I’m actually not too crazy about dragonfruit. They look badass, but boy do they taste like disappointment. However, this is my first time finding RED dragonfruit, which I believe is a bit more rare! The outside looks the same as a regular dragonfruit, but the flesh is red with black seeds instead of the more common white flesh with black seeds. The red variety tasted noticeably sweeter than the white variety, which usually tastes like crunchy water IMHO. However, be warned, brace yourself for red colored poo.
The seeds - with the good ol’paper towel method - germinated with much gusto. I’m excited, but I don’t have a good track record with the cacti family. Fingers crossed on me getting past the zone 7 winter.
A/N: A request from @peytonnation for a Spencer x Reader where he asks her to hang out with him at an aquarium because he knows she’s fascinated by marine life. During the day, he admits to her what she means to him. @coveofmemories
“What’re you up to this weekend, kid?” Morgan asked from across the room. He’d invite him out with the rest of the team, but almost every week, Reid decided to go home and Reid. He was the definition of an introvert.
Still in a daze, his head snapped toward Morgan after he called for him the second time. “What’re you doing this weekend?”
“Nothing much. Probably just reading.”
And there it was. He was so predictable. “Well, if you change your mind, Emily, JJ, Penelope, Hotch, Rossi and I are going to bar tomorrow night. Y/N, you coming?”
“I’m not sure,” you said, walking back to your desk to grab your things for the weekend. “I’ll text you and let you know.”
He gave you a look that said your loss and walked away, leaving you and Spencer alone in the bullpen. “I was actually thinking of going to that new aquarium that opened up a few months ago,” Spencer said without looking up from his desk. He was fiddling with his thumbs. It was like he’d been dying to say that he had other plans but he didn’t want to get talked into doing something else.
“Oh, I’ve been wanting to go there!” you cried. As a kid, you’d always loved marine life and had even thought of becoming a marine biologist. Eventually, you decided on law enforcement, but your love of marine life had never faded.
With a twitch of his head, he looked up, opening his mouth to speak and then hesitating. “You wanna come with me?” he asked.
“Yea,” you said with a smile. “I’d like that. When tomorrow? Noon?”
He nodded and walked with you to the elevator, eventually going your separate ways at the parking garage to grab your cars and head home. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that Spencer had just asked you out on a date. He was blushing…wasn’t he?
“We meeting there?” you asked, having called him that morning. You’d agreed on a time, but hadn’t actually said where you were meeting.
Spencer cleared his throat. “If you want, I could come pick you up. I heard the parking over there is horrible, so it doesn’t really make sense to take two cars.”
“Cool, see you in 15?”
Not even 10 minutes later, Spencer was at your door, ready to go. When he looked at you in your dolphin shirt, which you’d picked out specifically for the occasion, he smiled that little smile he got when people told him he was cute and he didn’t know how to react. “So what are you looking forward to seeing the most?” he asked, driving the 20 minutes to the aquarium.
Hmmm….that was a good question. You’d always loved sharks and dolphins and sting rays, but recently, you’d become really fascinated by jellyfish. “I love dolphins, obviously,” you laughed, pointing at your shirt. “But I also like sharks and rays and jellyfish. I heard they have ones called moon jellys. I just like the sound of that.”
“Moon jelly or aurelia aurita feed on zooplankton mostly and the top part, the bell, can grow to be about 12 inches wide, or the size of a dinner plate. When deprived of food, they can shrink to one-tenth their size to save energy and will regrow when food is available. On top of that, their population used to be kept in check by predators like sea turtles, tuna, and sunfish, but because of the rise in water-based pollution, their predators are starting to die, so jellyfish populations are growing at an alarming rate.” As he rambled on about moon jellys while he drove, you smiled, turning in your seat to watch the expressions play across his face. You’d always thought Spencer was cute - had even thought about kissing him on more than one occasion, but there was something about his face when he spoke about something he knew a lot about (which was most things) that made you exceedingly happy.
He got off the exit for the aquarium, which was the first time he’d seen your face on the ride there. “I’m rambling, aren’t I?” he asked, quickly stifling himself. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry, Spence,” you laughed. “I love all this stuff. So by all means, ramble away.”
The corners of his lips turned up as he pulled into the parking lot. “Thanks,” he said softly. “It’s nice to not annoy someone with my ramblings.”
It was a good thing he’d turned his head away from you to park the car, because your face dropped. He couldn’t help how excited he got about things, and although everyone on the team tended to be polite and hear him out, occasionally they’d make a comment. At the very least, he could tell that they didn’t want to listen but were just being polite. That was all well and good, but it was nice to have someone actually be interested in what you were saying. “Ready?” he asked. The sound of his voice brought you out of feeling bad for him. Today, you were going to let him tell you all about the exhibits you passed. He’d probably know more about them than the employees would anyway.
