Friday, July 19, 2013

Onion flower, femtometers and courgettes

Onion flower and an unusual one too. When I dug the vegetable  garden this spring, I found one of the Roscoff onions that Lucy had sent me from Brittany as sets early last year. It had swelled to onion size and survived the winter. I planted it with this year's onion sets and this is the result. What a wheeze when the flower has opened and faded  to save the seeds and sow them next year!

In the heat of the afternoon I retire to our cool bedroom to read The New Scientist. Is it the  intensity of the heat or my limited knowledge but incipient lethargy collapses my  concentration and I am no nearer  understanding how you measure a proton let alone  discovering that its dimensions are considerably smaller than previously supposed? The femtometer, a very fine unit  of  measurement indeed,  is used for the gauge. A new word for me, so I have  learnt something. Chambers Dictionary defines  the prefix  femto as signifying a thousand million millionth. My Oxford Reference Dictionary doesn't mention it all. Perhaps it is too small for the editors to have noticed.

In the vegetable garden I cut some courgettes (zucchini), about the length of my little finger. Not to be measured in  femtometers, but small enough to be a pleasure to toss in a frying pan with olive oil and a clove or two of  garlic alongside the strident orange coloured  flowers.


The Crow said...

The closed flowers make me think of buttermint kisses with peppermint stripes. Cool!

marja-leena said...

What an amazing and gorgeous flower!

Roderick Robinson said...

As you were reading NS (or trying to) I was invoking it. It proved a useful device in Gorgon Times and now it popped up - sort of inevitably - in Hand Signals. But, I fear, only the classifieds in both cases. Your retirement to the cool bedroom reminds me of a post I need to post and of a quote I want to employ - the times are out of joint. I'm pretty sure it's WS and Hamlet seems likely. But here's the rub. Google will allow me to verify its provenance in seconds, after which I'll toss it into the prose with faux languidness. As if I were a tap and an infinity of quotes were available from my memory. Is the way I will present this sliver of info a form of cheating? And should I, in the pursuit of honesty, drop my original idea for a post and write one instead about Google's corruptive power. You quote a lot. In your case I automatically assume these quotes arrive without the need for verification. I'll go further. If they don't, I don't want to know. I prefer my assumption about your echt languidness than the mundane alternative. Already I see I now have material for three if not four posts. And all because of New Scientist.