plan lessons!)

Blue Moon: Once in a blue moon, I go out for fancy drinks with my friend SalSis in Lawrence for our birthdays. Our birthdays are in March and May, but that didn't stop us from trying a (sadly disappointing) watermelon cilantro margarita during the blue moon last Friday.  It was a great way to recognize our lunar friend glowing big twice in July.