Saturday, November 26, 2005

Home Improvement (Pics from October 2005)

Well, here they are. It wasn't the sunniest of days, but it was the last of the dry days for awhile.

front of house

Teddy on patio



Teddy on walkway


southeast side of house with walkway


deck side of house with fountain

deck side of house

Dianne on deck

view of garden from deck

on the deck

southwest side garden

southeast side garden

view through the rafters

view from living room

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Night Visit to the US Botanical Gardens

A Night Visit to the US Botanical Gardens

November 21.2005: A day after the titan arum reached full bloom and three days before the holiday exhibit officially opened, John and I shivered our way from Union Station across the grounds of the US Capitol, into the US Botanical Gardens and out of the rain. Titan arum, also known as Amorphophallus titanum is the freakiest (editor’s opinion) member of the Aroid family: a genus that includes skunk cabbage, calla lilies and philodendron. You gotta be pretty wacky to out-weird a skunk cabbage. But there’s no contest for this native of Sumatra whose once-every-couple-of-years bloom stands several feet high (yes, it’s a single bloom we’re talking about) and smells like a garbage dumpster (full and ready for pickup). I could regale you with all the botanical details but that would be gilding the lily, or the “corpse flower” as it’s commonly called.

Take a look at the photos (OK, OK, only ONE of the photos is of the actual flower and the rest are of holiday decorations (at the slowest shutter speed our digital camera could accommodate).

Titan arum in full regalia

Go to the Smithsonion’s department of botany web page to read about this flower (they own the one that bloomed on 11/19/05) at . To learn about the USBG’s titan arum that bloomed in July of 2003 go here:

And here are the holiday photos. If you look closely behind the Christmas tree, you’ll see a toy train rolling along the elevated tracks. This Christmas tree reminds me of the one I decorated as a child (well, the one I decorated was about 1/10th the size, but it had about the same amount of tinsel on it.)

Christmas Tree and Trains

Here "we" (editorial, not royal "we") are outside of the US Botanical Gardens. The little Christmas trees are festively lit in red, white and blue.

Christmas trees outside the USBG

The US Capitol in the background. Sorry it's a little blurry. It was a cold and rainy night... but that's another story.

Christmas trees with US Capitol in the background

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Monday, November 21, 2005

The Sound and the Furry

Prior to the invention of TV remote control, an armchair philosopher contrived this connundrum: If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around, does the tree make a sound?

The answer to this question is, of course, "Who cares?" If nobody is around, then who could or would care? Perhaps only the skunk that the tree fell on. Maybe then we'd ALL care. But would we be forced to say that we smelled rather than heard the event (in which case the tree fall would be said to have created a stink but not a sound), or would we simply roll up the car windows and drive to a more pleasant locale? Oh please, don't click yet... I'm almost to the point.

If a blogger blogs and nobody reads her, does she blog? Or should she just grab the remote out of her husband's locked fist, turn the TV off, and do something somebody cares about (besides her and the skunk - oh, but he's dead... sorry)?

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