Category Archives: flowers

Stardusters… Canto 29

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Canto Twenty-Nine – In the Bio-Dome

Being naked was almost more than an Iowa Boy who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s could take.  It was immoral, wasn’t it?  And those feelings that boys get when they are around even the idea of naked girls?  They were back with such force that it practically knocked him on his behind with the sheer power of desire.  Alden Morrell was lost and afraid.  As he stood in the arboretum amongst dying alien trees and dying alien field crops, he tried to hug himself calm.  It really wasn’t an inappropriate desire, was it?  He did not feel urges towards the lizard girl or the naked Telleron girls.  He knew, they weren’t human, after all.  Sure they were pretty, but… and the only girl he really desired so strongly was, after all, his wife… by law.

“Alden?  I was looking for you in the living area?  Why are you here in the greenhouse?  What’s wrong?”

Gracie walked toward him, comfortable with her own nudity in ways that Alden simply wasn’t ready to comprehend.  He loved her… but she was a child.   The size and shape of a child.  Wanting her was wrong… wasn’t it?  He was, after all, a child himself.  At least, in this new body he had been given he was.

“I don’t know.  I can’t stand being naked so much.”

“You look good, and I love you for it.”

“But, I…”

“Alden, we are farming folk.  We know about soil and plants.  Can’t we help Sizzahl save her planet?  And those lovely zhar-does?”

Alden looked about him at the withering undergrowth and the soil beneath it.  He was a farmer, wasn’t he.  He picked up a handful of moist black dirt and held it to his nose.

“The soil smells rich with nitrogen, like it had a soybean crop planted in it last season to fix nitrogen in the soil.”

“Do lizard men know about crop rotation?”

“They must to have soil this rich and fertile.  If only we had some good corn and beans.”

“Could we get some on the Telleron space ship?”

“Most of the plants they grow on board the mother ship are ferns and fungus.  They prefer swamp plants mostly.”

“Rice, you suppose?”

“Maybe.  We can ask Xiar if we live long enough to ever see him again.”

“Alden, we are here by a miracle of God.  I was old and dying, and now I’m young and alive again.  You’re younger and more energetic than I’ve ever seen you.  I wish we had grown up together so I could’ve known you when you were like this before.  I would have loved you from the very first time we met and known you for so much longer.”

Alden stopped thinking so much about himself.  It made things easier.  He focused on the problems of Sizzahl and the tadpoles.  Yes, he was a farmer, and this was a farming problem.

“Maybe we can help Sizzahl and all the rest,” he said.  “Maybe we could find leaves and stems among the plant samples that don’t have the disease and try growing some small cuttings into whole plants.  I don’t see any place here where they’ve tried that.  And we can ask the tadpoles about what seeds they have from Telleri.”

“And maybe even Earth,” added Gracie.

“Yeah.  Maybe even Earth.”

*****

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Filed under aliens, farming, finding love, flowers, humor, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, science fiction

The Green World

It has been shown in a new study that there are actually more green leaves out there now as a result of industrial emissions of CO2.  The world is becoming greener.  This is not just Mickey telling stories.  You can find a corroborating article from the BBC Here!  So my war to keep my wife’s love of flowering plants from eating our house is not all in my head… mostly, but not ALL.

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This rake-eating wisteria had climbed, entwined, and imprisoned one of our rakes. I rescued it from being eaten when the other rake broke during my endless battles with live oak leaves.

Texas weather in the month of May has been almost exclusively water from the sky.  It has rained more days than it has been sunny.   In fact, rainy days have been more than half the days in May.  This is a distinct change from the year-after-year drought pattern that we experienced every year we have lived in North Texas up until two years ago.

The ground under our house after shriveling up with drought for eight years is now swelling and moving with the flow of mud and clay.  That means the pool is cracked and unusable.  The foundation is also cracked and shifting.  If the plants don’t eat the house, the wet ground and the fracking earthquakes are going to knock it down.

The greening of our world is not entirely a good thing.  It is true that plants turn the carbon dioxide into breathable air.  And flowers are wonderful, even though the pollen they produce often makes my COPD chest pains ache and makes it harder to draw breath.  But it is also evidence that the whole pollute-for-profit thing that industrialists do without conscience, is destroying our world and making it possible for the planet to pull down our structures and buildings with storms and erosion and earthquakes and general entropy.

Being an Iowa farm boy, I am in favor or the world being green.  Even though, as Kermit always sings to us, it ain’t easy being green, if we can do it properly, being green will make our lives better.  But we need to do it intentionally.  We should not simply rely on the good graces of industrialists who make higher profits from not having regulations about how much green-house gas they can pump into the atmosphere per hour.  Let’s see if we can make green a good thing.

 

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A Night at the Symphony

Last night my wife took us to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied (The Song of Lamentation).  So, you can bet we were in for a happy night just based on the title of the piece.  As you might’ve detected from the post title’s similarity to the Marx Brother’s movie A Night at the Opera, I took along my wacky mental versions of the Marx Brothers… whom I call the Snarcks Brothers.  They are Scarpigo, Cinco, and Zero Snarcks. Think Groucho, Chico, and Harpo, and then my mental fartgas won’t prevent you from understanding quite as easily.