After you walked inside, you skipped toward the directory. You needed to figure out where to go first. “Blue blubber jellies,” you said. You imagined your wide eyes made you look like a crazy person. But saying blue blubber jellies was really fun.
She really was like a kid in a candy store in here. Spencer walked slowly behind Y/N as she looked from the floor to the ceiling and taking in everything the aquarium had to offer. “This is definitely the best aquarium in the area now,” she said, coming to stop in front of the jellyfish exhibit.
For a few moments, he just stared at her awe-struck face. The jellyfish in front of her actually went from white to light blue to dark purple in color despite their name. The reflection of color in her eyes did nothing to lessen how amazed she looked. If anything, they made her eyes sparkle even more than they did naturally. On the way in, he’d promised to tell her all about all of the creatures they’d pass during the day, but he found himself unable to speak. With all of the sea life around him, one would think he’d be fascinated, but he was more than content taking in the joy on her face.
“Spence?” you said. He blinked, coming back to you after being in a far away land or something like that. “Tell me about these jellies.” Again, you turned to stare at the blobs of light. They were purple when you’d turned to grab Spencer’s attention, but now they were light blue.
Spencer stuttered as he started, but as he got into telling you all about the jellyfish, he fell into a confident rhythm. “Well, just like the moon jellyfish, these guys feed on zooplankton. They do grow a little bigger. About 16 inches. And they’re found in the coastal waters of eastern and northern Australia. Fun fact,” he said, his fingers fidgeting at the speed of light, “In Asia, they are considered a delicacy, which is somewhat dangerous because if they aren’t prepared properly, they can be deadly. They’re very poisonous.”
After staring at the jellyfish for another 10 or 15 minutes, you began walking toward another area of the aquarium. At first you didn’t notice, but by the time you’d reached the bottlenose dolphins, you were leaning against his arm with your arm looped through his. “You want me to tell you about the dolphins, now?” he asked happily. He was really enjoying telling you all about these creatures.
“Can I tell you about the dolphins even though you probably know all about them already? Because I did a project on them when I was in elementary school and I was obsessed with them. I memorized everything I could.” Now you were rambling.
“Sure. Go ahead.” He smirked.
You turned toward the tank, your hands spread wide across the glass as you put your nose up to it to get the best look you could. “So, adult dolphins can get anywhere from 6-12 feet in length and weigh between 400 and 800 pounds. Males are slightly larger than females. Meh. They feed on fish, squid and crustaceans which can be found through cooperative hunting with other dolphins, feeding in association with fishing boats and even digging in the sand to uncover food.” Spencer had been so quiet you weren’t sure whether or not he was paying attention - but he was, he was staring right at you with a soft smile, so you kept going. “They are found in tropical and temperate waters all over the world, but unfortunately, because people suck and don’t recycle or anything, a lot of populations are being depleted. Thankfully, they aren’t endangered yet. But they could be soon, and that makes me so sad. I mean-”
All of a sudden, you felt his lips on yours before he pulled away again. “I’m sorry,” he said, seeing the stunned look on your face. “I couldn’t help it.”
“You…like me?” you asked in amazement. You could feel your lips curling up into a smile. You’d never expected him to like you. He never really expressed an interest in anybody.
At your question, his own eyes mirrored your look of confusion. “Of course I do,” he said softly. “Why wouldn’t I? You’re smart, and pretty. Funny, and nice. And when it comes to certain things like this, you get like me. Plus, you always seem genuinely interested in what I have to say.” He trailed off, blushing at how much he was gushing over you.
“Come here,” you said, taking him by the collar and pulling him into you. “Kiss me again.” As you closed your eyes, you felt the softness of his lips again. You could get used to this. “We should do more of this later when there aren’t so many kids around.”
“Definitely.” His forehead rested against yours for a few moments before he suggested walking over to the giant pacific octopus tank.
You shuddered at the thought. “They’re so cool, but also really unsettling. Good thing I have someone here I can cling to.”
As you walked over, you felt him gather you to his side. You were sure the rest of the team was having a great time together, and maybe one day soon, you and Spencer would join them together, but for now, you were ecstatic you’d decided to ditch them.
being flat bothers me. Really, really bothers me. I’ve got no problem with most
of the ‘it’s just magic’ things in Tolkien. I can totally accept that a wizard
did something reality-bending once, and happily go on. Messing with the
consistent functioning of natural laws? Nope. Once is fine, a continuing logic
bomb of a situation is not.
