Sunday, October 27, 2013

Amber, Snails and African Violets

Yesterday I read the most awesome article on the National Geographic website about Amber, yes, the stone.

It appears they have found a snail sealed in Amber. It looked exactly like the tiny snails that live in leaf litter on forest floors look now! They had a great picture of it posted of course.

There has also been a bee found in Amber (10 to 15 million years old) that was carrying pollen on its back from an orchid. They identified the orchid as Goodyerinae caribea.

How totally amazing are those finds?!

Today I went to my first African Violet Society meeting. It was a meeting of the First Lakeland African Violet Society in Lakeland, Florida. The people were awesome, they made me feel very welcome. They did a presentation about how to get your African Violets ready for showing since they have a show coming up in February and it takes a few months of working on them to get the plants ready.

Up until today I have had exactly 2 African Violets, neither of which I have gotten to bloom but I am raising wonderful leaves. I came home from the meeting with a handful of plastic bags with leaves in them, which I have since coming home put into little cups with a mix of perlite and vermiculite to root.  I will be keeping them under artificial lighting since I don't have windows that are appropriate for growing the little beauties in.

I also came home with 3 plastic baggies that I won in a raffle with actually young growing plants. Those potted up 6 pots since there turned out to be 2 young plants in each one. I am sure that I was not nearly ruthless enough on the removal of leaves as I potted them but I just couldn't bring myself to rip off very many of their leaves they have worked so hard to grow. And besides, right now under my questionable care they are going to need all the healthy leaves they can have!

I would like very much to be able to grow them well so that they bloom nicely. One of the two African Violets I already had I bought at the USF Spring Plant Sale this past Spring. It is called 'Festival on Ice' and was amazing! I keep it at work, it sits on my desk during the day and then in my supervisor's window in the evening and on the weekends to give it more light. It hasn't bloomed again but the variegated foliage is beautiful none the less. Now I know it needs more light to bloom so I hope to bring it home to the artificial light and get it to make more of those beautiful blooms it had when I bought it!