Viburnum tinus and a parallel world

 

 

Viburnum tinus is among  stars of the Mediterranean spring. Its dark green leaves contrast fragrant pentamerous flowers in white or pale pink, evolving into dark blue fruit resembling small pearls. Yet this obvious picture from maquis has its invisible side .It is called domatium, after Latin word domus, for home. Domatia are microscopically small chambers at the under sides of the evergreen leaves. Plant grows domatia to host mites. In this way Viburnum tinus can be seen as a botanical skyscraper with many  tiny apartments for arthropod neighbors. Imagine a little mite calling her friends to come over for a party at her condo! I am kidding, it only fascinates me to recognize there is another life underlying the botanical beauty of the plant we can see with our eyes. It is like a parallel world. Only the question remains, are the mites, or are we , at the right side?
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Masquerade and Plants

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There were many beautiful illustrations in the old zoological textbook I wrote about in my last post. Today I’ve picked some illustrious examples of what is known as masquerade or mimesis. Basically, prey animals during evolution developed mechanisms, to camouflage and have higher surveillance rates. Mimetic animals look like something else, not interesting to the predator, like bark, twig, leaf or even lichen. You have the examples on the pictures above, they are actuary  full of  mother nature’s wit. But could it be presumed, that mimesis is a form of  aggressive influential behaviour? Meaning ,that flora in general, is in a way pushing other species to try to survive by being more flora like. Which in turn ends in better surveillance rates of real flora, as the, so to say, fake mimetic subjects de facto are ”incompetent plants”? Would like to hear your opinion about this science-fiction idea!

Daucus carota-Queen Anne’s lace

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D. carota was introduced and naturalised in North America, where it is often known as “Queen Anne’s lace”. Both Anne, Queen of Great Britain, and her great grandmother Anne of Denmark are taken to be the Queen Anne for which the plant is named.[6] from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daucus_carota

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Anne, Queen of Great Britain from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne,_Queen_of_Great_Britain

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Anne of Denmark, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_of_Denmark

Pteridomania

PICT2843 PICT2942 PICT1821 PICT1830 PICT1848 PICT3062 PICT3064 PICT3077I guess people in common do have at least slight inclination towards collecting different artefacts. Then I am among the ones who have stronger tendency for collecting. Which makes me happy is not the possession of different items, but the ways they can be arranged in logical categories. From that point of view I could  find ferns interesting items.But I was still surprised to hear about pteridomania, a fern collecting craze in Victorian England. People got crazy collecting different ferns to that extent that some of the ferns got almost extinct! Honestly, I can’t blame them, arranging those photos I’ve almost started collecting ferns!

Pteridomania, meaning Fern Madness or Fern Craze, a compound of Pteridophytes andmania, was coined in 1855 by Charles Kingsley in his book Glaucus, or the Wonders of the Shore:  Your daughters, perhaps, have been seized with the prevailing ‘Pteridomania’…and wrangling over unpronounceable names of species (which seem different in each new Fern-book that they buy)…and yet you cannot deny that they find enjoyment in it, and are more active, more cheerful, more self-forgetful over it, than they would have been over novels and gossipcrochet and Berlin-wool.[1]                           

 from:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pteridomania

 

Zinnia-mal de ojos and human eye

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Fall colours bring the last sun before winter.But before forests turn their foliage to yellowish part of the spectre the last summer flowers pretend this summer will never end.Zinnias make even this little garden an oasis of summer,delivering a piece of colour memoirs to those passing by. I’ve remembered little zinnia bouquets from the food market that we loved so much, that we kept buying them until we believed they are nothing special and traded them for some fancy flowers in trend.What a pity a human eye recognizes colours  but the meanings remain unseen just too often……

Johann Gottfried Zinn was born in Schwabach. Considering his short life span, Zinn made a great contribution to the study of anatomy. In his book Descriptio anatomica oculi humani,       he provided the first detailed and comprehensive anatomy of the human eye.

