Sunday, February 18, 2018

Observing Leaves

ornamental leaves

Flowers are showy and essential for reproduction by their plants, but leaves contain the photosynthetic aparatus and are the source of food that plants self-generate. Leaves are essential to the world's economy, providing the basic materials that feed both plants and animals. Of course there are other synthetic pathways and some stems are photosynthetic, but far and away most of the energy from the sun is captured by leaves and turned into plant biomass, which is subsequently eaten by just about everything.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Plant Story--A Tribute to Pansies, Viola species

Pansies are so commonly planted as to seem uninteresting. Indeed, I have surprisingly few photos of pansies in my large collection of photographs that were taken just to show a pansy.

But why are they so widely planted?  First, they're bright colored. Not only bright-colored, they come in colors including nearly black, purple, blue, red, yellow and white and combinations of those.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Visiting Patagonia--A Glipse of Torres del Paine, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Patagonia refers to the southern part of South America, but it is a big area including about half (the southern half) of Argentina and Chile. I have only seen the southern tip, Tierra del Fuego, the Beagle Channel and Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Fifth Anniversary

Today week marks the fifth anniversary of this blog. February 4, 2013 I published the first post. For five years, I have added a new post weekly. Blogspot counts this as the 269th post, because very occasionally I had two in a week but never missed a week.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Plant Story--So Exotic, Bird of Paradise Flower

The bird of paradise flower, Strelitzia reginae, is so commonly planted in tropical and subtropical climates--southern California, Florida, Hawaii in the United States--as to seem boring.

Strelitzia reginae bird-of-paradise plant

At the same time, for newcomers to those and more tropical regions, it is the essence of an exotic flower: very large, bizarrely shaped and in incredible blue, orange, red and green.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Visiting Australia--A Few Blue Mountain Flowers

broad-leaved drumstick, Isopogon anemonifolius, Proteaceae

Australian plants are justly famous for being diverse and often unique.

Blue Mountains, Australia

On a trip to eastern Australia in 2015, we hiked between overlooks in Australia's Blue Mountain National Park, west of Sydney. Well, the others hiked, I dawdled, distracted by the plants.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Plant Story--Red Cedar, Really a Juniper of Course

If you live in the central United States, especially in cattle country, you can’t miss red cedars, the one evergreen native to the plains. Solid, evergreen and fragrant, city people like them as yard plantings.

red cedar, Juniperus