Archive for the ‘Language and plants’ Category

Wednesday odds and ends

October 26, 2016

Three unconnected things: (1) a Japanese flower painting; (2) a silly penguin image; (3) a fresh way for me to refer mockingly to the current Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States.


Two flowering trees in Kyoto

October 21, 2016

(with the Brazil nut tree as a bonus)

An old friend L. and his partner I. spent an afternoon a few days ago in Kyoto’s vast botanical garden, where I. took photos of a number of the plants, including shots of two showy flowering trees that L. e-mailed me: Camellia sinensis and Barringtonia racemosa:



The tea tree and the powder-puff tree, respectively.


Pingu watches over the gay boys

October 21, 2016

On AZBlogX, two postings of homoerotic Pingu-based collages (featuring the animated penguin Pingu), 8 in each set: “Pingu: first wave” (here) and “Pingu: second wave” (here) — being birds of the sea, penguins come in waves.

Pingu will then lead us to other pingu- words, only a few penguin-related; and to the pungi, a musical instrument (cobras will be involved).


Triple-play pun

October 19, 2016

From correspondent RJP, this image that’s been making the rounds on Facebook:


A nine-word sentence with only three content words, all of them punned on; all the puns are imperfect, the last pretty distant. Starting from the song line

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

with the substitutions:

dawning > awning, age > cage, Aquarius > Asparagus

Much as I admire the punning, I have to point out that the plant in the chicken-wire cage isn’t asparagus; it looks like a legume, a pea or bean.


Penguin irises

October 1, 2016

Another home decor posting, this time with a combination of elements on the coffee table in my living room:



The durian

September 12, 2016

Attacking a giant backlog of postings on food and plants (mostly due to prompts from Juan Gomez), I give you today the King of Delicious Stink, the durian.


Regarded by many people in southeast Asia as the “king of fruits”, the durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odour, and formidable thorn-covered husk. (Wikipedia)


The Mystery Man of Crotch Beach

September 11, 2016

(Some crude sexual talk, but some humor, too, and plants, several plants. Use your judgment.)

(Notice: Prunella vulgaris and Orchis mascula are real plants, and what I say about them and their names is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate. As for the rest, caveat lector.)


Hunky Herb hides his
Puffy purple penis, his
Funky fleshy fruits, but fuck, his
Buddy Larry says, lewdly, a
Feast to eat, and pretty too.

The back story, in a recent press release:


How sweet the daphne smells

September 7, 2016

… and how poisonous it is.

A birthday present from Chris Waigl (plants and poetry, with something of an Edward Gorey twist) , this note:

I was thinking of you the other day when I remembered a little (somewhat twee) poem my mother liked. It’s from a German humorous herbarium (the book is called Heiteres Herbarium [‘Bright/Cheerful Herbarium’]) by someone with the extraordinarily Bavarian name Karl Heinrich Waggerl. The book’s still in copyright [and is described as lyric poetry], so there doesn’t seem to be much online. Apparently, it sold extremely well for a book of, at least on the surface, poetry.
The poem I was thinking of was about the pretty, traditionally medicinally used (and quite poisonous) Seidelbast (Daphne mezereum). Not native to the Americas and therefore not much talked about here. It has a ton (dozens) of common names in German. I knew it as Zeiland in Austria and Lorbeerkraut (lit. laurel herb) at home. Much lore and warnings. The poem is a warning, too, with a quasi-moral level of meaning and at the same time a … rhyme at the end that marks it as jocular.


On foot patrol, part 2

September 1, 2016

Back to Tuesday morning, on patrol for my feet, with food diversions. Previous posting: shoes, Sushirrito, and Umami Burger. This one: pedicures and mangosteens.


Osmunda, Königin des Waldes

August 29, 2016

Yesterday’s morning name, Osmunda (a genus of ferns), here understood as a central royal figure of an opera (like Die Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte) or an operetta (like Die Csárdásfürstin, Gräfin Maritza, or Die Zirkusprinzessin).