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Friday, December 21, 2018

Narcissus cantabricus ssp.cantabricus var. foliosus


"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."

John Steinbeck




Happy Solstice and cheers to the first day of winter! So I hear there is the Ursid meteor shower is about to rain down tonight, a full moon on the solstice known as the Cold Moon will rise, on the darkest and longest night of the year. The federal government is about to shut down and Christmas is right around the corner. What a time it is. I've always appreciated the solstice events, and the equinox and the markings of the changing of the seasons. The first day of winter has always been an interesting one, lots of times we are so busy with the hustle and bustle of Christmas that it barely get's noticed. But without winter starting we couldn't get to spring. I must admit the darkest, longest nights of winter, where you leave for work in the dark and you return home in the dark can be real downer. But starting tomorrow we begin to gain ever so many precious seconds of daylight. So raise a glass to tonight and toast to the Winter Solstice, the sky may be falling and the country may be imploding under bad leadership, but tomorrow will seem just a little bit brighter. Happy Solstice!




Narcissus cantabricus ssp. cantabricus var. foliosus
I thought I'd feature this little gem of a hoop petticoat Narcissus since it's been blooming for a week or more now. If you have followed this blog much you probably already know that it's usually always the last flower of the year and the first of the new one. It doesn't need forcing to bloom right on Christmas. It's been known to science since 1601 when Clusius, received a drawing from a traveler stating the bulbs had been dug up on his journey's through the Cantabrian Mountains. Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, the genius of a swiss botanist, who gave us the concepts of "natures war" and influenced Charles Darwin subsequent works,  was the one who gave it the name Narcissus cantabricus however he too was wrong about the location of origin. This one with it's creamy white flowers and 3 to 8 leaves per bulb actually comes from Morocco. It's an easy grower, the only caveat for cultivation in the temperate rain forest winter's of Western Oregon is keeping the buds dry and slug free for the winter bloom. Cultivation in a cool greenhouse is ideal, as moisture can be controlled and a better eye kept on the slugs who will quickly ravage the tender buds which must come as a delicious treat at such a lean time of year for flowers.

This is probably the last post of 2018, I must admit I was thinking back on this year and the Counting Crows song a Long December came to mind

 " there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last"


I said too many last goodbyes in 2018, I saw too many bad things happen to good people in 2018, I felt the hurt and the sorrow of immigrants escaping war and famine, I felt the coldness as America turned it's back on the pale and downtrodden. I felt the cold apathetic hand of "leadership" in the work place slap across my face. I looked on as the feeble minded continue to rule without a thought for the betterment of society. I watched as "Christians" turned hate into "Conservatism" and served it spoon fed to the gullible and weak minded. 

 I'll see you in 2019 with more flowers and a hope that:

 " there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last"


Cheers to a better one ahead, 

Mark

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