In addition to his medical career, Zinn was also an ardent botanist. In 1750, the German Ambassador to Mexico sent Zinn some seeds of mal de ojos,  which was considered a weed in Mexico, but the plant briefly aroused interest in Germany. [1]

Botanist Carolus Linnaeus designated a genus of flowers in the family Asteraceaenative from Mexico as Zinnia  in his honour. Zinnia was introduced to Europe in 1613.  from  :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Gottfried_Zinn

Self Portrait Dedicated To Dr Eloesser 1940 - Frida Kahlo

from:http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_299336/Frida-Kahlo/Self-Portrait-Dedicated-To-Dr-Eloesser-1940

Woman With A Red Zinnia - Mary Cassatt

from:http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/mary-cassatt/woman-with-a-red-zinnia-1891

Zinnia
Zinnia × hybrida flower and foliage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Heliantheae[1]
Genus: Zinnia
L.
Type species
Zinnia peruviana (L.) L.
Synonyms
Crassina Scepin
Diplothrix DC.
Mendezia DC.
Tragoceros Kunth[2]from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinnia

Human stone water dance

By  a coincidence I’ve posted my Jezersko post at the same time as my bloger friend Harald has posted the post Living water on the Chilcotin plateau ( http://okanaganokanogan.com/2013/08/19/living-water-on-the-chilcotin-plateau/ ). I was surprised to discover some photos that could be easily switched, but knowing, that both landscapes were formed by a  glacial, makes this more understandable. Thinking about those similarities I’ve accepted Harald’s idea to write some more words about the human stone water dance at Jezersko.  

picture from: http://www.jezersko.info/

Settlement Zgornje Jezersko was formed near a big glacial lake that started to disappear after the big earthquake in 1348. The little remnant of that glacial lake are Planšarsko jezero and the name of the village.  Yet the water is still, even after the vanishing of the big lake, one of the key elements making Jezersko valley picturesque and rich. The first element here around is by no doubt stone, Alps here  are high mountains, but from the valley a narrow trespass among them leads to the North. First travellers, merchants, soldiers and peasants, were using this steep and narrow path to pass Alps in Roman times already. Some of them stayed in the rich valley. For there they found not just stone, not just water , but also rich vegetation, deep forests and wide grassland. And the vegetation was the one that started human stone water dance in this settlement centuries ago. Agriculture here means forestry ,some crops, potatoes, vegetables, some fruit like apples or pears. And there are berries and mushrooms in the forests. And then bees.Farmers make good living here.One may say human stone water dance. Fascinating is, that even today, in the 21st century this dance has the same steps as far ago, and a passenger coming near by is drawn into this dance of the nature, as it would be a rock opera! How this music remains pleasant even after so many centuries? My answer is-human stone water dance here around respects nature vegetation,  be it for mere survival, be it for mere adoration  of it’s beauty…………..

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Punica granatum and two friends

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In 1771 a young man got a new plant for his plantation. This  was a pomegranate, a new species shipped to America only four years ago, and now sent to him as a gift from his precious mentor. Slaves planted the new plant in the fruit garden, where many fruit trees grew. Can you imagine an old plantation, with a main building and many pavilions, with extensive vegetable gardens and  orchard , young man admiring this new plant for his collection and writing back to his professor to say thank you? And can you imagine these two, a professor and his student, admiring a simple pomegranate plant , were the first law professor of the United States, George Wythe, and the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson?

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George Wythe (1726 – June 8, 1806) was the first American law professor, a noted classics scholar and Virginia judge, as well as a prominent opponent of slavery.

Fauquier, Wythe and college professor William Small often socialized together, conversing about philosophy, natural history, languages, history and other matters. In 1762, Small suggested Wythe supervise the legal training of a star student, Thomas Jefferson, which had profound impact that went beyond their lives. [17] from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Wythe

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Thomas Jefferson planted pomegranates at Monticello in 1771: he had them from George Wythe of Williamsburg.

[27] from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomegranate

Monticello is the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monticello