per·i·pa·tet·ic
ˌperēpəˈtedik/
adjective
  1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
    Aristotelian.
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Heavy Metal Holidays--All I Want for Christmas is a Little Irony

Plumbago auriculata, suffering from the effects of cold weather and subsequent iron deficiency
"When the mercury drops to record lows in Florida, plants like my Plumbago auriculata (Cape leadwort) start to lose their luster." Did you notice all of the various heavy metals mentioned in that statement? Leadwort got its name from some enterprising herbalist who thought it would prove useful for chelation. There's even some gold (auri-) in them thar plants. No, not really, but a few ounces right about now sure would come in handy. The one metal that's obviously missing from this picture is iron. According to the Floridata site, yellowing of the leaves may indicate a manganese deficiency, but for once I know better. Or at least I think I do. The recent cold snap we've endured has compromised the plant's normal iron uptake, and the youngest leaves are exhibiting classic signs of interveinal chlorosis. Note the distinct fishbone appearance of the leaves' veins. Without enough iron, the plant has trouble making chlorophyll and carrying on all of its other normal functions. The plant's location near a brick wall, which has kept it warm enough to hold onto its leaves and keep blooming through December, is nevertheless even further limiting its iron uptake because of the higher pH level there. About the only thing I can do for the poor thing is to prune it back now so it will conserve what energy it still has. That way, since it blooms on new growth, it will--according to Floridata--"smile" for me again next year. I'm sure as heck not going to move it. It likes it where it is and so do I. Remember, I only know better once in a while.
 I get help from Peanut when it's time to do some trimming in the flower beds. She offers moral support and gives me an idea of where my boundaries are. I've been thinking about changing the header photo since it's now officially winter and something wintry would be more appropriate. Something strange about the picture, though, keeps me from performing the necessary operation. The camera captured something in the woods, behind the blurry looking leaves, that's eerily focused and catlike. Can you see it? No? Someone with soft eyes--or maybe it's just me with the soft spot still on my head--should notice it almost immediately. This site, Seeing Anew, has given me some new insight into why I think and write the way I do. Of course, it could be the result of strabismus I had or the eye surgery I underwent as a five-year-old kid to correct it. Was it something about seeing an anesthesia mask about to cover my face and having to be restrained on the operating table that affected my perception or worldview? I'm pretty sure that experience and others like it have tempered my resistance to people who claim expertise or superior knowledge of something and then expect unswerving devotion to their Weltanschauung. "Don't ask questions, just obey and accept" doesn't set well with me. I enjoy observing a little irony now and then, thank you very much.
 Like: how do you reconcile a three-year-old cat's normal, youthful vigor with what you see in this picture, an all-too-familiar sight that greets me whenever I return home for a visit?
I've put the recycled tire feeder up outside the apartment, not at home, so maybe a lack of visual stimulus is to blame. I wouldn't want the cat to get too excited.

Santa's Gone Fishin' Near Lake Jackson
 Somebody I know who likes fishing will probably get excited when he sees this image. He's only three-and-a-half years old so I doubt that he will recognize the irony in it just yet.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year!

21 comments:

  1. I'm sure glad you pointed out Santa is fishing because it looks like he's taking a tinkle. I guess the sleigh doesn't take pit stops?:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. TFB, if that's a tinkle, then Santa has been holding it in for quite a while! He's made quite a puddle on the ground.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Florida, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very interesting metallic post! Nice job deconstructing the Latin names into the heavy metals. I didn't know that a cold snap inhibits a plant's ability to take in iron. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Now I never would've guessed Santa was taking a tinkle until you said it in a comment. A cute cute vignette and the owner too must love to fish. I think you write wonderfully. Sometimes stuff is over my head but I manage to get thru it and learn something new each and every time. Happy Holidays to you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is so fun to hear you talk about plant anemia and interveinal chlorosis!!!!

    You are so cute! I know that Plumbago will come back like nobody's business for you!

    Merry Christmas to you and SAM!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Life 101, it must be a male thing, thinking that Santa's got bladder control issues. So far, none of the women posting comments here noticed anything strange about Santa. They just think he's cute.

    Dutchbaby, according to what I've read on the IFAS-EDIS site, apparently that's the case. I'm glad you thought the post was interesting. I aim to please, and it's nice to know that sometimes I actually hit the mark!

    Tina, you've proved my point about the male point of view on the Santa pic. None of us females would have imagined a thing like that about Santa:) What do you mean over your head? You're one of the smartest plant people I know and the reason I decided to pursue the MG thing this past year. Talk about inspiring.

