Anemones in the hidden garden

white anemone

Click on most images for larger view.

There’s a small courtyard outside the Plant Science Building where I work at Cornell. It’s bordered on the north and west sides by four stories on stories of stone wall and ivy, to the east by a single story, and is open to the south. Below is a heated basement and nearby greenhouses radiate heat during winter. Talk about microclimates. Several woody plants there are at least a Zone or two outside their range.

I gaze at it from the Men’s room window a story above every time I dry my hands. This time of the year, it’s exploding with anemones that I can’t grow at home because of the deer.

white anemone

I have no clue what this groundcover is that’s flowering there now, but it’s nice:

white anemone

When your shake too much or fail to focus on your close-ups, you can always resort to PhotoShop filters.

purple anemone

white anemone

Actually, the second unflitered wasn’t all that bad:

white anemone

It’s Not Big It’s Large

That’s the title of the latest release from Grammy-winner Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. And it’s another great one.

For 20 years, this Texas singer-songwriter has been on the top of my list. A former journalism major, his lyrics are tight, sometimes humorous, often dark. And he sings in a variety of styles — country, jazz, blues, gospel, bluegrass — that are my favorites.

Here’s one from the latest, South Texas Girl. (Embed was disabled.)

Also from the latest, this bluegrass number, Up In Indiana , live on Conan O’Brien:

And some good oldies. (More on YouTube than you can shake a fist at.)

You’ve Been So Good Up to Now.

(She Wasn’t Good But She Had) Good Intentions (with Leo Kottke).And the ever-enigmatic If I Had A Boat.She’s No Lady, She’s Already Made Up Her Mind, North Dakota. The last one with Rickie Lee Jones. Saw the two of them in Minneapolis circa 1990. Great show.

The Dissolute Household

Great weather in the forecast. But no blogging or gardening this weekend until the house is in order.

The Dissolute Household

From the New York Times:

“The Dissolute Household”

Jan Steen (1626-1679)

Few artists combined situation comedy and moral rebuke with more panache than Jan Steen. Both are evident in this masterly depiction of an upper-middle-class family partying their way down the road to perdition. The house is still fancy, its larder well stocked. But domestic life is a shambles. A maid plies her mistress with wine while exchanging an obscene gesture with her master. The old grandmother has nodded off; one of the roustabout children chases a beggar from the door. A basket hangs from a rafter overhead. It holds a crutch and begging cup: the future. Art historians suggest that Steen might have used his first wife and children as models for the picture. And there’s no question that that master of the house, foppish, grinning, and defiantly self-aware, is a self-portrait.

Composting deer?

composting deer Come on. Tell me those of you who are plagued with too many deer haven’t fantasized something like this.

Seriously, with more than 75,000 deer killed on roads in New York, this is a problem that can only be solved by — you guessed it — composting, according to this Cornell Chronicle article. And it’s a cheap solution too.

It’s also nothing terribly new, as the article mentions. I remember back in the day writing articles about composting as a solution for livestock farmers, especially in areas where rendering plants were few and far between.

What I really want to know is, will that deer compost work better than Milorganite or other purported deer repellents?

One solution not considered, brought to you by Ithaca’s own Horseflies. (Warning: Neo-primitive bug music is not for the faint of heart.)

mp3s of live concert here, and more Horseflies concerts at this site.

Who needs a personal weather station?

…When you’ve got a professional weather station just 5 miles away with a great new online interface. It was down for awhile, but I am so happy to have the Garm Farm Road logger back online with it’s hourly summaries:

  • Air Temp (max and min)
  • Heat Index
  • Precipitation
  • Relative humidity
  • Wind speed and direction
  • Soil temps at 4 and 8 inches
  • Solar radiation

Sure. Anytime there’s radiational cooling we’re a few degrees colder. Ditto on warm afternoons. But the soil temps are especially great when you get the itch to plant too early.