Wednesday, December 6, 2023

I Am (Not) Straight

I've been writing a lot lately and you're probably sick of my whining and grumbling, so how about another post of miscellaneous photos? These have stacked up over the past several weeks, so -- enjoy!

First, this little Christmas/Thanksgiving cactus lives in our library. It's a cutting from one of mine, which in turn came from cuttings from the parent plant, which lives in the library! So this little one has come to live with its grandparent.

I was just impressed that it cranked out a flower, being so small.

I love this time of year because tree shadows become very dramatic.

Falling leaves can also make interesting impressions, in this case in the grime on someone's car.

This was the lid on our ice cream the other night. I pulled it off the carton, set it upside down on the counter, and saw that little face staring back at me! The tendency to see faces in inanimate objects is known as pareidolia. Psychologists suspect it's a side effect of our human ability to quickly recognize moods and danger from the faces of other people. In other words, we're highly sensitized to faces and, by extension, face-shaped objects.

Not your typical autumn leaf. Someone's craft project gone wrong, maybe?

Methinks thou doth protest too much!

I could not resist yet another picture of the ever-growing and -changing pile of garbage on the next street over. Garbage stacks up on this corner like nobody's business. I reported it to our local garbage collectors via the "Love Clean Streets" app -- which I can use to alert the garbage guys to refuse on the sidewalks -- but they didn't promptly collect it. They said it would be picked up on the regular collection day. So then I sent a picture to our local councillors and asked why this situation couldn't be handled better. Why don't the residents of this corner have a bin for their garbage?

(Which is what that graffiti on the wall behind the trash pile says -- "Buy some bins, filthy gits!")

And finally, here's Olga, passing the sad citrus tree I wrote about yesterday. You can't see the pot because it's too close to the wall, but the leaves are visible just to the right of Olga, below that dried hydrangea. My plant app says it's a mandarin orange (which Wikipedia notes is "tender and damaged easily by cold").

So, funny thing -- after I returned the tree, whoever owns it moved it closer to the wall, making it more accessible to passersby on the street. Do you think that's an invitation to take it?


gz said...

I wonder why the rubbish bags are being dumped there.

Perhaps there are hoping someone will adopt the tree? It definitely should be indoors, even where you are

Frances said...

They might have moved the pot closer to the wall for protection from the frost?

Frances said...

PS. The cactus that you gave me was even smaller and it managed 2 flowers!

Debby said...

Yes. Take it!

Ed said...

Imagine the owner of that orange tree pondering on their blog about how someone finally took their tree that they were giving away and then returned it! Oh the many reasons they are pondering about why it was returned.

My fifth grade teacher gave each kid a sprout off a plant that I've always referred to as a mother-in-law's tongue plant due to the sharp points on the long tongue like leaves. I took the sprout home and my mom planted it in soil. Post college when I had my first apartment, my mom gave me a sprout off the grandchild of that plant and I stuck it in a pot of dirt. I'm not sure what generation I'm on now, but I still have that plant and for the first time in all those years, it produced a blossom. I wish I had taken a picture of it but for some reason I didn't.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Yes, that's an invitation. Save the tree!

You and your Christmas cacti! Even that puny little thing is blooming.

As you know, I'm intrigued by shadows. I love the wall. And, although the finish on the car will suffer, the leaf impression and reflections are beautiful.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Though you promised no whining and grumbling, you still managed to ladle a few dollops into the blogpost! Anyway, that's why we like you. Permanently upbeat sunshiny people are so tedious.

Don said...

Steve, I would be just like you about the citrus plant. Seeing the photo I can understand your uncertainty. Most “give away” items are positioned much more clearly in the give away “zone” of passersby. But I would convince myself that if the person really wanted to keep it then they wouldn’t have it out there in a pot in December. And if they do then they don’t know enough about plants and their environmental needs to deserve it. SO TAKE IT AND CARE FOR IT ALREADY! 😀.

Debby said...

Don speaks wisdom!

Michael said...

Take the citrus tree. I would love to see you work miracles with it like you do with your other plants. I envy your green thumb. PS: I never think you are whining!

sparklingmerlot said...

Save the tree. Wikipedia has told you.

Bob said...

I love the shadow of the tree, and I think that face is saying:
"Do you really need the ice cream?"

The Bug said...

I should start writing that on MY car so people can shake their heads at my terrible parking skills.

Jean Winnipeg said...

I think it’s definitely an invitation to take. I think the plant would be grateful to be rescued. Jean in Winnipeg

Fresca said...

In most US States there is no legal “Duty to Help”—morally it’s up to you—but in my state, there is:
“ Minnesota -- If you are at the scene of an emergency and you know that someone has suffered grave physical harm,
***or could be hurt,••••
you have a duty to give "reasonable assistance."

Perhaps you could take the tree and return it in the spring!

Boud said...

I'd be inclined to take the tree, leave a note in its place saying it's in a warm place for the winter!

Ms. Moon said...

Social media is obsessed with faces in random places. There are some pretty weird photos out there of examples. Some just too good to be true. Almost.
I just don't know what to say about that poor little Mandarin Orange. I is on someone else's property. If you were caught taking it, you could, I suppose, be charged with theft. That would worry me. Perhaps my thoughts are informed by living in a more rural area in the US where the things on one's property are pretty much sacrosanct. I feel guilty picking a flower off of someone's gardenia bush! Perhaps I am just too timid. Could you leave a note on the door inquiring about it?

