An apple a day...

An apple a day...

Where did the tradition of giving your teacher an apple come from?

As this is teacher appreciation week in the US, let’s dive into the history surrounding this practice.

May the 4th Be With You: an Expedition to Kashyyyuk

May the 4th Be With You: an Expedition to Kashyyyuk

On this, the 4th of May, we pay homage to the late Peter Mayhew, and everyone’s favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca with an expedition to Chewie’s homeworld: Kashyyyuk.

Lessons from the barrel cactus

Lessons from the barrel cactus

While the long, beautiful spines of a mature barrel cactus are truly a sight to behold, they are woven so tightly together, across the cactus' ribs that any environmental detritus that falls on or around the cactus, becomes entangled.

Into the Desert: a Photo-Journal

Into the Desert: a Photo-Journal

A few weeks ago, a couple of friends and I had the opportunity to drive out to Quartzite, AZ, for the day.  Because we were coming from southern California, this meant driving through Joshua Tree and the Sonoran Desert.  These are some photographs from the journey.

The Praying Mantis Egg Case and the Shrubbery

The Praying Mantis Egg Case and the Shrubbery

Today, we’ll be talking about the praying mantis, species diversity, and ecological niches.  All photographs and video were taken by me at the local arboretum and are indicative of a sort of capsule environment you might find in such a locale.

Flutter and Boots

Flutter and Boots

Subheading: The Monarch and the Tuxedo Cat

I thought last Tuesday would start like most Tuesdays, of late, dear friends: wake up earlyish and be at the arboretum to work with the plants. 

Spring into Puns (Ethnobotanipuns): A Love Story

Spring into Puns (Ethnobotanipuns): A Love Story

I've been writing and collecting these for a while and while just posting a list of planty puns would be fun and humerus (heheh), it'd be a touch boring.  Going back over it, just now there are some bad pick-up lines in there too.  So this happened, instead. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the World Peace Rose Garden

 Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the World Peace Rose Garden

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  In honor of his efforts toward peace and equality, today, we will be discussing elements of peaceful protest, being true to yourself, and the MLK Jr. World Peace Rose Garden in Georgia.

Seeds of Potential: Part 2 of Ancestors for All Seasons

Seeds of Potential: Part 2 of Ancestors for All Seasons

Be as the dormant seed, beginning to germinate in the desiccated trunk of its predecessor, full of potential and vibrant life.

Ancestors for All Seasons

Ancestors for All Seasons

It is important to remember the ancestors, dear friends, regardless of season.

Philz Coffee Review

Philz Coffee Review

As often occurs, dear friends, a few days ago at around 2 o'clock, my energy was sapped and I needed some caffeine and food.  Drinking high-caff coffee, sans food never ends well.  I've tried it.  Undergrad studying makes you forget to eat, sometimes. Also craft/art projects.  Not recommended.  Timers and alarms are your friend.  But, I digress.

Note: Not sponsored in any shape or form.

The Wreath as a Herald of Fortune

The Wreath as a Herald of Fortune

Wreaths weren't always a thing to put on your door during the holidays.  In many places, they still aren't.  While door-hanging wreaths have now been adapted for any season, they used to be more akin to celebratory laurels or flower crowns. 

The Yulelog: Rekindling the Sun

The Yulelog: Rekindling the Sun

Traditionally, the Yule log is the last part of the winter solstice festival fire of the previous year. This final section of the final log is kept, generally wrapped in cloth and protected in the home until it is brought out the next year to continue the cycle.

Ethnobotany and the Epitaph

Ethnobotany and the Epitaph

The epitaph is a highly personal thing, especially in the modern period.  For centuries, plants have made an appearance on burial markers and urns. 

Humanity's Beautiful Diversity

Humanity's Beautiful Diversity

Human rights and diversity are important regardless of your background, dear reader, but are perhaps most spotlighted when concerning those members of society whose voices tend to be suppressed in some way.  Minority voices are important, brightening and enlivening the global human narrative, whether that be religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender expression, relative ablebodiedness, or other aspects. 

Mabon Stew

Mabon Stew

I wanted to share the recipe with you, both so that you can make it and so that I have a readily accessible copy.  This is essentially a loose recreation of something I put together several years ago while studying ethnobotany and living in UKC's student housing. 

Under the Harvest Moon

Under the Harvest Moon

This time of year is about reaping what was planted in the growing time.  Look to your Springtime goals, dear reader, and see what you have accomplished.  Do you still need to do more on certain projects?  Are there others that have fallen dormant but you still hold on to? 

Apples of Mabon

Apples of Mabon

In Celtic traditions, this time is called Mabon, and is the second of three harvest festivals. It is also sometimes called Alban Elfed, Cornucopia, the Wine Festival, or the Apple Festival (among other names).

Things I learned from plants (A Series): #3. You can heal from injury.

Things I learned from plants (A Series):  #3. You can heal from injury.

Whether it be physical, mental, emotional, or otherwise, dear reader, you can heal from injury.

Have you ever seen an old, decomposing tree stump in the depths of the forest, with a seedling sprouting from its ruin?  The decomposition and complete breakdown of the old makes way for an emergent new life form, providing the impetus for its growth and development.