Winter Cheer


This winter has been brutal for most of the United States. The Northeast has has more snow in the January than they know how to handle. Even here in New Mexico, our winter has been unusually cold. We have had overnight freezing weather in the low 20’s (for example -6 C.) almost every night. Yes, some days the high gets up in the 50’s (for example 11 C), but little is growing. We have even had snow. Here at 5000 feet (1500 m) the snow seldom lasts more than 48 hours, but most years we have no snow at all except in the mountains. In general, the landscape here in New Mexico is drab browns.

The exception is in my wife’s greenhouse. There we have flowers bloomingDSC03073 DSC03075 DSC03076 DSC03070. To cheer up all of you who are suffering from winter depression, I am including pictures of flowers.

Most of you probably recognize the geraniums. Yes, they are fancy geraniums blooming white, red and pink, but what is the plant with the orange flowers (2nd and 4th pictures)?

I am hoping a reader may be able to tell me. We call it the office plant, because I inherited it from my boss when I took over the boss’s old office in Manhattan. It never bloomed for the boss, but it bloomed for me when I set it in an east window. When we closed the office, I brought it home to join my wife’s house plants. Of course, those plant moved with us. Now the office plant and its descendants love the sun here in New Mexico.

The plant grows from a long, thin tuber, growing horizontal. The lush green leaves grow in a line, parallel to the axis of the tuber.The orange flowers rise from the center of the bunch of leaves. The plant propagates by growing a new tuber perpendicular to the old one. When this new tuber sprouts, the leaves are parallel to the new tuber and perpendicular to the old plant. The first new tuber grew while the plant was still in my office. I was surprised to see a young plant growing crosswise in comparison to its parent.

The original office plant is next to the red geranium in the top picture. The plant on the shelf is a third or forth generation offspring. If you know what it is, please send me a comment. The poor family of plants are nameless.

Note: I have a respectable number of overseas readers. To help them, I have provided conversions into metric units.

Check up on my web site, www.ReynoldConger.com. There will be some significant changes in the next week. These will reflect the availability of one of my books.

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About Reynold Conger

Reynold Conger is a retired scientist, engineer and teacher. Now writing fiction. His books are CHASED ACROSS AUSTRALIA, MY KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR and REDUCING MEDICAL COSTS (AT THE COST OF HEALTH). He has also started a series of novelas called THE RICHARD TRACY SERIES. Residence: New Mexico, USA Hobbies: gardening, animals and running. website www.ReynoldConger.com
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