Archive for Nature

A Very Interesting Pumpkin

This story beings sometime last October. Halloween was approaching, and as is custom, we bring some type of small pumpkin to the cemetery to decorate the family plot. We left the pumpkin on top of the large headstone.

Christmas came, and the pumpkin was still there. And it wasn’t horribly rotten to our surprise, so we left it. We didn’t go back until Palm Sunday and were surprised to see that this huge tree with some crazy root system that had prevented anything from growing there for years was cut down. Then on Easter we planted stuff that needed sunlight to grow. Some of the ground had also sunk in. The pumpkin was still there. It was rotten by now, but you could only tell if you touched it. We filled in the place where the ground sunk in with some compost and the pumpkin.

We came back on Memorial Day, the flowers we planted were growing, but some other odd plant was there. Then we realized it was a pumpkin plant. Not wanting the cemetery workers to rip it out once it started sending its vine out, we dug it up and planted it at home. For a day or two I was worried it might not make it because it started wilting, but it picked back up and now it’s doing awesome.

We had to plant it in this ghetto space in front of my mom’s rose bush because the rest of the garden had already been planted with her tomatoes and cucumbers and beans.  Now I’m on a pumpkin growing craze and am a bit disappointed I didn’t do research on this earlier. Since the pumpkins are miniature they could’ve been trained to grow along a fence or trellis. This one’s vine can grow up to 15 feet, and we should get at least 6 pumpkins. Assuming those mother-f*cking vine borers don’t attack it. We already had a slug eat one baby pumpkin. I need to put slug poison out soon.

Above are pictures I took of the two largest babies yesterday and today. I counted at least five more little ones. I am so excited for this :D. In a few more weeks they should be fully ripened. I have no doubts they’ll last until Halloween with how long the parent pumpkin lasted.  I think these pumpkins are Lil’ Pump Ke Mons, but I won’t know for sure until they’ve ripened. If only I knew what I was doing I could cross pollinate and make all sorts of cool pumpkins!!

Now I feel like growing a giant pumpkin and naming it and entering it in a contest. Maybe in the future when I have my own yard.

This post is dedicated to my grandfather, who no doubt had something to do with starting that pumpkin plant 😀

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Kissy Tree Lives On

Ever since we first moved into my neighborhood there was a giant oak tree that we dubbed Kissy Tree, because it had two growths that looked like a pair of eyes and another that looked like puckering lips. A few years ago it was hit by a car, and the car caught on fire. It was very damaged but I hoped it would pull through, or that if it did die, it would fall across the road and hurt no one (but possibly mess up a car) and screw over traffic in revenge. But sadly it was cut down about two weeks ago. When I counted the rings I saw that it was approximately 120 years old.

I was really sad about it being cut down. I mean really, really sad. It made me pissed off at cars and crappy drivers. When this tree first started growing my neighborhood wasn’t even there. I think that the main road may have been there at the time but I’d need to check maps from the late 1800’s to be certain.I do have some pictures of Kissy Tree, but they’re in a massive box of pictures somewhere. I’ll be sure to post them when I find them.

Anyway, now for the happy news 😀

There were a few seedlings near the parent tree. These two were the biggest ones and I took them. One suffered root damage in the process though 😦 However I am going to will it to live in the hopes that it will recover! I will name one Great Deku Sprout since I felt that Kissy Tree was the Great Deku Tree of my neighborhood and I am not sure what to name the other. I was thinking of naming the other Yggdrasil.. but Yggdrasil was an ash tree, so I’m currently looking for some badass Norse/Germanic name for it.

Since I think Kissy Tree was a red oak ( it could’ve been a black oak, I’m not 100% sure), I looked up how to properly care for red oak seedlings. When they are babies they need the shade of a mature tree, though once they get to be 2-3 years old they need direct sunlight. Learning this makes me want to go rescue all of the other seedlings (since they are now in direct sunlight) but that would be too many trees for me to care for right now.

