Friday, May 23, 2014

Backyard Flora

I used to get annoyed with the plants that grew in our yard in places that I might have preferred to grow cultivars with healthy foliage and big showy flowers.

Some of these plants, which heretofore I've called "weeds" grow tenaciously and vigorously, spreading their offspring like dandelions. They seem to grow so well in those places where they're not wanted while I struggle to keep the garden flowers, vegetables and even the lawn growing in defined areas free of weeds. It is sometimes a losing battle - I have bare patches in the lawn, but beautiful green grass growing in the vegetable garden; some of the pretty things like Lily of the Valley, violets and day lilies seem to invade and spread like weeds in the vegetable and flower gardens.

This year, perhaps older and a little wiser, and on an increasingly tight garden budget, I've decided to appreciate the flora provided by mother nature, where ever she decides to plant.

So here is a sample of what nature has provided in our "naturalized" landscape here in our little corner of Connecticut.
White Bluets
Blue Bluets
Lily of the Valley
Canada Mayflower (Wild Lily of the Valley)
Common Fern 
Another Common Fern
Don't know
Don't know
Don't know
Yarrow (I think)
Yarrow (I think)
Smoke Tree (cultivar)
Very Tenacious but I don't know its name
Don't know
Anemone ?
Wild Blueberry
Don't know
Canada Mayflower (Wild Lily of the Valley)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Falling Like Dominoes

New states for marriage equality are being added to the map faster than I can keep up with: Idaho, Oregon, and today Pennsylvania.

Congratulations to all.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tired Gardener

I Splurged For This Hibiscus $15 Yikes! But I Like the Color
Haven't been blogging much or reading blogs much now that we have finally got some decent springtime weather in New England. We may have snow next week or floods or scorching heat. I've concluded that the weather is no longer predictable based on my previous 60 plus years' knowledge of the seasons. But this past week or so, except for a day of rain, has been very pleasant. I wanted to make the most of it and get lots of yard work done. Hence: I'm a tired gardener.

Is it me or does it seem that the yard work and gardening gets more difficult every year? The joints and muscles ache more, that's for sure.
The Garden - Before Tilling
Spent one afternoon Roto-tilling the garden. I don't kinow what is more work, using a spade or fighting with Roto-tiller. I guess the Roto-tiller is easier in the long run as the garden is about 40 feet by 11 feet. Here is the garden after tilling and planting. The crops include: 10 tomatoes, 9 Italian frying pepper, 2 hot pepper, 4 classic eggplant, 4 Iciban eggplant, 3 radicchio, 8 broccoli, a row of swiss chard, a double row (4 varieties) of beans, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, parsley, basil, lettuce, endive. I always plant too much in a small space.

I probably spent (or will end up spending) about $75 - $100 on plants and seeds and organic nutrients and organic bug sprays. Used to be that poor people planted gardens. I find garden plants are getting more and more expensive each year. Leon and I are certainly not wealthy by any means, but fortunately I can still afford my garden.

All Planted and Fenced - View From the SW 
View From the NE
I always wonder if the creosote coated utility pole makes all my organic gardening for naught. The fencing is to keep out the rabbits and the dog.
The New Compost Bin Made From Scrap Plywood
The Recycled Fence
No Caption Needed
The Cactus and Iris Garden
I wish I had a dollar for every pound of stone and rock I've hauled or moved in my lifetime. The rocks in the cactus garden and the stone wall and the patio and walkways. At least 15 tons, I what did I get? Another day older and deeper in debt...
I'm not at all happy with the quality of photos I'm getting with the iPhone
We Are Built on Rock
The Hostas are Coming Up
Leon's Work Van and Truck, My Honda Fit
Springtime Fern

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Do You Sound Gay? An Updated Commentary

Thanks to Wicked Gay Blog for passing this along. The documentary will be produced with backing through Kick-starter, if you are interested in supporting it. (click the the K in the top left corner of the video).

It is a phenomenon I've always wondered about. Is it real? Is it genetic? Do a lot of gay men "sound" gay?

Here's the link if the video won't play here. 

Here is my personal observation:

My own unscientific observation of the phenomenon suggests that there is a "range" of specific vocal types or inflections among many, but perhaps not all, gay men.

But I really don't think most gay men deliberately or unconsciously imitate female inflections or mannerisms - though maybe some do - because the vocal patterns and inflections and mannerisms that are considered "effeminate" are not really "feminine" at all.

At the extreme end of the scale, the vocal patterns of gay men are not at all like those of women and girls. In the mid-range of the scale are gay voices that are not considered "effeminate" but still have a quality or characteristic that seems uniquely gay. I guess I am a determinist at heart - I believe in the wide-reaching influence of genetics as the most likely common denominator.

I'm surprised we are not aware of many studies (without  doing a Google search e.g. HERE), of the speech and voices of gay men. The one study I cited seems not to have a definitive conclusion and others I perused seem to obsess about lisping. In my unscientific observation, there are so many gay men who do not have "effeminate" sounding voices or lisps, but who still have a certain "gay" sound; others sound about as "masculine" as one could be.

The current documentary seems to be a subjective study rather than a scientific one: a conversation about one of the aspects of gayness that has been stigmatized and/or celebrated. Should be interesting, nonetheless.

Interesting thread HERE.


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