Saturday, May 30, 2009

We went to the John A. Finch Aboretum. Manito Park (both places are in Spokane) is also nice, but they are two entirely different places, but I prefer the former....because it has the Stewartia (and many other really cool trees). I collected all sorts of seeds but now it seems that I have lost most of them. A Concolor Fir, Bird's Nest Spruce, and I think a Picea orientalis. The apple trees (crab apples) were in full bloom, but to be honest, I wasn't half as taken with them as I was with the conifers and of course, the Stewartia.

Next, the Lomatium Dilemna. Now that a month or two has gone by, I returned to the site where I collected the plant that I thought was Lomatium gormanii. It took some careful searching, but I found the same clump I'd picked from. I was in luck- there was a seedhead. After careful consideration, I have decided that it is not Lomatium gormanii, it is Lomatium geyeri, but it is still a close call. My reasons for changing my mind on this are that: geyeri is a taller plant, up to twice the height of gormanii. When I first saw this plant, it was in flower, and the height was consistent with gormanii. Now that the seedhead has matured, the scape has grown to 20 cm although it was about ten in flower. Similarly, the shape of the umbel altered considerably between flowering and fruiting...I would not have expected this, but now that I think about it, dill does that too, IIRC. Lastly, the seeds are not exactly like gormanii, but they are very much like geyeri. By the way....another thing I found that couldn't be detected for certain earlier: it has a carpophore! Therefore, it definitely is not Orogenia linearifolia. So, I was wrong, but I was right.

I have been really busy taking care of business, cleaning house and getting the garden in before the summer semester starts. There has been absolutely no time for art or even to read a new book...well, that isn't quite true. I read The Nanny Diaries, but this was light, easy reading. I had intended to read a classic like Lolita, Anna Karenina, or The Last of the Mohicans. Perhaps I should borrow audio books...but I like the physical act of reading sooo....

What I've been listening to: "Hey there Delilah", a song that resonates with me strongly.

Monday, May 25, 2009

There's too much pain in this world. Way too much. I don't know how people can function as though it doesn't exist. Worse than this, we all, every one of us, are perpetrators to some degree, creating pain in one way or another. It's possible to create less pain, but (until convinced otherwise at least) it is not possible to create no pain at all.

I'd like to console myself with the thought that pain is endemic in the natural world as well: rodents eat one another's babies, death is an integral part of life, pain is just part of the cycle, you know.... But when I look at the human world, our behavior can be so aberrant and so utterly pointless that it's horrifying.

And worse, what I am coming to understand is that almost every person who causes pain is in denial. Every blow, every theft, every murder, every broken heart and spirit is justified in one way or another. How else could former Nazis move to Argentina or wherever and settle down and raise a family, dandling children on their knees after shoving innocent people, children included, into crematoriums?

I'm trying to find a meaning here and coming up empty. If you think of anything, let me know.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I get to go the Fitch Arboretum and see my favorite Stewartia tree today! Woo hoo! I am so jazzed! :)