Tuesday, August 15, 2017

it's my blog...i'll be as corny as i like

the corn in a buucket ( top photo ) is finally starting to flower ( second and third ) which may mean ears after all...it is also showing signs of transpiration even though the ambient temperature is not all that warm ( fourth and fifth )...the northern tepehuan teosinte is in full flower 9 sixth ) and i am looking for silks to appear soon...the teosinte, despite being in the same sun is not looking perspired...its leaves are uncurled ( eighth )...the last photo is of one of the teosinte stands ( there are two and a single plant in a back bed )with the northern tepehuan on the right and the zea mays parvaglumis on the left all between five and six feet in height.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

13 zea

the zea season, both ancestral and descendant, is moving along ( albeit more slowly for the "wild and weedy" ancestor )..the filed of dense yellow #2 out by the supermarket is in full flower ( first and second photos ) and the silks are moving from light to dark as they dry after pollination and as the ears mature ( third and fourth ) the fifth photo is of leaves on a stalk of field corn and the sixth is of leaves on a stalk of teosinte...the seventh is of support roots on field corn..the eighth of the tiered support roots on northern tepehuan teosinte...the tenth photo is another corn flower ( some are sticklers for calling them tassels...i am not...a flower is a flower and serves the same reproductive function [within parameters] as any other ) and the eleventh ( sense a pattern? ) a flower on the northern tepehuan teosinte...today's foray into morphology...finally the twine on the stalk of zea mays parvaglumis that fell over four days ago is still holding it up and, as i had imagined, the plant is showing nos sign of having suffered damage over its fall...still booming along

Saturday, August 12, 2017

my turf

the top two photos are what a stand of jerusalem artichokes are supposed to look like closing in on the middle of august and a solar eclipse...including the blooms in the third and fourth photos which are losing or have lost their petals and are maturing into seed heads...not probably the most aesthetically pleasing process, however a natural one...the fifth and sixth photos are some potato bloom out back and the seventh is of some fruits i hope the blooms will emulate...still sixteen of them...no attrition yet...and ten of those i have netted so i am hopeful of mature fruits...the eighth photo is of some aphids feeding on the sugars in the sap of the northern tepehuan teosinte...and the last photo is an opportunist waiting to eat.


i was working in the back yard and found myself in need of some supplies so i went off to the big box home improvement store's garden center and stopped off at the bean field along the way...if you look closely enough in that monochromatic landscape you might just detect some "weeds" poking up through the bean canopy...but no volunteer corn to be seen since the spraying...this os unfortunate from my point of view since volunteer corn and its reproductive capacities are of some interest to me...and even though the beans are blooming and some are sprouting pods they aren't terribly riveting attention wise...or at least won't be until after harvest and we have a look to see how many of the missed beans germinate in a suicidal attempt to grow before winter...you'd think there'd be a dormant period...like "natural" seeds...but we aren't dealing with those.

Friday, August 11, 2017

ghosts of otto

a trip to the community garden on campus after work brought a mixed bag of results...on the plus side the asparagus ( first photo ) is doing well and patience over a few years has ended in the reward of "berries" for the first time in several season ( second and third )...there will be an expansion of the n w indiana asparagus population...down the row in my bed the onion flower ( fourth ) has produced mature and, hopefully, viable seed ( fifth ) as well as a contrast in allium morphology with the ramps seeds in my yard...the uprooted teosinte ( sixth ) is still trying to show some resilience though this late in the season the prospects seem dim...at fist glance at the stand of jerusalem artichokes ( seventh )you may detect a difference from previous photos...the reason lies in the fact that someone has deliberately hacked off the blooms and , more importantly for me, the maturing seed heads i was planning on collecting...i was and still am prepared that the teosinte incident was accidental or an act of "weeding" by a well-meaning soul..this however seems more like deliberate vandalism driven by someone's ( or some institution's ) sense of aesthetics...intrusive leaps to mind as an adjective...part of what i had planned to gain from this bed has been destroyed and i find it lamentable...so much for the marketplace of ideas...otto's efforts to limit the garden seem alive and well after his departure.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


a couple of potato plants on the south side of the house bloomed earlier in the season and all they left behind was broken stems where the blooms failed to become fruits ( first photo )...over in the northern reaches of the yard another plant has bloomed ( second ) and has produced, at last count, sixteen fruits ( third and fifth )...so in an effort to keep them from critters and to contain them should the come off the stem i netted them in critter net ( fourth and sixth ) which is a strategy i have deployed before in the community garden two seasons ago when the blue varieties went fruit mad and exploded in fruits ( whose seeds are still in my freezer )...it has been successful before and so i can hope it will be again...meanwhile the nasturtiums ( seventh ) continue to bloom and go to seed ( eighth and ninth )...there will be another generation of home grown mashua cousins...and if ic an conserve some of those tubers the family will grow out back again...finally a photo of a fresh jerusalem artichoke bloom next to one that has begun the transition to seed head..they are members of the sunflower family and produce prodigious amounts of seed...that is remarkably difficult to germinate..i will collect seed again and try to grow a plant from seed...again...however i will replant some of the harvest to be sure.