Sunday, January 25, 2009

More snow

We just came back from picking up Willow in Canada where the snow is still in 2 foot high piles from all the shoveling and plowing, and now it's snowing here. That seemed like a perfect time to take a picture of the snowdrops I bought at the Arboretum.


21. Snowdrops
Already knew: These flowers are called Snowdrops partly because they are white and look like little drops of snow and partly because they show up in late January/ early February and you see them peeping through the snow. They are a bulb and self replicate in little clusters. If you want to transplant them, you can gently break the clusters apart. They like to be planted under trees because they like leaf mulch and shade.
Recently learned: Snowdrops are thought to be native to Brittan or brought there y the Romans. Some Snowdrops are threatened in their native habitats, and are illegal to collect bulbs in some countries. I'm guessing this isn't one of those countries, since I was allowed to buy them. If you want to spread the bulbs out, you should do that while they are dormant. Which means that if I want to spread them out next year, I have to do it when there are no leaves, so I probably won't. Snowdrop appears in Homer's Oddessy as the magical herb moly. It contains a substance called galantamine that Circe used as a poison, but that has shown to be helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. The same substance is in Daffodils and Narcissus.


22. Algae
Already knew: Algae usually grows in still water, but sometimes the stupid things we do to the environment will cause a bloom of toxic algae in otherwise supposedly healthy water. Our algae looked really cool in the big snowstorm we had when it all iced over.
Recently learned: Algae lacks the structures of land plants, like roots and leaves. The word Algae means seaweed in Latin. Although some people think it's related to the Latin word for cold. Since I don't have any idea what kind of Algae this is, I can't really learn much more about it that's not mind numbingly scientific.

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