Lemon and Seville Orange Fruits

l & o seville fruits jlmdm

Jacques le Moyne de Morgues (c. 1533–1588)

What Plants Perceive

Jacques le Moyne de Morgues 1533Rose, Heartsease, Sweet Pea, Lax-flowered Orchid
Jacques le Moyne de Morgues  (c. 1533–1588)

From an article by
Stefany Anne Golberg for “The Smart Set” from Drexel University:

Around 1900, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose began his investigations into the secret world of plants. He found that all plants, and all parts of plants, have a sensitive nervous system not unlike that of animals, and that their responses to external stimuli could be measured and recorded. Some plant reactions can be seen easily in sensitive plants like the Mimosa, which, when irritated, will react with the sudden shedding or shrinking of its leaves. But when Bose attached his magnifying device to plants from which it was more difficult to witness a response, such as vegetables, he was astounded to discover that they, too, became excited when vexed. All around us, Bose realized, the plants are communicating. We just don’t notice it.

Bose–physicist, biologist, botanist, archaeologist–is considered one of the fathers of radio science, alongside Tesla, Marconi, and Popov. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1920 in the field of science.  Perhaps it was his work in radio waves and electricity that inspired Bose’s investigations. The more responses Bose got from his plants, the more encouraged he became, and the more detailed his efforts became.

Over years of research, Bose found that plants were visibly reactive to all manner of stimuli: flashes of light, changes in temperature, plucking, pricking, screaming. Plants became numbed by drugs and drunk from alcohol. They became depressed when exposed to polluted air — even by the passing of a darkening cloud — and were more sensitive to electricity than either Hindus or Europeans. In short, what his work showed was that plants could feel pleasure and they could feel pain.
Bose discovered that an electric death spasm occurs in plants when they die, and that the actual moment of death in a plant could be accurately recorded.

It’s not surprising to learn that Bose — whose scientific inventions and work in radio waves were highly esteemed — struggled to gain proper respect in Western scientific circles for his work in plant biophysics.
But plant physiology has become a well-respected scientific pursuit. There are now plenty of scientists who, over the decades, have given further weight to Bose’s theories that plants may not be as different from animals as previously thought. Elizabeth Haswell, assistant professor of biology at Washington University in Saint Louis, along with colleagues at the California Institute of Technology, recently wrote a review article about mechanosensitive channels in plants for the journal Structure called “Mechanosensitive Channels: What Can They Do and How Do They Do It?” In it, Haswell writes about how she has been experimenting on Arabidopsis plants to understand plants’ responses to gravity, and touch, and us.

Studying matter as a physicist allowed Bose to make big claims about the fundamentals of life itself by adhering to simple demonstrations of action and reaction.
If something looks like suffering, it’s suffering.


Water Chestnut

Jacques le Moyne de Morgues (c. 1533–1588)

And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger




carnationsJacques le Moyne de Morgues (c. 1533–1588)

Happy birthday to my mother,
and in memory of Aunt Pauline;
sisters, but not twins, both born on St. Valentine’s Day.


Published in: on February 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm  Comments (2)  
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Apples, Roses, Fire, Snow, Medlars, Chestnuts, Tangerine

apple medlar nutJacques le Moyne de Morgues (c. 1533–1588)


The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes –
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands –
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.


Louis MacNeice (September 1907 – September 1963)

For my mother


Jacques Le Moyne De Morgues (1533?-1588)
was a French painter, illustrator and explorer. He also worked in London, and accompanied expeditions to Florida in North America to record what he saw.


The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, Both Good and Evil

Jacques le Moyne de Morgues (1533 – 1588)

pples (Malus communis, M. pumila, & M. sylvestris), pears (Pyrus communis) and quince (Cydonia oblonga) belong to the rose family.

O mosy quince, hangyng by your stalke,
The whyche no man dar pluk away ner take,
Of all the folk that passe forby or walke,
Your flowres fresshe be fallyn away and shake.
I am ryght sory, masteras, for your sake,
Ye seme a thyng that all men have forgotyn;
Ye be so rype ye wex almost rotyn.
 Geoffrey Chaucer

Cultivation of the quince began in Mesopotamia, preceding apple culture, and many references translated to “apple,” such as the fruit in Song of Solomon, may have been references to a quince.

