Plant City

personal

I love plants. I have always had tons of houseplants, whether my own or in my family’s home. I’ve wanted a real house with a real yard for ages now, so I could have a garden.

Unfortunately, not going to happen any time soon. But I’ve been watching the show Gardener’s World, and it kind of rubbed my nose in how silly I’m being. My thought was that gardens happen in yards, and I can’t have one because I don’t have a yard. But watching the show pointed out that gardens can be indoors also. And the people on the show make me feel rather embarrassed by my assumption that I can’t have a garden. These people don’t say “I can’t” to anything. Rather, they say “I have an apartment the size of a shoebox. How can I make a garden?”

So… I’m trying to make my houseplants into a cool garden. They’re a big, disorganized mess, shoved into a small space by the window, trying to survive on whatever random care I happen to remember to give them. Not really a good situation.

My very first attempt at doing something was to run out to Wal-mart, evil though it is, and pick up a cheap hanging rack. I’ve seen several “living walls” on the show now. It’s pretty obvious that the ones on the show have been well cared for and are well-established. But, everyone’s got to start somewhere. So I stuck some pothos in a cardboard box (yes, that’s right, I kind of forgot that the hanging rack didn’t have any kind of base,” and strung up some yarn for the vines to hang on to.

I took this pic about a week after moving the babies onto the rack. They already look happier.

Then November happened. Which, of course, means I wound up working every day until Thanksgiving, because of holiday rush and van breakdowns. 😦 I made it, though, because I knew there were four days off coming up. Two of those days got devoted to cleaning and rearranging the living room, because guess what, someone gave me a big monster of a plant, and that required me getting off my lazy ass and actually doing something about the plant situation, instead of just thinking about it and envying others their cool indoor gardens.

This is the honking big plant-monster in its old home.

Yes, it is in fact bursting out of its pot. The cats approved of the new arrival, which required a whole lot of swearing to get into my little apartment.

So I got busy, which turned my “Thanksgiving break” into some serious butt-busting cleaning and rearranging effort. Moved the couch, the stuff on the wall, and pretty much everything. Put up shelves. Cussed the fact that my new computer chair was scheduled to arrive the day I went back to work. Cussed some more because I finally got some days off and all I did was work

Yes, I connected my computer to the tv I got for Christmas last year. Now Tamriel is pretty nearly life-sized! And that big light-tree is full of full-spectrum grow bulbs to keep the plants happy. Who knows? Maybe in a few months, all the babies will be huge, and happy, and look like a real indoor garden! I can hope, anyway…

Update:

Big rubber tree wasn’t working where I stuffed it, so I tried again. This feels better, think it’ll work now.

Rockies Then and Now

personal

Four years ago, while my brain was still in shock from the shocking US election results, I took a picture of the Rocky Mountains with the intention of taking another one from pretty much the same spot after four years of official climate change denial. What did I expect to see? A return of the brown cloud. Back in the eighties, Denver had an ugly greenish-brown haze of pollution hanging over it. Pretty nasty. One of the first things I noticed when I came back to the state in 2005 for a visit was that it was gone, and the air was really nice. Living here now I know from long experience that it comes and goes with the weather, but that’s still a vast improvement over the constant stinkiness of before. Now it’s mostly from high ozone days, not emissions from dirty industries.
Anyway, what I didn’t expect was three years of what they call “exceptional drought,” an insanely rapid expansion of new subdivisions in the area once contaminated by Rocky Flats, and some absolutely epic wildfires. I wound up taking several pictures from good old Highway 128, most of them downright shocking. I’ll grant you no individual human is responsible for drought and wildfires. But policies, people! Policies. The ones that say “extract every bit of resource from every source imaginable at as fast a pace as possible with no regard for the future” and other stupid crap like that. I can definitely blame that sort of policy for accelerating the pace of climate change.
So here you go, a series of Rocky Mountain photos taken from the same general area of Colorado. And yes, I swear, the mountains are really there. Take my word for it. They’re too dang big to pick up and move, they don’t have feet, so they are actually still there.

November 2016
August 2020. Smoke from the fires in California and Oregon.
September 2020. Those aren’t water vapor clouds.
October 2020. Smoke, plus clouds that turned into a proper snowstorm and pretty much smothered the biggest fires. Whew!
After election, November 2020. Leftover haze from fires, a bit of extra pollution (although nowhere near what I expected), and definitely ready for people to start taking climate change more seriously.