June 2009


Daisy flower with drops of water on it

Calendula (aka Pot Marigold or Scotch Marigold, Latin name - Calendula Officinalis)

Calendula (Pot Marigold or Scotch Marigold, Latin name - Calendula Officinalis)

The daisies are a bit of a problem - they attract lots of aphids that feed on their flower heads. I actually had to deadhead the ones growing on the south side of the house (complete with most of the aphids) a couple of weeks ago and sprinkle some permethrin 0.25% fine powder on top of what was left. The daisies didn't seem to mind too much and came right back. Proof is in the picture (Mexican Hats and Yarrow in the background) taken yesterday evening of this "southerner" that went into bloom before any of the same daisies planted with northern exposure.



I am sure that you got the reference in the title to Jack and the Beanstalk. Well, we have our own version and our own hero, too... OK, not really, but I did want to share with all of our friends and family this picture of Sofae enamored by the five foot high Asian Poppy - almost twice her height!

And those are the amazing bumGenius 3.0 one size fits all cloth diapers from Cotton Babies that Sofae is wearing. She has been using them since shortly after birth and highly recommends them to anyone who will listen. Her newly baked cousin Sasha wears them now, as well.

Sofae and the five foot tall Asian Poppy

"I am not a reader, I am a writer" - so goes the punchline to an old Russian joke about a reindeer herder who is applying to study philology at the Moscow State University. Well, I can certainly relate: reading is difficult for me, writing - a breeze. Given a choice, I substitute the reading of big tomes like Leo Tolstoy's mega drama War and Peace for its Cliffs Notes version.

 The Four Filters Invention of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger (Two Friends Transformed Behavioral Finance)

Pears are early spring bloomers - they are suppose to bloom a couple of weeks before apples. Well, our apples finished blooming quite a while back. And now in the middle of June I have the two Comice Pears (Pyrus Communis, var. Doyenne du Comice, aka European Pear or Common Pear) blooming. Who has ever heard of pears blooming in the middle of June in Colorado?

Comice Pear bloom
Oriental Poppies (Papaver orientale)

Oriental Poppies (Papaver orientale)

No not puppies - the cute and cuddly daughters and sons of bitches (although those are sometimes not too bad either). I am talking about poppies - the pretty flowers people plant in their gardens, so they can add some color to their life in more ways than one.

Oriental Poppies (Papaver orientale)
La Fleche rooster - my gay black cock

La Fleche rooster - my gay black cock

I have four La Fleche hens and one rooster as well as three Black Leghorn hens and two roosters. They are all black and were all born around Independence Day last year, which makes them almost a year old now. I kept the La Fleche rooster and all the black hens separate from all the other chickens and it was the job of the La Fleche cock to fertilize the eggs of his 7 female companions, a job that he utterly failed at during his initial probationary 2 month trial period, having fertilized none of the eggs.

La Fleche rooster - my gay black cock

Soapweed Yucca is the most abundant Yucca plant in the US. It is a very hardy plant, growing as far north as Alberta, Canada. It's other common names are: Great Plains Yucca, Spanish Bayonet, Beargrass, Small Soapweed and simply Yucca. The standard Latin name is Yucca Glauca. Pollination and seed development in this species is entirely dependent on a curious symbiotic relationship with a Pronuba Moth, which drills into the capsules after they form from the yucca flowers, pollinates them and whose larva feed on the seeds.

Soapweed Yucca (Yucca Glauca)

About a month ago I discovered a makeshift nest with a Mourning Dove (Zenaida Macroura) and two eggs on top of the firewood pile that I keep under an old camper shell next to the Quonset hut. We have plenty of these doves around here, but they usually nest in the nearby trees, making their nests less accessible to the always hungry half-feral neighborhood cats, as well as my curious eyes and the camera. We also have lots of Rock Doves or Rock Pigeons (Columba Livia) - the common city pigeons - around here, but they always nest high up inside the Quonset.

Mourning Dove (Zenaida Macroura) squab

Of all the flowers I have growing around the house now, you would think that I should have a Columbine - after all it is the Colorado state flower (and has been for 110 years)! And now I finally do. The Columbine I have growing is not the White and Lavender Columbine (Aquilegia Caerules) that the Senate Bill 261, declared and Colorado Legislature approved on April 4, 1899 to be the state flower, but it is a Columbine that naturally occurs only in Colorado and its close proximity.

Mancos Columbine (Aquilegia Micrantha)

Today's flower-herb is Sweet Woodruff or Wild Baby's Breath (Latin name: Galium Odoratum). What, you have never heard of it? Perhaps that's because you are too young or not German enough. Until 1981 Woodruff (Waldmeister i.e. "Master of the woods" in German) was used in Germany, to flavor May wine ("Maiwein" or "Maibowle" in German) and beer (Berliner Weisse) among other things, but no longer.

Sweet Woodruff aka Wild Baby's Breath, Waldmeister, Galium Odoratum

In the great tradition of Mr. Ponzi and Mr. Madoff, here comes another son of a gun. This time it is a 30 year old Jason Brooks of Erie, CO and his partner in suspected crime Donald S. Carew that got indicted. These guys apparently defrauded investors in 15 states, telling them that they could take part in an electronics resale business. For almost three years, Brooks told investors that he would use their money to purchase electronics and appliances via Genius, Inc. from a Japanese firm and resell them at significantly higher prices.

Jason T. Brooks mug shot
Jason T. Brooks mug shot

Jason T. Brooks

Today's flower of the day is Scarlet Globemallow (aka Copper Mallow and Red Falsemallow, Latin name - Sphaeralcea Coccinea (Nutt.) Rydb.). This Colorado native plant requires very little water. While it is extremely drought and somewhat shade tolerant and will survive in most infertile soils, tiny amounts of water, full sun and organic matter will make this plant really thrive - expand rapidly and bloom with larger and more flowers.

Scarlet Globemallow (aka Copper Mallow and Red Falsemallow, Latin name - Sphaeralcea coccinea (Nutt.) Rydb.)

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