In other news, one of my basil plants is starting to look pretty good while the other is still moving slowly.

My orchid is also doing much better, it’s roots have been growing in addition to the leaf it recently sent out. That’s about all of the plant news I have for now 😀

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An Update on the Plants in My Life

You may remember the last post I wrote about the orchid that I’m trying to bring back to life.

we've made some progress!

I’ve been giving it special orchid food in it’s water every few days and I’ve been misting it with the orchid food 1-2 times a day. It’s started growing a new leaf out of the middle and some of its roots look more alive than they did before. I’d be thrilled if I could get it to flower this summer, but I’ll let the plant take all the time it needs to feel better enough before it starts flowering. I also thought of a name for the plant! I’m naming it Holly after my neighbor’s cat that past away a number of years ago. The original Holly was hit by a car,  just had kittens and was living in a dumpster when she was rescued (on Christmas eve, thus the name Holly), my neighbor adopted her and helped nurse her back to health. She was a very nice cat and was an outside cat. She never strayed further than a few houses away from her owner’s and wore a bell on her collar because my neighbor didn’t want her killing anymore birds.

I’m also growing some basil. Triscuit is promoting the home farming movement by providing seed cards on their boxes. I got basil seeds on the last triscuit box we had and decided to try growing them. My mom warned me that she had a lot of trouble getting basil to germinate in the past, which is why she just buys the little plants at a nursery and plants them in our yard. But I still decided to give it a go.

the seed card!

the card needs to be soaked for 2-4 hours before it can be split in half and planted

it says to plant both cards in the same 8 inch pot, but i wanted to give one plant to Scott so I went with two pots, they're just about to be covered with soil!

So I planted them on April 22. For a while they did nothing but then I saw a tiny speck of green in one of them, which has since grown into this!

a bigger tiny speck of green!

 

here's a close up! it made it's first mini basil looking leaves!!

I thought the other pot would be a dud, but recently it’s made it’s own tiny speck of green.

here's a closeup

They seem to be growing pretty slowly, at least way more slowly than my mother’s tomatoes. I’m thinking of naming the two of them Mr. Sam and Mr. Frodo.. but it seems weird naming them because I’m going to be eating them eventually.

Those are all of the plant’s I’m trying to grow right now, but here are some pictures of other nice things in my front and back yard. Note: not all of these are currently in season.

closed

open!

this columbine looks a lot like a dress

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Mission: Orchid Revival

A little over a year ago my family went to a garden show. There we bought a baby orchid (by baby I mean it was just roots and leaves, and very small). It never flowered, and is currently in bad shape. After I started reading The Secret Life of Plants I’ve begun to think about them a lot differently. I’m really determined to help this plant out. The shells were there to help weigh it down since when we bought it, it wasn’t in the pot.

As you can see its in bad shape

Heres a close up of the poor thing 😦

Here’s what I’m doing to help the orchid:

1. I bought special orchid food to help make it happy. Once it’s happy I’ll buy the food that’s supposed to help it flower.It’s supposed to make small purple flowers and I really want to see them!

2. I make sure to open the curtain near it that my mom always closes at night. I plan on researching the species and seeing what amount of light would be optimal for it, since I just found out that the black spots on the leaves are sunburns.

3. I am willing it to live and talking to it a bit. This may sound crazy but The Secret Life of Plants has convinced me that this will help and that plant will appreciate it.

I WILL MAKE THIS PLANT HEALTHY AGAIN I SWEAR!!!

On a happy note, I will end this with pictures of some of the happy plants in my garden 🙂

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Weather, WTF?

Last weekend was beautiful. This weekend it is once again cold. It even snowed this week. There’s something very pretty about seeing spring flowers with a *dusting* of snow around them, but this was way too much.

You know God could at least tell us when it will be nice again so I could start a count down instead of being mad at our atmosphere…

I want to go hang out at the Botanical Gardens again, and take my dogs to the park every day… and not be inside 😦

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Spring!

