A plant pundit comments on plants, gardening, academic life, and life in general.
The Phytophactor's Latest Posts
Well, it's been a late spring, and our field work has finally begun. This sort of sounds silly, but the first job is to actually find our study plots. Yes, they are marked, and yes, we've been using these plots, a long-term study, since 2006, but the markers must be able to survive prairie burnings, so they are metal and not too big. Our numbered tags got well scorched, dirty, and buried in ash, again. At times you can be standing just inches from a tag and not be able […]
Wow, has it been that long? Yes, the 1st Earth Day was 44 years ago, a whole academic career ago, and at times you wonder what was accomplished? What the frack is happening to the Clean Water Act of 1972? Well, Walt Kelly's Pogo had it right all along. Too many papers, too much field work, and other semester debris piling up too quickly to write much more. Too depressing to think about many of our pressing issues.
No one really knows, especially what's on this one's mind. Mind? This is an interesting article about people who study animal intelligence, and they say cats are just really, really difficult to work with. People like to think that dogs are smarter than cats, but in TPP's opinion this is largely because humans and dogs understand each other better. Communicating with a cat is more like trying to figure out an alien life form. Humans just don't think […]
One of my colleagues always used to kid around about having packed dehydrated Jack Daniels for field work. And now someone has invented a powdered alcoholic beverage? OK, based on what TPP knows about chemistry, you can separate the water and alcohol, but then you still have to carry the same weight to rehydrate it later, and alcohol doesn't dry out; gas, liquid, solid, but not a dry powder. Something doesn't make sense. This powdered alcohol is called Palcohol, and when first this […]
TPP is bushed, tired, not politically inept. Yes, hole not whole, because that's what he did today; TPP dug holes. That's the bloody trouble with new shrubs, they need holes. And when you take down 5 or 6 old spruce you end up with an empty space that's at least 65' x 20' to re-landscape, and that's what we be doing. Let's see a Japanese snowbell, a fancy purple lilac, a Korean pine, a Korean azalea (hmm, is there a trend here?), a June berry, a double-file viburnum, a […]
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