Winter, such as it is for Texas, finally hit this week. The weekend already featured a full five inches of rain at the Triffid Ranch on Saturday and Sunday, and you’d barely realize it two days later. Yes, we were THAT dry out here. Give us a full foot between now and New Year’s Eve, and we might actually get through 2012 without bursting into flame.
And yes, everyone can remind me of how Dallas winters are nothing compared to Boston or Milwaukee or Calgary winters. I was born in Michigan, so this knowledge is burned into my DNA. I remember coming to school in first grade and looking over the snowdrift that covered one whole wing of my elementary school. I remember regular blackouts lasting for days because of ice storms. Don’t laugh at me about our pathetic and weak “snowstorms”, and I won’t bring up how the main entertainment in Appleton, Wisconsin through January and February involves carving lawn furniture out of blocks of frozen oxygen and nitrogen on the back porch. Deal?
In the meantime, since there’s not much to report in the way of plant developments outside, let’s look at other news. For instance, the December 2011 issue of the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter arrived last night, complete with photos of Jay Lechtman’s new Sarracenia cultivars. Odd artists get the nod this time, by way of the new cultivars “Seurat” and “Gorey“. Between these, the Lovecraftian Utricularia cultivars, and the Nepenthes cultivars “Bill Bailey” and “Dame Helen Mirren,” I think we’ve finally hit the point in the carnivorous plant trade where people are buying cultivars solely because of the interesting names.
And speaking of the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter, the lovely and talented Emily Troiano of the New England Carnivorous Plant Society, the hosts of the 2012 International Carnivorous Plant Society Conference, announced in the newest Newsletter that registration for next year’s conference will start on January 1. In addition, those who register before April 15 get an additional $50 discount on their memberships. The Czarina is still thinking long and hard about whether she wants to be in New England in August (she’s terrified of that frozen oxygen lawn furniture, you see), but otherwise expect at least some Triffid Ranch presence out there, complete with video. All I need is a spare 300-pound Samoan attorney, and I’m already ready to go.
Finally, everyone at the Triffid Ranch expresses regret on the news that John A.A. Thompson, Ph.D died last month, just days after his 100th birthday. Dr. Thompson, for those of you unfamiliar with his work, was the inventor of gardening supplement SUPERThrive, and the advertising copy on every bottle made Dr. Thompson the Dr. Bronner of horticulture. Standing in the checkout aisle at Home Depot definitely wouldn’t be the same without those insane testimonial cards on the SUPERThrive bottles on the endcaps.