7:21 pm has past and it’s officially spring! Luckily this year the equinox occurred at a time I’m normally awake at, so I stood up some eggs!

My mom always told us you could do this during the spring equinox because something happens with gravity. For some reason this was the year I finally decided to research the topic. Every website I cam across said that this phenomenon is a myth and that if you are patient enough you can stand up eggs any day of the year. It didn’t take much effort to stand up these eggs. And I remember one year when the equinox was early in the morning I stood some up with my sister outside. It was very easy for a few minutes to stand most of the eggs up, but within a few minutes we couldn’t stand up the eggs anymore and a few fell over. So I guess this will forever remain a mystery, but at least it’s a fun mystery 😀

In other news, here’s an awesome interactive diagram I made to demonstrate Bhaskara’s First Proof of the Pythagorean Theorem.

note the squares of the sides

lift the flaps to see that the square of the hypotenuse can be rearranged into the sum of the squares of the legs!

It’s for the education class I’m taking that’s focused on incorporating ESL teaching methods into mainstream subject classes. Every so often I’ll learn something interesting, but for the most part it’s really boring.

Happy Spring!!!!!!!!

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Last Day of Winter Break?

I start classes again tomorrow. Luckily I only have one short class on Friday.. Number Theory!! But anyway, today was another Snow-apocalypse. Campus was closed! If I get lucky it may be closed tomorrow, or I could be lucky and learn awesome math! Tomorrow is set to be a win-win =D

Ok this post has no major purpose other than pictures…

My back yard!!

the doggies in their winter coats

Ok, normally I am against making animals wear clothing but as you can see they recently had a trip to the groomers’ and have waaay less hair than they used to. Usually we’d wait until spring to shear them but Zelda was matted soooooo bad.

So, because they got haircuts we put them in jackets that we got from a pet supply catalog.  Minnie’s was $11 and Zelda’s was $20. At Pet Menu or Pet Land.. or any freaking little-dog pet store, those jackets would have cost at least $40. The jackets are awesome, they have reflective stripes on them, a hole to clip the leash to the collar and a little pocket on the back. And amazingly, Zelda tolerates it way more than I expected her to.

my street

Ok, so the mini plow came through but not the real plow. Yet the avenue that two bus lines run on has yet to be plowed (a necessary) second time. There was about three inches of driven on snow last I checked.

yep 14 inches

My dad actually got a yard stick and measured how much snow we had.. 14 inches. We’ve had so much freaking snow this month we might as well be living in Minnesota.

I also made snow slurpees, but I’ve saved that awesomness to use as my first ghetto cooking post XD

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My New Appreciation of Winter

This past week I went skiing for two days at Belleayre Mountain in the Catskills with Scott and two of our friends.

I’ve never been upstate many times in the summer throughout my life and once or twice in the fall, but until now I’ve never been there in the winter. All I have to say is that it’s still beautiful but in a different way. The green mountains are all brown and white. When the trees have no snow on them but the ground does the mountains look like the heads of people with very thin hair that you can see through… but they’re still pretty. The ice covering the rocks on the side of the roads looks like frozen waterfalls. And it snows a lot up there… which is also very pretty.

And, they have REAL icicles on houses, not just ghetto ones on cars.

these are *not* decorations, they are REAL

Even the shrubbery has icicles!!

Treecicles!!

I wish I had more pictures but I didn’t even bring my camera. Those photos are courtesy of Scott.

The skiing was awesome. But it was a huge workout lugging all of the equipment around. At some point on this trip I injured myself. The day after the day I got home when I was rubbing my sore muscles on my arms, shoulders and chest I felt a bump on my sternum that felt like bone and it freaked me out because I did not have one opposite to it. Then I asked my mom about it, she assumed it was an inflamed tendon or something, and I thought it made sense because I only had pain there if I moved my arm in certain directions. But it was Friday, my G.P doesn’t have hours until Monday. Then my mom decided to drag me to physical therapy with her (she was in a car accident two years ago).

