Saturday, September 24, 2016

Adromischus cristatus, the Key Lime Pie Plant, Blooms!

My original post on the Key Lime Pie Plant, aka Adromischus cristatus, remains one of my top 3 popular blog posts. Who could have guessed?
Adromischus cristatus, MRobb
This plant is now bigger, has had multiple children, and is still going strong. This week, it bloomed next to my blue garden Buddha....
Key Lime Pie Plant and Buddha, MRobb, 2016
You can see that as the plant matures, those orange adventitious roots go nutty, and daughter plants sprout alongside the mother plant. Each leaf can start a new plant, so every once in a while, I pinch off a leaf, dip it in rooting hormone, and "throw it and grow it". Wonderful!
And here's a nice pic of a few American Fish Crows from our local Clan Munin:
American Fish Crows, MRobb, 2016
As I always like to say, they are as intelligent as chimpanzees, and as sociable as we are. Love 'em!
Have a great weekend!

Weekend Walkabout? Not So Much....

I recently had major dental surgery so I am too zonked out to think of anything intelligent or amusing to post for y'all! Please forgive me, I'll be back in a few days. Happy gardening to you all in the meantime!
Lantana, MRobb

Frithia pulchra, MRobb

Mammillaria, MRobb

Now back to bed for me....

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Think About It Thursday: Is Life Seeded by Comets and Asteroids??

The OSIRIS-REx Mission may be able to answer those questions, at least a little. Cuz' it's gonna land on an asteroid! To follow this way cool mission, launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, tonight, check out the website:

But hey, every post needs a picture. And I don't have one of OSIRIS-REx. So, on a totally unrelated topic, here's how the Blackwork Embroidery is going:
What do embroidery and asteroids have in common? Well, maybe asteroid-seeded life forms that like to do embroidery? Who knows? We will, someday. Maybe.
Happy gardening and creating, everyone!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Weekend Walkabout: A Baby Bloomin' Babytoes, Goodbye Hermine, and Blackwork

So Hermine has said goodbye, the first landfalling hurricane here in 11 years. We had a lot of rain and wind, but thankfully, no storm surge on our sand dune.
I have a young Babytoes which is not like my other Babytoes- it's an aurantica! That means its flowers are quite yellow, although it could be a hybrid, as the petals are a light yellow, but not white:
Blooming Baby Babytoes, Aurantica Hybrid???
And I'm working hard on my Blackwork sampler, because I really loved the series "The Tudors", and the magnificent blackwork embroidery in those linen undershirts caught my eye. One of the women in my embroidery group took pity on me and gave me a full course on blackwork embroidery from the 1970s, and this is where I'm at with it:
It's extremely painstaking and meticulous work, but very rewarding. May take several months, but I'll get it! In the meantime, happy gardening and creating!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How To Water Tillies in a Tropical Storm

How do you water Tillies in a tropical storm? I found out today with the outer rainbands of Tropical Storm Hermine. The answer is...don't.

Fellow weather spotters had been tracking Hermine (aka 99L, aka TD9) for two weeks. The models promised development, but shear and dry air kept ripping her up. We became bored and complacent.

Today, she finally pulled it together. And then some. Without warning, we got drenched!
Outer Rainband, TS Hermine, 2016
My Tillies were outside in their buckets, waiting for what I thought would be a nice summer shower. Instead, we got 45mph (about 90kph) winds and drenching rain. The Tillies became...concerned (probably).
Waiting for a little summer shower....
I really did not want to go out there and rescue them, but I did. They were starting to blow out of the buckets.
Jeepers! I have to go out there???
Now they're safe and sound, and well-watered, as am I. Like a drowned rat....
Alert Gardeners' Tip: If a tropical storm or hurricane is in your area, keep yourself, and your Tillies inside!
Safely home in their Tillie Tower.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Weekend Walkabout: Munin the Fish Crow and the Bloomin' Babytoes

Babytoes bloomed today, just in time for the weekend. And I finished a difficult painting, a tiny little thing that has been bugging me for months (another in my New Orleans Wall Fragment series), so I put them together for a mini-portrait:
Bloomin' Babytoes with New Orleans Wall Fragment 2, MRobb, 2016
After a whole month of drought, we got a lot of rain (phew, no more evening waterings!), so I thought I'd publish a portrait of Munin, our resident Fish Crow Patriarch and Way Cool Corvid, enjoying the rain on my fence- have I mentioned that Fish Crows are as intelligent as chimps?
Munin in Rain, MRobb, 2016
Here's a more regular portrait of Munin, singing on the balcony while I play my HAPI drum:
Munin at Dawn, MRobb, 2016
And finally, a new soul window, from an indigo center to a bright yellow outer ring. This one will go to the winner of our local poetry contest:
Soul Window, Indigo to Yellow, MRobb, 2016
Have a wonderful weekend and happy gardening!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Think About It Thursday: More Hope for Gaia - Rocks!

Exciting news from the Science Geeks! It's possible to turn CO2 into stone, at least if you are in Iceland. And this technique can work in many places in the world, and it works fast. Take a look:
from the Economist

Inline image 1
A paper just published in Science offers a possible solution (to climate change). By burying CO2 in the right sort of rock, a team of alchemists led by Juerg Matter, a geologist at Southampton University, in Britain, was able to transmute it into stone. Specifically, the researchers turned it into carbonate minerals such as calcite and magnesite. Since these minerals are stable, the carbon they contain should stay locked away indefinitely.
They collected 175 tonnes of it, mixed it with a mildly radioactive tracker chemical, dissolved the
mixture in water and pumped it into a layer of basalt half a kilometre below the surface. They then kept an eye on what was happening via a series of monitoring wells. In the event, it took a bit less than two years for 95% of the injected CO2 to be mineralised.

They followed this success by burying unscrubbed exhaust gas. After a few teething troubles, that worked too. The H2S reacted with iron in the basalt to make pyrites, so if exhaust gas were sequestered routinely, scrubbing might not be needed. This was enough to persuade Reykjavik Energy, the power station’s owners, to run a larger test that is going on at the moment and is burying nearly 10,000 tonnes of CO2 and around 7,300 tonnes of H2S.

from Science (June 2016 issue):

Inject, baby, inject!      H. Jesse Smith  Science  6/10/16
Atmospheric CO2 can be sequestered by injecting it into basaltic rocks, providing a potentially valuable way to undo some of the damage done by fossil fuel burning. Matter et al. injected CO2 into wells in Iceland that pass through basaltic lavas and hyaloclastites at depths between 400 and 800 m. Most of the injected CO2 was mineralized in less than 2 years. Carbonate minerals are stable, so this approach should avoid the risk of carbon leakage.

Most scientists now say that, in addition to steep carbon cuts, we'll have to use some sort of geo-engineering to prevent catastrophic climate change and sea level rise. This is the only type of geo-engineering that sounds possibly safe and effective that I've read about so far. Go, Iceland!!