Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day Remembrance


Heart of my Heart
Heart of my heart, we are one with the wind,
One with the clouds that are whirled o’er the lea;
One in many, O broken and blind
One as the waves are as one with the sea!
Ay, When life seems scattered apart,
Darkens, ends as a tale that is told,
One, we are one, O heart of my heart,
One, still one, while the world grows old.
Alfred Noyes

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

ABC Wednesday

February 13th, 2013
The letter this week is the Elegant E
Here are a few words about the Evening Primrose

Evening primrose

This is one of the common names of this type genus of the family Onagraceae, – others are the Suncup, or the Sundrop – lovely flowers, close to the ground, shining like small suns wherever they are planted .  My DIL has beautiful clumps of Suncups in her garden………


The species vary in size from these small alpine plants, originally from Chile, to vigorous lowland plants which can grow as tall as three m and are from Mexico.

The flowers of many species open within less than a minute in the evening – hence their name ‘evening primrose’ (although they are not relatives of the true primrose).  One of the most distinctive features of the flower is the stigma with four branches forming an X shape. 

Pollination is by the Hummingbird Moth, or the Sphinx Moth, or by bees.  Although Wikipedia states that the bees must be morphologically specialized to gather this pollen and effectively pollinate the flowers, I haven’t researched this yet, so perhaps we can do it together and find out what a morphologically specialized bee really is…

In the wild, evening primrose quickly appears wherever a patch of bare ground may be found, and I can attest to this as I have always had at least a few plants in my gardens and I have never planted the flower. They just appear, and along with them, just about dusk, the excitement of trying to catch a photo of those lovely Moths about their business of pollination.  Someone online has been more successful than I ever was, and has caught a Humming Bird Moth in the act.


I have never tried this, but young roots can be eaten like a vegetable, or the shoots can be eaten as a salad. As well, the Evening Primrose is widely known for its healing powers and poultices containing the plant were at one time used to ease bruises and speed wound healing.  Evening Primrose Oil can be found in any health food store and the gamma-linolenic acid which is extracted from the seeds of the plant is used to relieve a number of maternity conditions.

I love this plant, partly for its association with Charles’ father, who introduced me to it; partly because it attracts those beautiful darting, swooping, fluttering moths, and partly because it is so beautiful and just faintly exotic.

Another plant which begins with E and which holds great appeal for me, is Euphorbia, – especially the beautiful Spurge which blooms early in the garden – a wonderful golden globe.


For more E’s here is the place to go – ABC Wednesday with many thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt, who created this meme and all her Eager helpers.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A trip to the Grocery Store

Going to shop these days is a whole other adventure.  Where once the list was autonomous and I hurried home for tea time, or coffee time, or even for Happy Hour, now a trip to the grocery store is more of a social and investigative adventure.  Leisurely trips down the aisles, examining the ‘stacks’, enlarging my knowledge of what the shelves hold now besides the practical and familiar items of the past.

There was a time when I refused to buy cake mixes, looking upon them with uncanny suspicion and feeling quite virtuous that all the cakes and goodies and home made bread I fed my family were healthy and nutritious and lacking in any of those long chemical names you now find on the list of ingredients.

As I slowly make my way through the store I find there are the most amazing time saving, chemically treated items lined up right at eye level!

Some I buy – struck by curiosity – and some I turn away from shaking my head in disbelief.

I lingered awhile today at the magazine section and was attracted to the Scientific American which had an article on Building Blocks of Memory, a subject which niggles at my mind constantly………

I brought the magazine home, and lo, I find it is almost as I imagined it to be.
The mind is a series of drawers!!!!  
 I was not wrong when I claimed the drawer containing the file of my old friend So and So, whose name was right on the tip of my tongue, was stuck.  
There was a picture to prove it!  In the Scientific American…….

An interesting theory….although perhaps a little whimsical to think that a little 2 in 1 oil
could lend some veracity to my aging memory.