Until recently I was unaware that witch hazel is cold tolerant in my climate. Here’s the evidence: a large witch hazel tree in full bloom just this morning in my friend’s garden.
We’re experiencing a warm and sunny spell here in Toronto that is lifting our collective spirits. Suddenly things are in bloom as if it is spring. But it isn’t really quite spring and I keep reminding myself that while all signs point to it, we could have another blizzard ahead of us just yet.
March is a deceptively soft and cuddly lamb, for now.
More witch hazel:
Ackee is a lychee-like fruit that is poisonous when raw and must be put through a series of processes to make it edible. Ackee and saltfish is Jamaica’s national meal. It is popular in many other parts of the Caribbean but seems to be overlooked in Dominica. On the other hand, saltish seasoned with hot peppers and onion is very popular in Dominica and often eaten with breakfast.
I had never seen an ackee tree up close and didn’t realize how high on my list of experiences it was until I spotted this one in the Kalinago Territory on Dominica’s East Coast. Beautiful, don’t you think?
More on ackee.
More on saltfish.
When the folks behind this product sat down to envision a highlighter/post-it flag hybrid, I hardly think they knew they were creating a useful tool for gardeners. Students, office managers, and anal retentive note takers? They’re the obvious users.
But I’d bet they didn’t know that around about midwinter gardeners everywhere are kicking back with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, a stack of seed catalogs, a highlighter, and a brick of post-it flags. Preferably while lounging on the john, in the tub, or on long bus rides.
You’ve just made a mental note to avoid touching other gardeners’ seed catalogs in the future.
Or maybe it’s just me. And maybe only I think this is the best gardening tool there ever was! When I saw this in the store last night I didn’t care that I had already marked up most of the 2010 catalogs. I didn’t care that it probably just boils down to a convenience tool and that I could buy a larger quantity of post-it flags and a trio of assorted highlighters for roughly the same price ($4.25). This tool would revolutionize all of my future seed buying plans or just make me really happy while doing it.
And it has. I only wish I had splurged for the 3-pack so I could gift one to a friend.
I took this panoramic photo in Dominica as we were just beginning our descent down into the Valley of Desolation, the most incredible place I have ever been in my entire life. Worth all of the pain it brought my body.
Three hours into the hike and I was kicking myself for forgetting to bring death metal to play as our soundtrack.
It’s hard to tell by looking at this photo, but a great many of the plants here are bromeliads. I realize after the fact (with no chance to recheck) that what looks like grass covering the sides of the path might be some kind of grass-like bromeliad. I saw something similar in St. Lucia a few weeks later and it was identified as a bromeliad. All I know is that it was very useful as something to grab onto for leverage.
I took this photo in Dominica on an organic farm tour in an area called Bellvue Chopin. Our tour was with Roy Ormond. If you ever get a chance to do a tour I encourage you to seek him out specifically. The farm specializes in traditional herbal medicines and Mr. Ormond was very knowledgeable and generous in sharing that knowledge.
That morning, including these adorable little tortoises, was one of the highlights of my trip.