lblanchard: (Default)

090427_02hippeastrum
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
At 8:30 this morning the seedpod on the left was open about as much as the one on the right in this photo, taken a little afternoon. By a few minutes ago (that would be 4 pm), it had opened enough that a gentle shake sent some seeds flying.

I have, by my count, 63 viable seeds from this first pod. There are two more to come. I can't possibly start almost 200 seeds. Would anybody like some? If so, send an LJ mail with your space time coordinates.

Here's dad:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lblanchard/465077731/in/set-72157600037669293/

And here's mom:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lblanchard/3362373271/in/set-72157600037669293/
lblanchard: (Default)
...except when it isn't. But today it's sunny, with temperatures forecast to be in the Fifties.

The Tucson Kid, from his hotel room at the Marriott where he's putting the finishing touches on his presentation, is complaining bitterly about the arctic cold and the absence of leaves on the trees here. I remind him that leaves come out on or about his birthday, something I really noticed when I brought him home from the hospital to a green and leafy world.

Kind of weird knowing he's a mile down the road, has been since last night, and I haven't seen him yet. But he should pay attention to his meetings and then play with Mom later.

The first Nopalxochia flower is going all squishy the way finished flowers do. Theoretically it will become a fat red fruit. This seems unlikely to me, given that there were no other flowers to pollinate it, but we'll see. I'll cut off the fruit if it does materialize.

I think I see signs of swelling at the base of the hippeastrum flowers I fertilized the other day. But last year, when I tried this in reverse (with Ma serving as Pa, so to speak), the seedpods swelled and then deflated, so we'll see.

Ferko seems to have settled into a pattern of peeing in her kitty litter, crapping on the carpet/floor. Since her solids are quite solid, that's not much of a hardship to clean up.

Yesterday I swept up the 1"-thick layer of birdseed hulls and winter debris from part of the "patio" area of my minuscule backyard. Today I plan to finish the job, so that when daughter-in-law comes to take the peach and crabapple trees to a Far Better Place she won't get squicked out.

I don't know how I feel about seeing my face in the user icon. I don't plan to make it my default.
lblanchard: (Default)

090319_02sungard
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
Very cool. My kid is flying in on Saturday to attend this conference, and afterwards we will go places. Nice to see banners announcing his arrival.

In other news, the Nopalxochia phyllanthoides first flower is starting to lose its starch. Le sigh. It wasn't at its peak very long.

My hippeastrums are nearing the end of their runs as well. I've cleared a windowsill upstairs here for the big old ones. If none of the seven flowers on the Trader Joe hippeastrum show any signs of pregnancy by the time my kid leaves, I'll cut off what's left of the flowerheads. Miracle-Gro will also be called for.

It's gray and not especially warm out. The weather will be seasonable but I don't think that will thrill the Tucson Kid.
lblanchard: (Default)

090318_01nopalxochia_plant
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
It's a warm day. When I went downstairs for lunch, I got my first urge to start sweeping up the winter's layer of birdseed hulls and generally tidy up.

The peach, maple, and crabapple are all budding. I will need to contact my daughter-in-law so that she takes the peach tree off to what is sure to be a better home before it gets rolling.

I felt around in the peony pot and am reassured that there are new shoots on the way.

It's warm enough that I set out my three small pots of rosemary and my bay tree so they can get a little more light this afternoon. I will have to bring them in last night.

In a move I will probably regret next spring, I attempted to pollinate the Trader Joe amaryllis with pollen from the Pathmark amaryllis. If that works, I'll be shoved out of house and home by the things.

I saw three fungus gnats in close proximity when I went down to look at the coleus. I don't like that. It means that there is fungus gnat romance in the air, to be followed by directly by a fungus-gnat population explosion. Biological warfare will be called for: I hope that the bacillus thuringensis stuff I've got is still potent. Double strength doses all around!

Next week I think I'll start some basil, and perhaps a couple Supersonic tomatoes.
lblanchard: (Default)

090218_01hippeastrum
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
They're not getting to be as big as I thought they would -- the blooms are about 4" in diameter today. There's more red in these than in the parent plant, but the stripes are pretty muddy. Still, I like them.

It rained most of the afternoon. I had to go out to a meeting and got soaked.

Ferko has become much more vocal -- strident, even. She's driving me crazy.


EDIT: Forgot to mention: I swept our sidewalk and shoveled leaves and debris out of the gutter yesterday, part of my modest effort to help with saving Philadelphia. Today I chased Sanitation workers down the street to demand that they come back and take the other half of the container of recycles that they'd somehow managed not to dump into the truck. Mutter, mutter.

According to today's news report, the plan to privatize trash collection is being discarded and the city is now simply contemplating charging to have Sanitation do it.
lblanchard: (Default)

090215_01hippeastrum
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
A flower opening from the first seedling hippeastrum to bloom. So far, it's looking good.

It took an awfully long time to go from sprout to bloom, though; six weeks. And there is no foliage emerging from the bulb. I wonder what will happen next.
lblanchard: (Default)
Ferko has transformed herself into a lap cat. Wants to be on my lap almost all the time. She's hard to type around, though, and little clouds of white hair float through the air every time she moves or I pet her. I can't seem to groom her enough.

The biggest and plumpest of my seedling hippeastrum bulbs is now putting out a flower stalk, one that appears to be almost full-sized. This makes three so far.

Snow is forecast, to be followed (or so says the hyperventilating media establishment) bone-chilling cold. I wish these guys would turn down the alarmism. Still, I had best hustle to the crack dealer yarn shoppe and the Asian grocery this morning. Roy has already headed out to the sidewalk de-icer purveyor (hardware store).

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