Linda Sue said...

Just do it, poor little tender tree is begging for a home! You made eye contact and gave it warmth… it’s yours now.

Pixie said...

Save the tree!

Marcia LaRue said...

Just take the damned tree!!

Sharon said...

It sounds like you are being encouraged to save that tree. I can't imagine trying to grow a citrus tree outdoors in London. Here they have all kinds of methods for protecting our citrus trees from our very rare freezes.
I love that tree shadow on the brick building.

Red said...

Strange that the garbage is allowed to accumulate. Garbage brings unwelcome visitors.

ellen abbott said...

the consensus is take the tree. though you would think it would have been set on the sidewalk instead of in the hedge. or you could try knocking on the door again. weird that London allows trash bags to pile up like that. we have leaf impressions in the concrete floor of the barn.

Allison said...

I love the leaf impressions on the car's hood. Very pretty.
The tree is a dilemma. If, after a freeze, you walk by and it's dead, you'll feel bad about it. However, if you're caught and confronted, you'll feel bad about that, too. I have zero advice on the subject.
Your writing is always interesting, carry on.

Jim Davis said...

I don't see how one can resist that Christmas Cactus, he's trying so hard. Re the garbage pile, how's the rat population of London doing?

ps: take the tree.

Kelly said...

This is a great (and educational!) collection of photos and I'm not sure I can pick a favorite! If your conscience is still bothering you, make one more effort at knocking on the door. Otherwise, TAKE IT!

Susan said...

Yes, take the tree home before it dies in the cold. If you wish, leave a small hardy pine tree that would be hardy in the cold. Think of it as a little swap! The tiny flowering Christmas cactus is lovely. The shadows and light this time of year are quite beautiful.

jenny_o said...

I love the thought of a grandchild plant visiting its grandparent :D

Personally, I wouldn't take the tree unless I had express permission from the people who live there. There are mixed messages coming from its placement! But I think you are the one with the best knowledge of the situation and will make the final decision that suits it.

Margaret said...

I suspect that they were trying to get rid of the tree; are you going to take it back? I don't think you've been whiny at all!

Andrew said...

The tropical frangipani tree grows well in sub tropical Sydney. It can grow in colder Melbourne if up against a brick wall facing north, which would be like facing south in your hemisphere. The bricks retain enough daytime warmth to give out some during very cold nights. I wonder if that is the purpose of the moving the plant closer to the wall.

lea said...

The plant is not a Christmas cactus, it's a Thanksgiving cactus. The former has leaves that are not so "toothed", more smooth edges.
As a plant lover that citrus left outside in the cold would bother me too. It does seem that since it has been moved closer to the wall it could be available for, as a friend of mine calls it, curbside shopping.

Steve Reed said...

GZ: Apparently residents of flats above shops often aren't given rubbish bins. This is a council practice that is currently being hotly debated.

Frances: Maybe, but wouldn't they move it close to the house? I think if my plant disappeared and were then returned, the last thing I'd do is make it more accessible to the street. Unless I wanted it gone.

Debby: I did!

Ed: I have a plant like that too -- one that I got as a cutting many years ago, and it's now had three generations!

Mitchell: I like shadows too, as the title of my blog attests!

YP: You will never escape at last a little bit of grumbling around here!

Don: Ha! That was basically my thinking too. :)

Michael: Hopefully I won't kill it! THAT would be embarrassing.

Caro: Wikipedia and blogland!

Bob: Ha! It does look like a rather skeptical face. A skeptical panda, maybe.

Bug: Oh, maybe that's what it meant! I didn't even think of straight parking!

Jean: I think so too, and I have done so.

Fresca: Ha! I like your thinking of this in the context of a "good samaritan's law"!

Boud: Dave is against leaving a note. Long story!

Ms Moon: I do think things are different in rural areas where property is much more distinct and sacrosanct. In the city, where we're all piled on top of each other, lines can be blurrier!

Linda Sue: I do feel like I promised it assistance and then reneged when I put it back!

Pixie: YES!

Marcia: LOL! You're as sick of my ethical equivocating as Dave is!

Sharon: Many of the old grand houses of Europe had an "orangerie," which was basically an old-fashioned greenhouse. There's one at the Bishop's palace in Fulham, and it's now a cafe. I think Versailles had one too?

Red: I know! Seems like a green light for vermin, doesn't it?!

Ellen: I tried the door again -- still no answer. But there are five apartments in the building so I don't even know if I've knocked on the right one.

Allison: I think I could make a case for trying to be a good neighbor, which really is how all this started!

Jim: I don't see rats as often as one might think, though I'm sure they're around. The foxes LOVE the garbage, though.

Kelly: Since we had another frost and they didn't take it in, I took it!

Susan: Well, I don't want to burden them with another plant! I really don't think they want it.

Jenny-O: I took the plunge. I really think the placement is rather decisive -- though as someone pointed out above, they COULD have set it on the sidewalk, which would have been even more obvious.

Margaret: I suspect the same, and I did!

Andrew: Except that's a north-facing garden wall under a hedge. It never gets any direct sun!

Lea: I called them Thanksgiving cacti for a long time but now I've hedged my bets, in case my identification was off! So thanks for confirming my suspicion!

Jeanie said...

How about putting a note on the tree under the pot and saying "Are you getting rid of this? If so, I'd like it!" If you don't take it, someone else might.

Love your random pix, always. (Actually, what I love are your observations!)