Saturday, April 23, 2016

Schwantesia borcherdsii blooms!

Yes, I really do still grow mesembs, and Schwantesia is one of my newer additions. Schwantesias are dwarf mesembs, just like Lithops. They have gone through an extreme form of evolution to become very small, compact, and highly stonelike in appearance. They did this because they live in some of the harshest corners of our planet. (Do planets have corners? I guess they do!)

Schwantesia herrei, by Fred Dortort
 According to Mesemb Expert Fred Dortort, Schwantesias don't turn their outermost leaves into dry, protective sheaths the way Lithops or Conophytums do. They live in cracks in boulders and other out of the way, rocky hideouts. The evolved along the Orange River. Their blooms are a startling yellow. They really don't like much water or soil. Here is mine, a Schwantesia borcherdsii:
Schwantesia borcherdsii in bloom, MRobb, 2016
I am thinking this little plant needs even less water than a Lithops, and perhaps it wants to be misted and splashed now and again, as it would along an arid river bank that flash floods every once in a while? Fred Dortort recommends soil devoid of organic matter, bright sun in the growing season, and a little water every 2 weeks during the growing season when light is longest. He says that if in doubt, don't water. So that's what I'm trying. So far, so good....

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Bloomin' Babytoes Meets...The Monster!

I'm supposed to be making ceramic dishes and pencil holders this weekend, you know, serious stuff. And they need to be finished by late next week. But I'm distracted by a bloomin' Babytoes, the first of spring 2016!
Babytoes Blooms in 2016, MRobb
There it sits, right in the window of my studio, distracting me with its cheerful beauty. So instead of making serious pots, I made...the Monster!
The Monster! Greenware MRobb 2016
Yes, yes, I know, I'll get to work now. Have a wonderful weekend and happy gardening!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Weekend Fun: Angel Muse Perfume Review

After almost a month of embroilment in serious environmental concerns here on my sand dune, I needed a completely frivolous moment in order to lighten up a little. In fact, my family and friends insisted on this. Fortunately, the House of Mugler came to the rescue with a sample of the new Angel flanker, Angel Muse, in the mail.

My longtime readers know that I have a deep sentimental attachment to Angel, even if I wear it only rarely. The backstory is here:

So I always review the newest Angel somewhere in the Virtual World. Here is my take on Angel Muse:

I own the Taste of Fragrance Angel, which is Angel spiked with dark chocolate. I don't wear it often, but when I have a craving for it, it's a freakin' awesome sillage monster of epic proportions. I think of it as a friendly Kaiju.

That's my Angel, a Sillage Monster!
Angel Muse substitutes a gentle hazelnut milk chocolate for the dark chocolate, and as a result, Angel Muse is more of a wombat than a kaiju.

Common Wombat, Tasmania, Photo by JJ Harrison
Muse is absolutely Angel, but relatively soft and cuddly compared to the other flankers. Mugler has used the hazelnut cream note before, and it's lovely. I like Muse so much more than Angel Eau Sucree', which I thought was dull and perhaps even a little trashy. Muse has a sense of fun and twisted elegance. And House of Mugler's choice of Georgia May Jagger is inspired!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Melancholy Musings and an Update

I've been too sad and too busy with the current environmental meltdown here to blog. Mostly too sad. After gathering data on the human health effects, putting that together with some other concerned residents, and sending it out to everyone, including the governor, and attending various meetings, the upshot is...not much. The human health effects were deliberately ignored, as was a state of emergency, because key officials did not want to "scare away the tourists", and tourism is the biggest part of our economy. I don't think they realize that we now have extensive social media and all it takes is one unhappy, ill tourist to send images of the current horror all over the world. It's better to face up to our addiction to pollution and environmental exploitation and get into recovery! Now!

The only photos I have are so sad I can't even upload them from my camera. Maybe someday. I do have some links on the human health effects of cyanobacteria,which we have here. These "demons of the ancient world" are ironically the reason we are all here- billions of years ago, they created our oxygen-rich atmosphere! But today, they are back, and are quite a scourge to life on land and water:

Interestingly, another species of cyanobacteria has been found in Greenland, on the ice, greatly accelerating the loss of that ice by making it dark, pockmarked, and mushy so it absorbs more sunlight.  Their little homes are called cryoconites, if you want to Google that. Maybe cyanobacteria are Gaia's way of voting us off the island???
I'll be back next week with proper posts on mesembs, including some new ones I am growing, and of course, the News for Tillies.