Spring payoff


We had a late cold snap this year, although the winter was reasonably mild overall. It caught the camellia buds. The early blooms had brown rims from the earlier chill. Now, the late ones are unblemished.

My other favorite in the Camellia genus is tea (Camellia sinensis)—Japanese green tea aka sencha (-cha meaning tea) these days…. The tea stains my teeth a bit, unfortunately, even with daily brushing….

All the links…um…did they tee you off?

Nice weather!


We had such a nice day today, it’s hard to imagine the rain they’re getting in the NE*.

My suspicion is that we’ll breeze through the early spring. Already it seems like it’s moving quickly. Time to get some plants? I need more herbs this year, to go with the ‘maters & peppers….

* No garbage-bag raincoats/pants here….

God’s sake? What about mine?


I awoke to a moon-bright sky.

Yes, none of the three parts (title, text, photo) of today’s entry relates to any other.

File under: truffle, fungal


I suspect some marketing people are bracing for a bit of a sea-change next weekend….

I just read in the NYTimes* online:

It turns out the truffles too have a sex life, said Dr. Francis Martin, a plant biologist at the University of Nancy in France and leader of the research team. The precious fungi had long been thought to lead an asexual existence, but Dr. Martin and his colleagues have found that they have two sexes or mating types.

Which is it? Sexes? Or “mating types”?

While you’re thinking about that, remember this next time you take a bite of truffle:

Last, there are the truffle flies which lay their eggs in the truffle. From the fungus’s perspective, the insects are just another way of spreading its spores. So it attracts them by releasing anisole and veratrole, two insect pheromones, when the truffle has reached maturity. Truffles can often be detected by looking for congregations of truffle flies.

Don’t the fly’s eggs and larvae degrade the edibility of the truffle? It seems the opposite is the case. “If collected at late maturation stages, the truffles will likely carry eggs and larvae—adding proteins and aroma to the truffle,” Dr. Martin said.

Mmmm. Fly eggs….

* “Truffles Have Sex Lives, Too” by Nicholas Wade, dated 20 Mar 2010.



Day started out colder than I expected, then got warmer than I expected, but only in the sun….

We made a brief late-afternoon trek to the Bot Garden to wander and take a few photos. Of course, most were flowers, but we also captured the souls of a few fish…and robins….

Core, center, pith, heart…essence?


Spring cooled off a bit today, but I enjoyed it anyway—although I was indoors WAY TOO MUCH.

For convoluted reasons, our special Friday night dinner menu is fried rice. I already cooked the (brown) rice, and raided a pretty-good salad bar for an assortment of veggies to add…. Kinda the short-cut version…. I suppose the same additives could be combined with either broth or noodles—or both. Anyway, I’m calling tonight’s main dish “Chinese pilaf” (hahathere’s a cross-cultural reference!).

Blooming thoughts


I hardly know what to write about today. The public vitriol from some of my fellow citizens against our elected representatives takes my breath away. I’ve been saying for a while that we as a society have been doing a poor job of preparing individuals to be citizens—and adult citizens at that. I do not like to have this kind of evidence that I may be correct.

BTW, John Boehner’s voice now gets under my skin more than Dick Cheney’s.

Situational progress


Pretty darned postmodern that MoMA “acquired” the @ symbol for their collection….

News o’the day


I’m still getting used to the light so late in the afternoon (aka: early in the evening)….

After yesterday’s cold snap around here, today has been sunny-sunny-sunny!

Best news: the Lumix is back. Second best news: Panasonic fixed it for free.

Awaiting to see if this is even better news: our country’s new health care plan.

The hills are almost alive


We traversed a big swath of Appalachia today, from central Ohio to West Virgina, a corner of Virginia, and across North Carolina. At higher elevations, the rain we found intermittently became wet flakes, and the windshield wipers were slapping time…. Thankfully the mild squeak in one blade didn’t begin until the last fifty miles, when I was napping (actually, sleeping soundly, I admit!) and the Guru was piloting….