but this is not that year.
ah yes, time for another photo of one of the high-oil sunflowers that grow in and around cropp/organic valley this time of year to be pressed into biodiesel. some might recall the sunnier side of biodiesel or odin crossing over into or from another space/time in middle of a field of sunflowers. some of sunflower shots have even ended up on the side of mobile biodiesel press.
this year i decided to “go small” and caught a little bee of some sort improvising as it attempts to collect pollen. if you look closely you can see it’s resting its feet on a floret as it streches to gather The Good Stuff.
bonus points will be awarded to anyone who can tell me what kind of bee it is.
fascinating new research ( via an over-the-top report by the bbc, scientific american gives a more balanced treatment ) shows that while plants don’t have memory or thoughts or intelligence as we know it, they’re still pretty smart and have evolved to use light to encode “memories” to help fight against pathogens:
“[So the plant] has a specific memory for the light which builds its immunity against pathogens, and it can adjust to varying light conditions.”
“Plants perform a sort of biological light computation, using information contained in the light to immunise themselves against diseases”
and who knows just what else it might encode?
anyone who has peony’s like our paeonia lactiflora variety known as "mons. jules elie" has no doubt noticed the buds are covered with ants just before they flower. apparently there’s an old wives’ tale that peonies need ants to bloom or be pollinated by them.
but those in the know say that while the ants are attracted to the sweet waxy coating on the bud, antless peonies bloom just fine.
the real question is how the peony’s know to bloom within 24 hours of a torrential rainstorm. i swear it happens every year and this year was no exception.
ida salmi passed away some time ago, but descendents of her poet’s daffodils live on in the yards and kitchen tables of those who care to tend them.
eric seems to be stabilizing quickly. he only had 6 alarms today, which is a lot better than the 36 he had just a few days ago – and many of those alarms were induced the nurses “meanie” sessions where they due all manner of not fun things to him. and he’s continuing to pack on the weight; tonight he weighed in at 1020 grams which is 2 pounds 4 ounces and means that he’s finally, officially hit the kilo mark! hooray! his breathing also seems to be getting more regular and stronger, which means that they’ll probably try to put him back on the nasal cannula soon.
we were also surprised to find that his eye specialist came by for eric’s initial visit to assess whether or not he any signs of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). we were surprised because we weren’t expecting to see the eye doctor for another week or two. i guess they like to check micropreemies early and often. the absolutely fantastic news is that the doc says that his eyes are “perfect” right now! that said, the doctor cautioned us that it’s nearly a certainty to see some manifestation of ROP in a micropreemie, so they are going to keep a close eye on him ( ahem! it’s an eye specialist joke! ) in the coming weeks.
other than that, all was quiet on the nicu front. we still haven’t been able to resume the kangaroo care, but hopefully that will change over the next day or so.
and i have photographic proof that kris and i are trying our best to regain some semblance of our normal schedule. today, we had a little free time and we went to the dog park. our city isn’t very dog friendly, in terms of official dog parks, so we had to become members of a private dog park; prior to eric’s birth we were dog park “regulars”, but haven’t been able to find time recently for all the obvious reasons, much to the dismay of our two dogs. so, today, we were finally able to enjoy a little time away from the nicu with the dogs.
and we even stopped to smell the flowers. even if they weren’t roses.