Saturday, December 24, 2022

Celebrating Oranges

There's a long tradition of putting oranges into Christmas stockings. Oranges are so readily available today that that seems a little odd. But the next time you encounter an orange, take a moment to notice it. The rich orange color. The scent, both of the whole fruit and of the brightly colored sections inside, is enticing. The wonderful sweet juice. 

orange sections
orange sections

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Plant Story--the Lovely, Spicy Nasturtium, Tropaeolum

 Nasturtiums are easily-recognized garden flowers. They have big orange (or red or yellow) flowers with a long spur and interesting round leaves with the stalk (petiole) in the center. They are also edible.

nasturtium, Tropaeolum
nasturtium, Tropaeolum 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Plant Story--Burdock, Arctium, Burs, Vegetable, and Velcro

Burdocks are plants you recognize for their seed pods or leaves. Oh, they have pretty enough pink-purple flowers, much like thistles flowers, but the seed pods have spines with hooks that stick tightly to clothes or fur, and the leaves are very large.

burdock, Arctium
burdock, Arctium

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Travel Story--U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.

 In October we visited Washington D.C. I remember my first visit in 1969. I was a college graduate form Ohio. I had seen New York City, a bit of Boston, and Cleveland. Wow, Washington! The nation's capital, built to be a showplace. I was very impressed. Since then I have been to Washington's museums many times. This was my first visit to the National Arboretum. It is about 3 miles from the Mall; we took Uber.

National Arboretum
By main building, National Arboretum

Created in 1927, the Arboretum is managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture' Agricultural Research Service. Its mission is research improving ornamental and landscape plants and promotion through public gardens and exhibits. It has 450 acres and 9.5 miles of paths. It felt much like a very large city park; many of the visitors were strolling with babies in baby carriages or out for a run.