So, I see the chiropractor and when I tell him about the bump he starts feeling my back. I then realize there’s a bump on the back too. He tells me I’ve popped a rib and he’ll give me an adjustment after he gives one to my mom. So he popped it back in.. but I think it popped back out. Looks like I’m going back on Monday.

But I still really want to go skiing again because it is fucking awesome. And I want to do every winter sport ever except skeleton and luge (because I value my life). Seriously, skiing has made the winter suck so much less for me. All of these sports make me want to do stuff in the winter instead of staying curled up in a ball on my couch watching Netflix. Ironically, with my injury, I am doomed to that fate for a while at least 😦

I wish I was better so I could be harassing my dad to take me skiing again.

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Snow Day and a Trip to the Gastroenterologist!

So the day after Christmas it snowed.. *a lot*

 

garbage can included for height reference!

poor doggies, too much snow for them

The first day the snow was too much for the dogs. Minnie got stuck, Zelda got stuck (and then unstuck). My mom shoveled them a spot in the back to use as their bathroom.

I did my part and shoveled a bit the next morning.. but out stoop had disappeared. It’s powder snow on the top and heavy snow on the bottom. It was knee deep where it fell normally and hip deep where the dunes were. I was only able to accomplish this much before getting tired.

I did not leave further than my yard for three days. I only went outside to shovel. But today I took my first steps into the post-apocalyptic world because I had a doctor’s appointment! (That was also the push to shovel out the driveway. As no real plow went down my street because I live in Queens and Bloomberg hates every borough outside of Manhattan, we wanted to wait until after the chance of us getting plowed in past. Guess what.. when we came back we were plowed in -_-).

Anyway, my doctor was super happy that my Crohn’s colitis hasn’t been bothering me (aside from finals and midterms). He says it’s good that my weight has stabilized.. but I still wish I could gain another ten pounds. Oh well.I also learned about diverticular disease from pamphlets in the waiting room (only condition on the pamphlets I’ve never heard of). It doesn’t sound fun at all. He also has this sad example of the digestive tract on the wall in his examining room. It is the *worst* GI tract ever. It has colon cancer, gastric cancer, ulcerative colitis, diverticular disease, crohn’s disease, hemmorids, hernias, acid reflux, gaul stones.. and there was more, but I can’t think of it now.

I also laughed when my doctor said one of his hobbies is fighting with unions that don’t cover prescription meds his patients need. (My meds are quite expensive and luckily are covered)

That is all XD

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My Very Belated Pumpkin

I can’t believe I forgot to post this. Actually, I can, the first two weeks of November have been pretty damn heavy.But anyway…

I was planning on taking pictures of my pumpkin in various stages as I carved it but I got really into it and only ended up with two.

Before:

After:

At Night:

Basically what I did with this pumpkin was…

1. Chose to do a Spidey related pumpkin.

2. Look at other Spider-pumpkins online and come up with the idea to do mine this way. I saw someone do a bust of the classic 60’s Spidey and another person do a pumpkin head (like what i have) of the Spidey from the most recent films.

3. Made stencils for the eyes as they are a major factor in recognition.

4. Made a poked outline of the eyes, then worked the rest of the pumpkin free hand (while glancing back and forth at my sketch of his webbing patterns) around the eyes.

I’m also adding that the candle in the pumpkin stayed lit for five days. We used a big scented candle from Michaels, but still, it was subject to a lot of wind and even rain. I consider this The Miracle of Halloween, much like Hanukkah. Ironically stricter Jews don’t celebrate Halloween, but do celebrate Purim, which is a lot like Halloween. It’s in the spring and you go around giving out treats instead of begging for them. I wish both were universally celebrated… who doesn’t want a second Halloween in the spring?!

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