Because why do Middle-earth’s physics appear identical to ours
if their world is flat? How likely is that? Not to mention the practical
problems of a Flat World give me a giant headache. First, if there is no sun
there is no liquid water here. None. Or seasons, or tides, or weather, or
magnetic poles, or geologic activity, or any number of things that rely on
having a sun, moon or round planet. You don’t even have gravity! Flat Arda is a
sheet of ice in a void. And I believe the Valar are intelligent enough to
design a system they don’t have to constantly pour power into maintaining, one
that drives and regulates itself through natural processes.
And the logic gets a thousand times twistier when you try to
explain plants and animals existing in a sunless world. Because we’re back to
the sun problem - it powers nearly every living thing on this planet, and
without it we’re down to some very strange bacteria living in extreme
environments. Starlight is not sufficient for photosynthesis. With no source of
light energy we have no plants, without plants there are no animals, and our
poor elves are starving to death in Cuivienen.
And no, don’t you ‘Sleep of Yavanna’ me! Without the lamps,
what’s keeping the water from freezing solid and killing all the plants? Elves
have to eat, and even if the Valar kept everything alive by a ridiculous
expenditure of power, the elves are still going to starve. It’ll just take
longer. Theoretically, some of the plants would be ‘frozen’ with ripened food,
but any food harvested wouldn’t regrow, so that food source would run out. Did
the sleep of Yavanna include animals? If not, what were the animals eating? If
so, the elves would last a little longer eating animal popsicles, but would
still starve before Orome could show up.
And if the logic knots can’t sway you, the text itself should
really give you flat world doubts. How do we explain why the Quenya and
Sindarin terms for the sun and moon are nearly identical, if they don’t come
from a common ancient root? Where do meteorites like the one Eol used to forge
Anglachel come from if there’s no outer space?. And Melkor hides in ‘the outer
darkness’, in some versions called the ‘Walls of Night’, after Tulkas descends
and that sounds an awful lot like space to me too. Varda made the stars – so
why would she not make Middle-earth a sun?
in his life Tolkien came to agree with me that Flat World is dumb, and wrote a
Round World version (History of Middle-earth vol X, Morgoth’s Ring).
He explained the discrepancies between the two cosmologies with the fact that
the tales of Middle-earth are filtered through human eyes. The High Elves were
taught by the Valar themselves and knew perfectly well that the earth was
round. The flat world story was an Edain myth passed down to us through the
Númenoreans. Versions with a flat world “are Númenorean, blending Elven-lore
with human myth and imagination,” but the loremasters of Númenor would know
that “the making of the stars was not so, nor of the sun and moon. For the sun
and stars were older than Arda.” But this new round world mythology did not get
published because it wasn’t as well integrated with the Silmarillion’s plot. So
one of my side projects is stitching the two together into a coherent whole,
and me being me I add a dash of science. Prepare for half-assed natural
When the Ainur shaped Arda according to their visions of Eru’s
plan, Varda created a sun and other stars before they created the new, round
planet. Melkor tried to destroy the proto-Arda by hitting it with another
planet-sized object about the same size; he was unsuccessful. Arda just became
larger and absorbed most of the other planet, while a small portion of debris
coalesced and became the moon. I am cool with this process taking mere
thousands of years as long as it happens in the right order.
the light of this unhallowed sun was “weaker” and had no effect on Melkor’s
creatures. The holier light of the lamps solved this problem; Melkor destroyed
them and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Then the Valar withdrew to
Aman and made the Two Trees. In Valinor, the Valar maintained a thick,
impenetrable, permanent dome of clouds as well as the high mountain fence to
keep unhallowed light and the spies of Melkor out.
Arda gradually recovered from this ecological disaster and the
new climate and fauna of Middle-earth resembled the Pleistocene. Middle-earth
was still largely in darkness, due to thick clouds and residual gloom of
Morgoth dimming the sun and stars. At the exact time of the Eldar’s awakening,
in the early twilight before dawn, the clouds were miraculously blown aside,
allowing the Elves to gaze up at the stars in wonder. The Quendi “were ever
moved most in heart by the Stars, and the hours of twilight in clear weather,
at ‘morrow-dim’ and at ‘even-dim’, were the times of their greatest joy. For in
those hours in the spring of the year they had first awakened to life in Arda.”
(“Cuivienyarna”, Appendix to Quendi and Eldar, The War of the Jewels: 423).
