Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The "Fixer"

A couple of days ago, a few of these mushrooms appeared in our "lawn" (mostly clover, as you can see). Mushrooms appear every year there, and they have an important function: they are a catalyst in atmospheric nitrogen transformation for use by plant and tree roots. This is a two-way street. The mushrooms, in turn, benefit by having access to plant sugars and nutrients.

Here's the nitrogen "fixation" cycle, as taken from Google images:

As shown, there are other plants which do this kind of "work". In our case, the mushrooms shown above are located in the roots of our cherry tree - maybe we'll get some of those cherries later on in the year, before the birds rob them all.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A vacation

We went to San Diego a couple of weeks ago to visit good friends, and returned last Tuesday. There was a bit of jealousy on our part regarding the weather here. While we were going through the normal for this time of year cloudy-sunny-cloudy-and even rainy regimen for San Diego's shorelines, the weather here was summer. On top of that, we both contracted some nasty cough (I even had a bout with fever). We're still battling that now, on the long weekend. Sometimes you wonder whether our aging bodies are telling us to stay at home and deal with germs they know, rather than fight new "enemies".

Well, we'll resist that notion.