    Julie, where would I be if I couldn't be entertaining? I hope you're right about the Plumbago. It has been in its spot for at least a couple of years now and survived last winter so there's an excellent chance it will come back. Thanks for the good wishes and the same to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I didn't know either that a cold snap would cause a plant to lose its ability to take in iron. Of course, we've been having more than just a cold snap--more like a cold hammering. Decorations like the Santa display always make me smile--as long as they're in someone else's yard:)

    Sending holiday greetings to you, too, W2W--may you and SAM have a very Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Walk2write,
    I see it at one glance, your Cheshire Cat without a grin behind the leaves! (And I had never an operation on the eyes, see like a lynx). So I would keep the picture too - we get a bit tired by snow now, though I love it!
    Plumbago has a beautiful blue - I saw an abundance of them in Spain - in my garden it was a bit meek. And I can well believe your explanation of the leaves!
    I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Bew Year and look out to read more from you! Britta

    ReplyDelete
  10. Plant anemia here in the sands of Western Michigan is not uncommon either. (Of course not with the plants you have in Florida, though!) A lot of the nourishments and watering can wash away in run off here or from immediate absorption!

    Love the pic of Santa fishing. Merry Christmas to you too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. You are the one that can put Heavy Metal and Christmas together and make it work....

    Merry Christmas...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love the photos of Santa fishing, your cat sleeping, and the bird!!
    Wishing you happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Merry Christmas to you as well!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rose, I like that image of hammering! Illinois is the blacksmith who stokes the fire and hammers out those wintry blasts we keep getting down here. I bet we could pinpoint the smithy at the center of the Chicago political machine:) Now there's some irony! That Santa decoration actually dresses up an otherwise ordinary fishing boat that's always parked in someone's front yard. Did you know that the Redneck Riviera stretched as far as Tallahassee? Merry Christmas to you and your family as well!

    Dear Britta, you are right! There is a cat face peering out from the woods. Somehow Peanut has figured out a way to keep an eye on me from 200 miles away. No wonder she always looks so worn out. Merry Christmas to you in Berlin!

    Ciss B, isn't it ironic that you have similar soil up there in Michigan? It seems like we're always having to enrich it. Somehow it should be the other way around! Merry Christmas!

    Thanks, Skeeter! I was always a little different as a kid so it's no surprise it carried over into adulthood. I hope you have a Merry Christmas too!

    Sapphire, thank you. The pics are just part of life as we know it here in Florida. I'm glad you like them. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    Thanks for stopping by, Janet! Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  15. as one who went through some medical stuff when he was 5, I have no doubt it affects us. Maybe it turns you into the type of person who rarely change banners on blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So you've noticed that about me, Wayne? I hope it's not a sign of a weak or anemic imagination:)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello Walk2write, you know I don't even think I know your name LOL, or maybe I do and the old heimers is setting in and I just don't remember it. Well I certainly see something and it looks like a german shephard there on the street or am I just seeing things too?
    Love the plumbago. I grew some of those a couple of years ago and they did really good. I was hoping they might come back even if they are annuals? I don't know, but annuals usually come back here.
    The antique blue fruit jars I've collected forever. I have even more than what was shown on my fireplace lol. But I got the 'motherlode' from hubby's sweet 97 yr old gramma that passed away a few years back. I can't believe you have never seen them as they are usually in every antique store in America, although maybe you don't frequent antique stores. Anyway, I don't go to those stores very much anymore either as they are way overpriced. So you know the difference between junk and antique? About $50. okay, okay, I know bad joke.
    Love all the pictures of SAM and the one of you taken last year. Hope you both had a wonderful and blessed Christmas !

    blessings ♥

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks, Sandy! I do visit antique stores now and then, but I rarely buy anything that's really an antique. That roadshow on television has changed everyone's perspective about antiques, I'm afraid. The store owners are more careful now to not let anything slip by them that might have real value. Most of the so-called antique stores I've been to are really consignment shops with different booths set up by various people. I enjoy seeing how creative people can be with their displays. One of these days I'm going to be brave and ask if I can take pictures of some of those displays.

    As for the German shepherd on the street, I'm not sure what picture you're referring to, but maybe there is one. Stranger things have happened on the blog so I don't doubt it one bit.

    Thanks for stopping by to say hi. I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You and your elemental ideas. Thank you for the tutorial on irony. I had no idea! Happy Holidays, W2W. I hope all is well

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi, Paula! I'm glad to be of help. Yes, the feeder is made from a recycled tire. I talked about it in a post I did earlier (one before the last one, I think). We bought it at a huge arts and crafts fair held in Tally every year. There's a link in my post to a site where you can order them.

    ReplyDelete