Tuesday, April 23, 2013

North of Boston

We live North of Boston in an area known at the North Shore.  Far enough out of town that our lives and jobs were minimally impacted by last week.  The Husband works in Cambridge so he got a bonus day off on Friday when that area was shut down for The Manhunt.  I just cancelled a quiz since several of my students couldn't get to school because they were "sheltering in place."

We don't know anyone who was physically injured during the bombing or its aftermath.  I do know of one 6 year old who was watching his father run the marathon and was still in town and caught in the chaos when the explosions occurred.  He's been having nightmares.  That's the worst of it for me.

So I find myself conflicted.  Should I write a blog post about the Boston Marathon Bombing or not?  [here it is so you can figure that out for yourself] and if so what angle should I take?  I'm not great at writing serious pieces - I try to find the funny in life [and often succeed to the groans and eye rollings of those around me].  So here's my odd balled view of the negative side of things.

Damn those politicians who are forcing me to side with the Terrorists!  You know the ones.  The ones who want to take away all of the surviving terrorist's rights because of the heinous nature of his crimes.  Are we not America?  Are we not supposed to be the pinnacle of freedom and rights for men [or is it just rights of rich, white, heteronormative men].  If we don't treat our criminals better than countries we declare terrorists states then who are we to judge them?

Oh and WTF is up with not requiring background checks for gun purchases?  Please explain to me how you can defend the rights of criminals and nutjobs to purchase guns whenever they want and then demand that all rights be taken away from an American citizen who commits a crime with said guns?  

I hate feeling like I have to stand up for the rights of someone who thought that bombing innocent spectators at the marathon was a good idea.  But I am.  What does that say about me?  More importantly what does that say about the politicians?

On the Positive Side: 

Spring in [finally] arriving.

It's very nice to to far enough away that I wasn't seriously impacted.  I'm very glad we live in a society and a time where events like this are a rarity and we can get life back to normal within a couple of weeks.  [except for the airline security theater]

And now here's a picture of a cat in a box.  Because the internet needs more pictures of cats.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mystery solved!

I have solved the mystery of the identity of the shape in part 1 of my last post.  With any luck in another month or so it will turn into this....

File:Hyalophora cecropia1.jpg
Image thanks to Tom Peterson, Fermilab via Wikimedia Commons.

Oh, and Mr. Subjunctive - you sure you don't like living in warm climates?   Let me just show you this...

That's right.  Anthurium growing outside!  There was a whole field of them at a garden I visited in Thailand.  Tempted yet?  ;)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mystery Science Theater 2013 - April edition

Today I present series of garden mysteries to ponder.

Mystery 1:  what IS this?  A cocoon?  A chrysalis?  A leaf folded over and sealed to protect someone from winter's chill?

I noticed this when the shrub dogwood lost it's leaves.  All winter I thought it was a couple of leaves that had somehow wrapped around the stem.  Today it was [finally] warm enough to investigate.

What could be/have been inside?  I think I need to wander over to BugGuide and see if anyone there can ID this...  And/or I really need to take an entomology course...

Mystery B:  I actually have a good idea what this might be.

Some caterpillar crawled into my Spirea and formed a chrysalis.  This is what's left.  See that row of dots?  I'm thinking Monarch.  I certainly have their caterpillars on my Asclepia tuberosa during the summer.

Mystery 3:  Where did the snakes go?  Yesterday when I went into the garden I could hardly move for snakes (I think I spotted 7 or 8 individuals).  Today?  One.  I guess they all left the hibernaculum where they spent the winter and headed into the woods.  Good luck, snakes, see you all in the fall!

Last mystery of the day:  WHY does it have to get colder again tomorrow?  WHY can't it stay nice and warm and sunny all through the rest of spring and into summer?  WHY do I have to live in frigid, arctic New England?  [oh, yeah, that last one is because of The Husband's career.  Maybe he needs a new career.  Or I need a new Husband...  Hey, Mr. Subjunctive, want to move to Florida with me?  ;)]

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hello, Sexy!

Even though it is April the weather is still not warm and the garden is still not doing much.  I have some crocuses blooming.  Seriously.  That's it.

So I have major Garden Withdrawal Syndrome.  Too long without my hands in the dirt and I start craving plants.

Yesterday found The Husband and myself near a garden center with a large collection of greenhouses and I insisted on stopping.  Not like we can buy and plant anything yet but just give me the smell of dirt and growing things.

Then I found THIS.

What a sexy Anthurium.  Large, dark burgundy flowers.  Yum.  I am developing a bit of an obsession.  I may need to add some windows if I ever find a good source that has purple and orange blooming Anthuriums.

So I did get to do a little gardening this weekend.  Yeah, me.