Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mystery of the dead birds

Along a trail I walk almost daily, dead birds keep appearing,
sometimes, different kinds of birds, sometimes Emglish sparrows or
starlings. They are always in the same place. I don't know why. Is
someone shooting them and leaving them there? Is there something
poisonous that they're getting into?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


I never thought much about okra. I liked it in gumbo but never considered the plant, thought I'm educated as a botanist. A non-practicing botanist, however. I never thought about okra until on impulse, I decided to grow it. It's a lovely plant with large maple-like leaves and a tree-like form, but hibiscus-like flowers. A mallow, I said to myself, a hibiscus! I wanted to look it up, but I'm getting a little forgetful--I never remembered to do it! Finally, I did, and lo and behold, it's of course a mallow and one of its alternate generic names is Hibiscus! Wahoo.

Abelmoschus esculentus. Malvaceae. I'm not TOTALLY senile yet! How fun! It brought back memories of eating mallows and concocting soups and "poisons" as a child with hollyhock flowers and seeds. Sorry the bugs have gotten at this blossom. I use no sprays.