Saturday, October 29, 2016

Three Years of Peppers - Local Evidence of Global Climate Change

In the spring of 2014, my mom came to visit and, surprise, surprise, we went shopping for plants. She bought stuff, I bought stuff, and in my pile of stuff was a six-pack of pepper plants.

The little plants did just what they were supposed to do and produced a pile of small green-yellow, ripening to red peppers throughout the summer and into the fall. Wonderful.

Since they were still looking good, or good enough, I kinda didn't get around to pulling them out. They over-wintered 2014/15 and most came back big and busy for a second season. Those that didn't survive were replaced with new pepper plants - King of the North from Fedco.

The 2015 season was also bountiful, and early. Those 2014 peppers had a head start and began producing peppers by April. Eager little buggers, no?

Fall of 2015 - what to do? Why, leave them in, of course, and wait and see... new baby pepper blossoms in late January.

2016 was a long season - last week I just picked the last round of peppers for the year, although one plant is blossoming and two others are considering his/her lead. Yank 'em? I don't think so.

Now I know better than to take credit for this abundance. Yes, my thumb may have a greenish tinge (brownish, really, because of the ground-in dirt) but the extremely mild winters of recent years have allowed these and other cold-sensitive plants to survive into another year.

It seems that peppers (Capsicum annuum) originated in central-western Mexico, more than 6,500 years ago. But I'm pretty sure that it would be just fine if the climate of central Mexico stayed where it was and didn't show up on my doorstep quite yet.

Monday, October 17, 2016

She's Everywhere: Ranger Betty Reid Soskin

Ranger Betty Soskin

And I highly recommend that you go to see her and hear her story. It's easy, fun, local, inspiring and just a wee bit educational, without any of the "Oh-but-I-hate-social-studies" pain. For a brief preview, click here.

Where: Visitor Educational Center, Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front Park in Richmond, CA.

When: Most Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Check here for exact times and directions.

Why: Because she's 95 already, and good things don't last forever.

And as long as you are there, you may walk or bike along the waterfront, examine the exhibits at the Visitor Center, or even discuss what you just learned over snacks at either Assemble or Bubbaloo Cafe . Heck, you can even do all those things.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Wild and Crazy

This feline really was wild and wonderful.

Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana   Sept. 23, 2016

Princess is just crazy.

Oakland   Sept. 2, 2016