In the Seven Woods

I have heard the pigeons of the Seven Woods
Make their faint thunder, and the garden bees
Hum in the lime-tree flowers; and put away
The unavailing outcries and the old bitterness
That empty the heart. I have forgot awhile
Tara uprooted, and new commonness
Upon the throne and crying about the streets
And hanging its paper flowers from post to post,
Because it is alone of all things happy.
I am contented, for I know that Quiet
Wanders laughing and eating her wild heart
Among pigeons and bees, while that Great Archer,
Who but awaits His hour to shoot, still hangs
A cloudy quiver over Pairc-na-lee.

William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)

In celebration of William Butler Yeats, born 146 years ago, here is the lime tree of which he speaks:

Yeats's Lime Tree (wikipedia)

It is Tilia tomentosa, in the Family Malvaceae, which includes hibiscus, and mallow, and okra.

I know well the hum of bees among flowers, but the thought of the faint thunder of pigeons. . . wonderful!

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Banana Relatives in Sitka, Alaska?

Matt Goff has collected a dozen truly interesting posts about plants for the 40th edition of Berry Go Round. Not only are the posts themselves of interest, but he managed to tie the subject matter of each one with plants that he’s familiar with in Sitka.

How did he manage to tie in bananas with anything that grows there?  If you’re curious enough to go see for yourself, you’ll be rewarded with good writing and links to articles that range from violets to sphagnum moss.

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Great Roundup of Readings about Plants

Sally at Foothills Fancies has posted the 39th edition of Berry Go Round, the blog carnival about plants. It’s a superb piece of writing and points to lots examples of good reading.

Two of my favorites will give you a sense of the range of posts that Sally has featured. One is a study of the changes in tree canopy at Columbus Circle. Having lived in New York City for a number of years and having spent my share of time at the southwestern corner of Central Park, I found the research and photographs fascinating.

The other is a post featuring Erythrina crista-galli – and a fabulous photograph – from Argentina. I’ve seen several species of the Erythrina genus here in Panama, all of them interesting, and every time I work at identifying the species, I run across descriptions of E. crista-galli. Now I see why it’s such a beloved flower.

So, go enjoy BGR #39!

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Bach and Coffea arabica

Today’s the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach and I almost let it get away without a mention of his Coffee Cantata. Good Music Guide has the story but I’m relating to the music not only because I’m a coffee drinker who happens to listen to Bach a lot, but because the some of the world’s finest (at least most expensive) coffee is grown here in Panama, the Esmeralda Geisha.

More importantly, though, the coffee family, Rubiaceae, is well represented here in the tropics. Two of my favorite plants in that family, Alibertia edulis and Palicourea trifolia, are growing in my yard, along with the exotic Ixora. However, for Bach’s memory today, here’s Coffea arabica.

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