marina_bonomi: (cap)
I have been in love with lemon trees for a very long time, but being far from gifted in dealing with plants (I'm known as a 'brown thumb' over here), I never gave in to the temptation to buy one.

Till this spring, that is, when I first bought a young lemon tree at the supermarket  (it's just 4 euros after all) and later, during one of my adventure trips with mother at a local garden center she was an active accomplice in choosing another lemon tree to keep company to the first (this one has a good shape and some fruits already on...) .
In fact fruits were there, and stayed on, growing all summer, while we were watching the two baby trees like hawks for signs of disconfort and reading all we could about the citrus family.

As time passed we realized that the two trees, although evidently related, were too different to be two cultivars of the same fruit, and that the 'lemons' on the older tree were getting rounder and rounder and suspiciously similar to...oranges.

Not sure of the right time for harvesting (thanks to the wrong nursery photo-ID), yesterday we had the first orange from our very own tree

The zest had a wonderful smell (we kept it for later use), the flesh was ripe and pleasantly tart, and the fruit was quite easy to peel.

I'm happy to say that both trees are thriving, maybe I'm not so hopelessy brown-thumbed, after all ;-).

Last year was the year of the ponds (one of which, sadly didn't work out and has been turned into a flowerbed), this year we discovered that the big plant nursery nearby has a wonderful choice of peonies (in both the herbaceous and tree varieties) and English roses (I think both mother and I are madly in love with David Austin, the man is a genious).

Given that the prices are affordable, mom and I went crazy, and all our new plants have taken well and are prospering. Today I've taken a couple of pictures of the first flower our English ladies have given us:

Have a look... )
As an owl lover I'm really envious of the people seeing them in the wild (or on their porch, as the case may be)
A family nearby has a couple of geese as pets, I find them utterly fascinating, and often hubby and I stop to watch them and, yes, chat with them (the geese, not the owners) during our daily walk.

We are seriously considering getting a couple of geese as 'watch-dogs' in the not-so-far future and, true to myself, I've started reading all I can lay my hands on regarding geese, domestic or otherwise.

One such book is The Geese of Beaver Bog by Bernd Heinrich.  There , in a discussion about wild animals asking humans for help, I found this snippet:

'(...) a raven with its feet badly tangled up with musk ox fur approached two kayakers (names quoted) in the wilds of Greenland after they pulled to make camp. They spoke softly to it. The raven picked up a small rock, looked at them, and put it back down. They also picked up the same rock, put it down, then scooped up the raven, untangled the musk ox fur from its feet, and threw the raven into the air. It circled, landed on a rock, squawked, and then flew off to a cliff from where it had come' (pag. 44)

My first thought after digesting this was :'What a perfect First Contact Protocol!', I can't shake the idea that we are looking for 'other' intelligence in space and it's right here, pulling our jacket to be recognized.

P.S. my new goose icon is courtesy of [ profile] djinni, lovely, isn't it?



March 2013

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