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Jaap Van Zweden, conductor of the DSO, and aspiring impersonator of Grumpy from the Seven Dwarfs

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Scarpigo, Cinco, and Zero Snarcs… so to speak…

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love classical music and I like Mahler okay.  But his music tends to be depressing and sad.  I don’t mean merely depressing and sad, but deep down at the bottom of the canyon with hill giants tossing boulders at your head in the midst of a thunderstorm symphonic sort of depressing and sad.  It could really bum me out, so I was prepared to have Scarpigo lean over the balcony rail numerous times to shout “Booga-booga!” at the concert goers.  And the Blues lost to the Sharks in the Stanley Cup playoffs already this past week.

Fortunately the DSO often adopts the old movie theater tactic of cartoon shorts before the feature film… the same way Pixar does for Disney now.  They chose Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto as the cartoon short.  Now this is also supposed to be sad music, a single clarinet, a single harp, and a single piano… surrounded by violins, the gushing tears of every symphony orchestra.  But it is Copland, my fourth favorite composer of all time, behind only DeBussy, Motzart, and Beethoven.  As a synesthete, I can tell you that Copland’s music is always no bluer than silver, and tends to be more vermilion, rosy pink, yellow-orange and carmine red… more happy and passionate than depressing.  Then too, Cinco Snarcks whispered in my ear that since I have this Van Zweden/ Grumpy thing going on already in my head, I should look carefully at the clarinet soloist.  Yep, bald head, white hair and slight white beard and glasses… Doc!  And the pianist, bald head and big ears… Dopey!  The night would be Gustav Mahler and the Seven Dwarfs.  Zero Snarcks was thinking about squeezing off a toot or three from his little horn and maybe using light cords hanging from the ceiling for an impromptu trapeze act, but he took one look at the elegant, swan-like harpist  and fell too much in love to interrupt.

The main show, however, was everything I thought it was going to be, and worse.  They had a translator screen hung from the cords Zero wanted to go for a swing on, that took all the incomprehensible choir-crooned lyrics and translated them from German into English.  The story of Das Klagende Lied is taken from the Grimm Fairy Tale, The Bone Flute.  It tells the tale of two knightly brothers, one good and one evil, who set out to win the hand of a very self-centered but beautiful queen.  She can only be won by the finding of a special red flower that grows under a willow tree.  The knights agree to split up and search the enchanted forest for the flower.  Naturally, the good knight finds it and plucks it, putting it in the band of his hat.  And just as naturally, the good knight flops down stupidly under the willow tree to take a nap.  The evil brother finds his brother sleeping and sees the flower in his hat.  So, like any evil knight would, he kills his brother and takes the flower.

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Scarpigo’s comment on this particular story.

The evil brother then rushes off to the queen’s castle.  A minstrel wanders past the willow tree, finds a gleaming leg bone, and immediately thinks, “I have to make that into a flute!”  And when he does, the only song the flute will play is the lament about how the evil brother made meat pie out of his good brother and stole the flower.  Then, naturally enough, the flute forces the minstrel to go play at the wedding.

I’m sure you know how it goes from there.  The queen hears the bone flute’s enchanted song and flops down dead, apparently a heart-attack from shock.  And if the queen dies, then the castle has to magically fall down on the new king, the minstrel. and all the wedding guests.  A gruesome, terrible time is had by all.

So, I had a good time after all.  Scarpigo leans over to whisper to me, “That was more fun than a barrel of monkeys smoking crack, wasn’t it?”  Yes, purple, blue, blue-violet, and indigo music, and I am left depressed as hell. But when my wife asked how I liked it, I put on a happy face and said, “That’s the silliest thing I ever heard!”

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Filed under commentary, Depression, flowers, foolishness, goofy thoughts, humor, music, review of music

April Showers

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I have always believed the point of April showers was to bring May flowers.  But the showers this April are merely making the flowers wet, since they are already here.

Last night was like that.  Drippy rain followed by thundershowers… quaking in safety as the world gets wet.

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I worry about global warming and the possible end of life on Earth.  But flowers each spring are a hopeful sign.  The world is renewing itself after the winter of our discontent.  In fact, a couple of years ago, the daffodils came out in February and got frozen to death in the week following their bold attempt to bloom early.  It just goes to prove that daffodils are the dumbest of all flowers.  I drew a portrait of one of them.  Daffy O’Dill posed for this shortly before his fateful encounter with the weed whacker.

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But pictures of the flowers in our yard are like the pictures of sunrises that I collect.  As I get older and enter the late winter months of my little life, they give me hope and consolation.  I hate to think that when my life ends the rest of humanity will soon follow.  Pessimists like me have good reason to think such things might be the case.  But there is also reason for hope.  Flowers are a sign of hope.  Flowers are a sign that life renews itself.  Flowers bloom, and the bees come, and seeds develop, and everything continues to grow.  Flowers make God smile.

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So, the rain came down, and in spite of possible hail and thunderstorms, wind and possible tornadoes, there are flowers.  In fact, look at this humongous rose growing in our neighbor’s tree.  If it actually came from outer space, it may be very well looking to eat us… eat our evil dentist at the very least.  And I found a novel way to get another good post out of my flower pictures.

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