Unsurreptitiously Seeding Siliques

Last year there was kale in the garden, too much kale really… So I did nothing about the plants and let them die off in the winter. Or so I thought. Early this spring they reappeared, and I was none too interested in an unending sea of salad. But the vigorous vegetable is a biennial, or at least the variety I have. I hacked out three plants to make room for this year’s garden, and left two others to go to seed. Maybe by next year I’ll be interested in kale again, and I won’t plant as much either.

The seed pods are really interesting. The sheer size being held upright by such a tiny stalk is mesmerizing. Each day they swell a little bigger. And beyond that, the kale is still producing more flowers at the top of the stalk. It has been a nice bit of constant color in the garden. Now I keep a vigilant eye on the pods to dry out so I can harvest.

The Case of Nightshade

This may be my first year of true gardening, but I am in no way a complete beginner. If anything I would say so much that I know more about gardening than the average person, but still would consider myself an amateur. This level of knowledge can be summed up that if lost in a forest I would not die quickly of stupidity. One plant I am well aware of is Deadly Nightshade. (Thank you Dame Christie, for your use of Atropa belladonna.) So when this strange plant appeared in a rather run-down part of the garden, where the wood is stored, with a strangely beautiful flower dangling from it I was interested. It was a deep violet with a little yellow protrusion beneath it.

Nightshade?
Herein about five different stages of the flower can be seen from closed to fully open, exposing the yellow interior.

After much debate, I’ve come to the conclusion that what I have here is related to the ever famous nightshade, Solanum dulcamara. However my decision of what the plant was did nothing to ease my debating. Besides the vegetables, I took to sow many flowers in my garden this year. More precisely, I took to plant my smaller, well-spaced flowers for areas I wanted to leave open. I still had spots I wanted thick with flowers, climbing vines, etc, were still open. So when a plant came along just as I wanted, and it happened to be pretty I didn’t want to remove it. However it wasn’t the poison that brought down the guillotine; it was the speed.

When I first noticed the plant when dealing with the wood pile, they covered a perfect section of fencing by which I wish to put a bench as a linden tree in my yard and crab-apple tree in the neighbours keep the spot wonderfully dappled with light all day excepting about two hours around high noon. In the two days I debated keeping the vine  it conquered some two foot on either side, and began to spread horizontally across the ground. I do not think this is the average growth as that rate would infest my whole yard in a few weeks. Nonetheless, the speed was enough for me to tear the whole lot out.

Now I’ve an empty section of fence, a bag of poisonous vines, and the stench of something dead I unearthed. Despite that, I purchased a grape vine to put on the fence. Now one would think that would be a great idea to switch a poisonous plant for something edible, but (and perhaps this is simply paranoia) Solanum dulcamara is particularly steadfast in its regrowth. So, even though I thoroughly dug out the roots, I could not bring myself to plant the grape. It now resides in a pot up by the house… not exactly the perfect grape habitat.

The One That Started It All

My memory is sparse, but I faintly remember getting this for Christmas of 1998. I might be wrong, but nevertheless this little (well, back then) device was the catalyst to a lifelong fascination. Despite recent games being lost to me with their many controls and three-dimensional movements, I still am pulled towards them, moth-like.

I haven't seen this in ages… but now I need batteries…

A post shared by @newarcady on

Now the Game Boy Color in the photo is not my original Christmas gift. The original met a grim fate when it unceremoniously slipped from my young grasp as I slipped out of our Grand Cherokee. The screen was left with a large black stripe running diagonally across it. And this was quite soon after I had gotten it. This means that this one is essentially as old as my original, but back then it meant that I had to work really hard to prove I deserved what was, in essence, a  doubly expensive Game Boy.

But this, most certainly, was well worth the cost. Well…I find it easily justifiable, but it would have been preferred to cost only what it was, nothing more. But this little gaming system proved its worth. It has traveled up and down the country, slept soundly next to me in many car rides, and hid beneath the blankets many times with a flashlight.

As for that little cartridge, that was all I had and all I needed for a long time. I was wholly content to wander the little pixel child hither and thither across a fantastical land. My unyielding patience was more than likely honed in some part by this game. For that I am eternally grateful. Of course, at the time it was nothing more than harmless fun. Collecting creatures, training with them, dooming them to a digital eternity inside a computer inside the game, but I never traded during this period. No one else I knew had a Game Boy. Everyone else had consoles, but the single television we had was not for me, and so the handheld was my only option.

When Gold and Silver game out I was able to get both by asking for one and saving up for the other. It was immeasurably exciting, but I never put away the old monochromatic first. I found myself playing it to compare the two games. There were the advertised changes from generation one to two, but there were other changes as well. Some of the Pokemon, I did not recognize their sprite, but I did their name. Maybe it was my faulty childhood memory aiding the mistake.

I could not see it then, but this little teal device truly did shape how I am today. Not just a lifelong interest in gaming and game, but in personality as well. Of course, this was in no way involuntary. I did not become patient nor analytical from this game alone. It was my interest that allowed it to happen. I was already set to play the game, and its design just so happened to require patience which I had to externally learn.

On Gardening And Such

For my entire life, I have been surrounded by garden and farms. My Great-Grandfather was a farmer for many years. (Though, that counts only working. He truly was a farmer all his life.) Both his parents were farmers, and those before them. It was inevitable that I too seek out the soil.

Being bookish I did not truly find interest in gardening until the doom and gloom of modern academia stretched out its cold, dying hands. It was an escape, to be perfectly honest. But one most needed. The refreshment of clear mind was delightful. That I was paid for it was secondary. The mental benefit is tremendous. I really do recommend that if gardening “isn’t for you” or that you “kill everything” give it another try, have patience, and enjoy nature.

Now I must say I have been wholly infected with a green thumb. This year I planted one dozen potatoes (red, yellow, and purple) as well as a few second year kale (trying to get seeds). On top of that I germinated 150 cantaloupe seeds, and planted out 89 to get established. I don’t want to admit it, but I really only have room for about four plants. The excitement of seeing so many superceded my rational thoughts. However, the sheer number of plants allowed me to notice slight differences in the plants that I otherwise would not notice. I hope then that the plants to make it are the best they can be.

First Blog Post

I could not pick a better name than what was automatically generated for me. I’m not entirely sure how some of this works, but that in neither here nor there. The duty of this blog is a a repository, whether it wants to be or not.