Musings

Rubisco

There’s no reason you should remember that I received a packet of “wild”flower seeds at the baby shower back in late May. Here’s the first bloom they produced. BTW, the baby has arrived and is about a week old! From the two photos I’ve seen (sleeping in both), she’s a cutie!

I learned the word rubisco from a WashPo article by Michael J. Coren. Somehow I only came across it this week, although the publication date is 27 June. Rubisco is a protein officially named Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase. It’s the chemical catalyst for photosynthesis and is found in leaves (apparently all leaves). As I’ve mentioned before, my ignorance is vast.

Andor

We’ve been watching what to me is the “new” series in the StarWars franchise, Andor. When I hear it, I hear and/or (like and/not and similar). When I read it, I can see it as Andor. Anyway, mostly a pretty good story…grim world, but decent story/characters/writing.

Aging into…

People say age brings wisdom, but for most of us that really isn’t true, when we get old we’ve just accumulated more experiences, good and bad. The result is more likely to be cynicism than wisdom.*

I have to go with Backman on this. We age into cynicism?

*Text is on page 30 of Neil Smith’s translation of Fredrik Backman’s The Winners (2021; hardback version; title in Swedish original: Vinnarna).

Shipping and sugarplums

Both of us were in the mood to take a break from chores-about-the-property, and I got texting to friends…and when the dust settled we took off eastbound to see them and to do errands. First stop was lunch at a small burger place—with car-hops!—where we could watch a very local ferry zooming back and forth from mainland to island (both Michigan territories) and back. [Note phone check before driving away.]

It’s not quite that simple, as the route, short as it is, crosses an international shipping route. Here’s a Great Lakes freighter upbound toward the Sault Locks. It’s the John G. Munson (made of steel and self-loading; built 1952; 102′ mid-section added 1975–76; owned by Canadian National Railway Co.; IMO: 5173670), if you can’t read the name. Out of Duluth, and most certainly headed back there. [Apologies for cutting off a sliver of the stern.]

We did our other errands and headed for our fun fun socializing stop. We chatted about a huge range of topics, including what this shrub is. iNaturalist (free app; recommended!) says Amalanchier species, commonly known as serviceberry and sugarplum…and many other names. Happy agreement among us with the app ID.

On our return leg, we made a quick end-of-road stop to look across the shipping channel that the Munson will soon pass through. The other side is another country, Canada. Did I know this?—that scholars have coalesced around the hypothesis that Canada is a corruption of the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, which means village or settlement. Town and country, yup, so efficient, our neighbors to the north….

And just like that, we returned to the cottage, unloaded and stashed all our new possessions, and settled back into our normal evening routine…albeit no longer with any new “Succession” episodes in our future. Oh, Shiv.

Not the same ring

Variation on the bramble and the rose? Yucca and roses?

Machinations

Reading “South Riding” (by Winifred Holtby, 1936), a novel of its time (as many of them are). The clever (?) twist of the name is there is no South Riding in the real UK, although Britain has an East, West, and North version; also the word riding derives from the Viking term for thirds, so…still clever: no fourth version. Still, “South Riding” works as a novelized anthropological study of the people, places, and political machinations of eastern Yorkshire, north of Hull, after WWI and before WWII.

So distinctive, the heart-shaped leaves of Cercis canadensis, the eastern redbud.

Historical moment

How many times have I been in Powell’s and not noticed this? Actually, there are several staircases, and this is on the landing of just one, so it can honestly and easily be missed.

I just checked their website, and the bookstore dates back to 1971. I think the first time I entered its doors was in 1979.

Our country might well be improved if we had a Department of Literature.

Rainy day adventures

Rainy all day, sometimes more than at other times. And here’s just about the last snow (right of center) we saw from our various vantage points as we went down the gorge to the Rose City.

All this rain means…tada! Waterfalls. This is Horsetail Falls.

And this is the better known Multnomah Falls. There are pedestrians on the old road bridge…and no longer any cars.

From the natural history display: an osprey. (Photo especially for those who’re tired of landscapes.)

Portland is a city of treasured neon, or at least I have the sense there’s plenty of neon here, and some of seems to be historic…or perhaps just retro.

This is not our hotel, and if we didn’t have a reservation, I still don’t think we would have been tempted. See note above. Just to be clear, we have two, count ’em, two color TVs in our room (it’s like a studio apartment, BTW).

Powell’s City of Books: of course we visited. And we traveled via street cars (trams), on complementary tix from our hotel. The Rose City is so green and hip.

I have never before seen this abbreviation, and I’d rather it disappeared. Only two-thirds of the shelves had it; the rest had the full spelling: archaeology. Much classier. And, besides, there was room for the other letters…so, why? Why?

Leaf-like

Fronds and frond-iness. A frond is a leaf or leaf-like plant part. These fennel fronds trace such delicate imagery.

’Nuff said

Helicopters

Backlit helicopters.