Morgoth’s attacks, the
promise of a great holy light, and a desire for a better life led the elves
to journey to Valinor. After Morgoth destroyed the Two Trees, he also caused
huge volcanic activity to darken the sky when he returned to Middle-earth; this
ash was infused with his power and would not have fallen naturally. The Two
Trees’ last fruits were carried up to the sun and moon to hallow them to be
untouchable by Morgoth and cause his creatures pain, as well as break the ash
cloud’s spell. The planet entered a warming period with a climate analogous to
the Holocene; Men awoke during this time at sunrise. Numenor’s fall in the
Second Age simply removed Aman from the real world’s dimension in an already
Tldr; The world has always been round, stop messing up the biosphere
I don’t even know how the curiosity struck me, but I wondered if a common dehusked coconut (from any supermarket) can be regrown. And apparently it can be! But like every thought I ever had…I was not the first to come up with this idea! TheKiwiGrower has a great video series on this, and my process mimicked his. I tried my best to get a tight and sturdy looking coconut. Soaked it in water for 24 hours. Wrapped it in a moist paper towel and trapped it with in a Ziplock bag to simulate humidity. Now I started this in Zone 7a, winter of March. 2016. To keep it warm, I placed it close to my heat vent. For extra warmth, summon your demon cat straight from Hell to stand vigil, but if you can find the proper incantation, an adopted wobbly cat is a fine substitute.
After 3 weeks, I noticed first signs of germination in the form of a white nub. Two months later, the root started to form. I’m currently at month 4 since the initial soaking process. The root has been growing vigorously as the leaves are pushing out.
Very soon I will be potting this beauty. Wish me luck!
If you want to harvest the seeds of a starfruit, gently split the lobes lengthwise. Cutting it width-wise will produce the fruit’s namesake shape, but as you can see from my photo, the seed will likely be sliced through. (Boy, did i feel stupid doing that.) This is actually my 3rd attempt in growing store-bought starfruit, so I’ve been waiting a loooong time to make this post. I live in the NE of USA, so we only see this fruit for a short time around early winter. This year, I was finally successful. I used the paper towel and ziplock incubation method, but I did discover this seed really like a heat mat to ensure a vigorous germination.
I don’t remember which store, but somehow I got a hold of some purple tomatillos in 2015. I have not found any purple tomatillos this year at all (in fact, there seems to be a run on tomatillos in general), so boy was I delighted to have my saved seeds germinate this spring! They got a little leggy at one point so I was concerned, two plants were strong enough to pull through. And yes…I do have an unhealthy love of purple colored foods.
The plant itself is very similar to the more common green variety, however, it does have a touch of pinkish and purplish hues on the stems.
Now that it’s late summer, I’m getting ready to harvest these beauties!
P.S. Ya’ll noticed the photo-bombing bumblebee who’s busy pollinating?
Ok, I’ll admit, I did a ridiculous little butt dance around the Korean grocery store when I found these! WHITE STRAWBERRIES~
I can’t figure out which cultivar this is, but I do confirm these taste like ambrosia: pineapplely and bubbly-gummy with wafts of strawberry aroma. I was able to germinate some of the seeds, but unfortunately only one seedling survived the recent heat wave. I wonder if this will grow true to parent.
This is the life-cycle of a few straggling carrots that was half-withering in my fridge. Two springs ago, I saved a few carrot tops, planted them, then successfully nurtured the plant to form dozens of viable seeds. (Contrary to what many of us were lead to believe in elementary school science, planting a carrot top will not regrow a full carrot, but it will provide seeds.)
This past spring, I planted the seeds and voila - more delicious carrots! If I wasn’t so lazy, I could have propagated the tops of these carrots as well and continued my flock :-)
Adding another citrus to my collection. If you’ve never had kumquats before, just pop the whole thing in your mouth. Don’t peel it; the rind is the sweet part and the center is where is gets tart. Also, heads up, if you eat too many at one sitting you may get kumquat mouth. There’s something in the oils that can create a Szechuan peppercorn like numbing sensation on your tongue and lips.
I gathered seeds from store bought fruit and it’s taken me a good 4 months to get these little seeds to start leafing. One odd thing I noticed when germinating is that the seeds ooze this gelatinous gooey coating. Anyone know what that goo is?
What can be more economical then miso soup packets and healthier because of the live enzymes, is getting tubs of soy bean paste at any asian supermarket! Its the stuff thats usually mixed into fresh miso soup. Not the fermented kind since that can be too strong for some palates, and all you have to do is mix a few spoons with a little water before mixing into your hot (but not boiling it destroys the healthy enzymes) soup! The paste can also we watered down to use as a sauce for poached veggies and the tubs can keep for a really long time!
Some ways to round out the flavor can be adding some slivers of ginger for heat during the winter, fresh green onion, kombu (basically dried kelp) for brininess or canned clams which are super good for you! White button mushrooms are a filling addition that won’t compete with the flavor of the soup.
When buying green onions the white stem & root can be saved and placed in water or soil to regrow many more times :)