Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Latest Geithner Plan

I have nothing new to say about it. Why don't we all just turn over our firstborns to Wall Street?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Barefoot in the Yard

I like working barefoot in the yard. In Oakland I could work barefoot ten months out of the year. But in Sacramento I suffer through months when it's either too cold or too hot to work without shoes. So those brief months when I can work unencumbered by footwear, I am specially happy.

My pictures of the yard are truly awful--of the 40 or so that I took, only a few are suitable for publication. I don't know if it's because the yard doesn't look as good as I think it does or because my pictures are mostly awful and it's particularly apparent when the garden is in bloom.

This is my LL Bobbink. It's supposed to be lavender, but it' become whiter with each passing year.

A pelargonium and my baby mallow.

Camellia japonica Nuccio's Gem.

Azalea Rutherfordia Alaska.

The Japanese maples are leafing out. This one sits outside our bedroom door and the sun shines through the leaves in the morning.

A spring-blooming anemone.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's the Vernal Equinox!

So I went out to the yard and took some remarkably bad pictures of flowers. I don't know what happened, but most of the pictures are washed out, ill-composed and littered with debris and whitefly. (Yes, I have both whitefly and aphids, and spent some time this morning wiping aphids off the new growth on my Japanese maples.)

Unfortunately we still have little pesky sucking insects infecting our major banks and other financial institutions and we can't get rid of them by wiping them off with a wet paper towel or aiming for them with a shot of water from the garden hose. You'd think that the recipients of our government's largesse would feel just a teensy bit ashamed at taking taxpayer-funded bonuses after crashing the economy, but then you'd be thinking like a person who doesn't make $165 million a year. And when you make $165 million a year, by golly, you DESERVE a taxpayer-funded bonus because, well, you were one of the people who came up with the very idea of, well, Credit Default Swaps. And then you convinced your fellows that they were a really, really good idea and that you couldn't lose and everyone would make piles of money and that you all were really great innovators and, like, positively entrepeneurial. And while they didn't turn out to be such a good idea--although certainly innovative and kind of entrepeneurial, in the same way that a Ponzi scheme is entrepeneurial--you and your buddies did make piles of money, like $165 million a year.

I, for one, hope they figure out some way to get all the money back, every blessed penny of it. We can surely think of something better to spend it on.

Now I find that I've lost all the pictures I took today. Sometimes good things happen.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pictures on the Ides of March

I do have some Spring pictures to contribute today, even though I didn't get it together to take them on the 15th for Bloom Day. Further, J actually took the best of the bunch (I asked him to, as I wasn't able to get good pictures). The weather has been fairly cool here--in fact, we've had morning frost, which is unusual for March here. (It's been a very frosty year generally, punctuated with short periods of unseasonably warm weather.) Plants that would ordinarily be in full bloom are just starting now, and some of the pot plants have either nestled down below ground for a couple more weeks or are, in fact, dead.

It was warm on Thursday, so I took a bunch of pictures. Mercifully, I deleted most of them. The cats welcomed the warm weather by doing what they most enjoy, sleeping in the sun.

The little white flower is from my thyme-leaf rhododendron, which features tiny leaves and tiny, but perfectly formed, rhododendron flowers. J took this picture, posing the plant in front of the deep green foliage he thought would show the flowers to best advantage. Oh yeah, I thought, I could move the plant before taking the picture.

The azaleas are blooming--slowly. Some years they've finished up by the end of February, but this year they started in January, then stopped, and have now begun blooming in earnest.
Many years the deciduous azaleas (which are semi-deciduous here) bloom before putting out their new growth which presents me with perfect flowers on a plant that appears half-dead. This year, though, the bloom and new growth have mercifully appeared at the same time.

The cistus above is also blooming, as are the little violas I purchased for annual color. Supposedly, we should be able to plant pansies and violas during the winter, but I've not had success with that for several years, so I just waited until this month to plant them. I've also got a few bulbs, which I'll plant in the front yard once they've bloomed out. I've never been able to get bulbs in pots to rebloom the next year, and don't bother to try anymore. (Hear that, Secretary Geithner. It's okay to give up after a few attempts and just take over the banks.)

And I see all sorts of flower buds forming--on the dianthus, the fuschias, the roses. If the weather warms up a bit, I should be able to get some decent pictures. And if I can't, I can always enlist J in the project.