A plant pundit comments on plants, gardening, academic life, and life in general.
The Phytophactor's Latest Posts
Human artifacts are just so easy to distinguish from natural objects. But still this is kind of cool. See if you can spot the human artifact in this image of Mars' surface before you enlargen the image. It's just a human thing to do; leave a mark.
Our local newspaper sounded the outrage about a relatively minor government official who bought “over $1000 of art” for their office. Now there are several things wrong here, so let’s look at them in no particular order. “Over $1000 of art” is obviously meant to enrage the taxpayer that so much of their money was spent on art. The amount was actually something like $1027, yes, over $1000, but $1000? That’s not a lot of […]
Dear Pastor Grandstand (Branstad or something like that), Thank you for your invitation to join in thoughtful prayer and humble repentance, but for what exactly? Yes, your proclamation was for Iowa, but surely it would still count just across the river, or is the God you mention a small one? Is repentance necessary because Iowa has been wicked? But no, you say our nation has “fallen from her intended purpose”? Hmm, TPP didn’t even know our […]
Here's a great bit of research just reported by my colleague Emily over at the No seeds, no fruits, no flowers: no problem blog. Everyone knows that ferns grow well in the deep forest shade, but this is no easy trick because that leaf canopy overhead captures most of the sunlight, especially at the blue end of the spectrum. Ferns have a neochrome pigment that allows them to use both red and blue light more efficiently. This isn't news in and of itself, but the real news is […]
One thing leads to another, and the Phactors done one thing, in this instance, removing several old declining spruces, a big old ugly yew, and a rear-view mirror-removing redbud with no other redeeming features (it grew immediately adjacent to the neighbor's driveway). This leaves a 65 foot, south-facing, bed, our eastern front garden without any trees. After so many years of seeking shade-tolerant plants, to be seeking full-sun plants is quite a different challenge. However, with […]
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