Apr. 30th, 2016

lblanchard: (swannfountain)
YAY for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which has a lending library. I suspect that my long relationship with the library director (they're a member of PACSCL) helped as the books don't usually circulate and wouldn't at all if they weren't the second of two sets. I now have the two volumes of On the Eaves of the World, Reginald Farrer's light-hearted account of the first year of his two-year collecting trip on the China-Tibet border, on summer loan. Not due back till August.

I had been reading a pdf of the book on my netbook. Turned sideways, it's not a bad substitute for a real book. I can slouch on the sofa and balance it on my stomach like a real book, and don't need to hold the weighty thing upright. Still, there's nothing like a real book. So I'm more than halfway through Volume One and loving it all.

The book is absolutely hilarious. Farrer is so pleased with the country, the flora, the comic-opera aspects of dealing with the natives and the brigands! This book was written before World War I. His book on the second year of his expedition (which I believe was 1913) wasn't written until he'd spent some sobering time visiting three World War I fronts and writing about his experiences for the propaganda office. Thus, this second book, The Rainbow Bridge, is reputed to be more somber. It was published posthumously; whether he would have lightened the tone had he lived I don't know.

I have The Rainbow Bridge in a $.99 Kindle edition but wanted to read them in sequence...

My own decidedly nonmimpish Leontopodium / Edelweiss / Flannel Flower seedlings are coming along nicely and will be ready to be potted on into market packs in a couple weeks. Have a look:

Today will be a day for indoor and outdoor gardening. My herbs and peppers need to be potted on to market packs now and set out to harden off in a day or so. Some things that have been hardening off should go into their various containers. If I am so moved, I will also start work on all the hippeastrum seedlings that need to be triaged. I need to decommission my upstairs growlights, at least temporarily, in a couple weeks to make way for the nuptial springerle I have promised my niece. Getting the seedlings potted on will be a step in the right direction.

My one and only successful hippeastrum cross, 2006-3 x striatum, yielded a bumper crop of seeds from the one pod -- 74 of them. As an experiment, I floated 20 of them the day of harvest and another 20 two days later. I am holding the remaining 34 in reserve in case the germination is less than wonderful. I'm also hoping that by next weekend I can send the adult hippeastrums to hippeastrum summer camp. Some of them are on the folding table we use for our back yard seating area, so they are flies in the ointment of progress.

I caught another mouse last night, maybe two. I say maybe because the trap is missing! I heard some odd noises last night and suspect a desperately wounded mouse dragged himself and the trap under the refrigerator, to die a horrible death. Roy and I will move the fridge later today. Poor thing. The one I definitely caught was a juvenile. I had bad luck re-baiting the trap and caught my finger twice but all I did was cause some bleeding from broken blood vessels -- no hematoma, no swelling, no pain after the initial misery, just discoloration. (EDITED TO ADD: I moved the fridge and it was indeed a baby mouse, hind foot and tail caught in the trap, very much alive and crying, with his little chest going in and out almost faster than I could see. I felt very bad for him and for a mad moment thought about putting him in an aquarium with wood chips and feeding him cheese. But The Scamp was, finally, intensely interested. If he'd caught the mousie fair and square I would have let him have his way. But he hadn't, so I dropped the poor guy in the toilet. He swam frantically, and I flushed quickly, and flushed again. Probably as merciful a death as any other I could give him, short of chloroform. Still... but I'll still set another trap tonight.)

We have paid the man to paint the masonry at ground level outside our house, and also the vestibule. The vestibule is finished. The masonry has been scraped and primed and then it rained and rained and rained. He is hoping to finish today.


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