It was perhaps the orchard fruit in the Garden of the Hesperides
Among the ancient Greeks, the quince–sacred to Aphrodite–was a ritual offering at weddings.
In Plutarch’s Lives, Solon decreed that “bride and bridegroom shall be shut into a chamber, and eat a quince together,”
and that a bride should nibble a quince to perfume her kiss before entering the bridal chamber, “in order that the first greeting may not be disagreeable nor unpleasant.”
It was a quince that Paris awarded Aphrodite and it was for a golden quince that Atlanta paused in her race.
Aristophanes use quinces (kydonia) as a mildly ribald term for teenage breasts.
Pliny the Elder  mentioned the one variety, Mulvian quince, that could be eaten raw, while Columella, another ancient naturalist, describes three other varieties, the sparrow apple,the  golden apple, and the must apple.
Charlemagne was partly responsible for introducing the quince into France with his orders in the year 812 to plant trees in the royal garden.
Used as a rootstock for grafted plants, quince has the property of dwarfing them and forcing them to produce more fruit.
When Joan of Arc arrived in Orleans in 1429 to liberate the French from the English, she received the gift of cotignac– a clear gel made from boiled quince juice and sugar and set into small wooden boxes to form confections.
In 1570 Pope Pius V gave a spectacular banquet that featured, as its piece de resistance, a quince pastry.
Most varieties of quince are too hard, astringent and sour to eat raw unless ‘bletted’ (softened by frost and subsequent decay). w
Marmalade, originally meaning a quince jam, derives from “marmello,” the Portugese word for quince, and it was commonplace centuries before orange marmalade, which didn’t arrive on the scene until 1790 when it was created in Scotland.
A March 16, 1629 entry in the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s Memorandum listed quince as one of the seeds requested from England. By 1720 quince was thriving in Virginia, but it wasn’t too long before everyone wanted apples.
Korean scholars of the 1700s and 1800s who helped revive tea drinking, considered their own superior to Chinese teas. Among them were fruit teas, sweetened with honey, made of quince, citron, dates, pears, strawberries, cherries, watermelon and peaches.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the English prepared variations of quince preserves which formed a thick paste that could be shaped into animals or flowers.
Though the quince paste is rarely found in England today, a coarse version, called membrillo, is still served along with cheese in Spain.
Hindus prepare a quince sambalThe phytochemistry of quince is under study for several possible medical uses.
In the Alsace region of France and the Valais region of Switzerland, liqueur de coing is made from quince and used as a digestif.
In Malta, where jam is made from the fruit, a teaspoon-full is  dissolved in a cup of boiling water to relieve intestinal discomfort.
In Iran and other parts of the Middle East, the dried pits of the fruit are soaked in water, and the viscous product  drunk like cough medicine–useful for children because it’s alcohol-free.
In Afghanistan quince is used raw or in stews and jam, and the seeds are used as a remedy for pneumonia and lung disease.

In the Canary Islands and some places in South America, a quince is used to play a beach toss-and-swim game, usually among adolescents. Salt water sweetens quince, so the game is played by throwing one into the sea. Whoever retrieves it takes one bite and tosses the it again –until the quince is fully eaten.

When a baby is born in Slavonia and Croatia, a quince tree is planted as a symbol of fertility, love, and life.

The whole quince fruits are so fragrant at room temperature that they were used in ancient times to scent the room.


The Secret Gardener

Jacques le Moyne de Morgues (c. 1533–1588)
French artist and member of Jean Ribault‘s expedition to the New World

Just as language has no longer anything in common with the thing it names, so the movements of most of the people who live in cities have lost their connexion with the earth; they hang, as it were, in the air, hover in all directions, and find no place where they can settle.

Rainer Maria Rilke  (1875 –  1926)

Conservation Status: Least Concern

oven birdRue
Jacques le Moyne de Morgues (1533 -1588)


The Oven Bird

There is a singer everyone has heard,
… Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)

A small, inconspicuous bird of the forest floor, the Ovenbird is one of the most characteristic birds of the eastern forests. Its loud song, “teacher, teacher, teacher,” rings through the summer forest, but the bird itself is hard to see.
Neighboring male Ovenbirds sing together. One male starts singing, and the second will join in immediately afterward. They pause, and then sing one after the other again, for up to 40 songs. The second joins in so quickly that they may sound from a distance as if only one bird is singing. Ovenbirds rarely overlap the song of their neighbors.

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