Archive for the ‘Language and plants’ Category

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.

  (#1)

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)

(more…)

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.)

(#1)

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:

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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).

(more…)

Pink motels, Cadillacs, etc. etc.

August 19, 2016

Today’s Zippy takes us into the land of pink motels, pink fairies, and pink Cadillacs, which then takes us of course into the Forest of Pudendiana and sexual symbolism. There will be innocent drinks, plants, and animals, but mostly this is a world drenched in sex, gender, and sexuality.

(#1)

We are in scenic Cherokee NC, home of a Pink Motel, with a fairy as its mascot — blue-winged in the cartoon, but pink-winged in older versions of the actual neon sign.

Symbolism I. Both fairies and the color pink have come to be symbols of femininity, and by extension, faggotry. But also, both of them, are symbols of kitsch: fairies and pink stuff are “cute”. Presumably the Pink Motel in Cherokee was designed not to bring in women or gay men, but to project a strong general senses of cuteness, like Tinkerbell and Hello Kitty run amok.

(more…)

Trapped in the morning duff

August 12, 2016

Morning names from the 9th: a pair you can get stuck in (the Great Grimpen Mire and the La Brea Tar Pits) and the noun duff referring to decaying vegetable matter.

(more…)

Violet-blue, white, and deep purple

August 10, 2016

On a visit to the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto yesterday, two striking plants (among the classic garden flowers of high to late summer): Catananche caerulea (with violet-blue flowers) and Angelica stricta ‘Purpurea’ (with deep purple flowers). Not on display: the familiar garden angelica plant (A. archangelica, with white flowers).

(more…)

The kangaroo’s paw

July 21, 2016

(Mostly about plants rather than language.)

A visit with Juan Gomez to Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden this morning. Mostly a riot of midsummer garden standards (dahlias, alstromerias, phlox, snapdragons, foxgloves, ageratum, zinnias, cornflowers, salvias, rose of sharon, yarrows, and much, much more), but with some surprises in there, including a stand of a wonderfully weird plant that turned out to be a celebrated Australian native that’s been bred in a number of varieties and exported to (at least) the U.K. and the U.S.: kangaroo paw.

A (not fantastic) photo of the variety we saw, “Tequila Sunrise”:

(#1)

(more…)

Garden moments

July 15, 2016

Today’s Calvin and Hobbes in my comics feed:

(#1)

In the land of sentient plants.

Meanwhile, I’ve been laboring on getting my little container garden in hand, after a decade of devastation, neglect, and drought. Into the land of vegetative reproduction (cymbidiums,geraniums / pelargoniums, coleus / plecranthus) and nurturing some gift plants (two succulent gardens, kalanchoe, penstemon, and hydrangea).

(more…)