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Botany I - The Greenwitch's Garden

About Botany I

Previous Entry Botany I Sep. 15th, 2005 @ 02:30 pm Next Entry
I had my first class yesterday evening, and while it looks to be a fairly challenging one, it also looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. It's Botany level I, and will consist mostly of lectures and contour drawings of plants. Fortunately my Bunny has been giving me quite the refresher on contour drawings this summer.

The teacher is really nice, very (ahem) down-to-earth. She has arranged for one of the other students to take notes and email them to me in order to give my elbow a nice rest so I can concentrate on the drawings, and she is going to arrange for me to take the final exam a day or two early, as it is scheduled for Winter Solstice and there is no way I'm spending Yule writing an exam, even one on botany.

Here's some way cool stuff I learned in class last night:

- clorophyll isn't green; it absorbs red and blue light and reflects green light, hence it only appears green, just like the sea only appears blue.
- even way clever biochemists don't actually understand the whole process of photosynthesis.
- there are two different ways that leaves change colours: in one way, all the clorophyll breaks down into tannin, revealing the other two pigments, carotene and carotenoid, which appear yellow or red - this his how birches work; in the other way, clorophyll breaks down on warm days into sugar, which is trapped in the leaf on cold nights and changed to the bright red pigment anthocynin - this is how maples work.
- in the tropical rainforests, there are carnivorous plants that grow pitchers large enough to decompose rodents and birds. These pitchers develop at the tip of a slender extension of the midrib (centre line) of the leaves of the plant. There's a pretty good picture of one here:http://www.omnisterra.com/botany/cp/pictures/nepenthe/pics/neog3.jpg.
Feeling: excitedexcited
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From:mikepictor
Date:September 15th, 2005 11:57 am (UTC)
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“clorophyll isn't green; it absorbs red and blue light and reflects green light, hence it only appears green”

That's the definition of green….reflecting green light. Our carpet is green, because it reflects green light.

I am not sure I understand.
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From:mythmaker999
Date:September 15th, 2005 11:58 am (UTC)
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Then maybe I didn't. The words I use above are the exact words my teacher used. Hmm...
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From:thesheryl
Date:September 15th, 2005 02:00 pm (UTC)
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It's the old philosophical dilemma: What a thing seems to be to the individual who observes it and what the thing is in itself. By definition, colour that human beings see is the light that an object reflects while the colour that an object actually is in itself is the light it absorbs which humans cannot see.
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From:mythmaker999
Date:September 15th, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC)
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Thanks - that makes sense. :-)
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From:mythmaker999
Date:September 15th, 2005 01:28 pm (UTC)
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Plant geeks are the coolest, y'know. :-)
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From:finalcut999
Date:September 15th, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC)
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If you run across any books that might be the botany one I keep talking about let me know.
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From:thesheryl
Date:September 15th, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
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I always thought that pitcher plants were way cool! :) Glad you like your class! What do you usually do on Yule?
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From:mythmaker999
Date:September 15th, 2005 07:01 pm (UTC)
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Me too - and that was before I knew they could eat rats!

Thank you - it's a relief since it would have sucked if it had turned out to be a big drag.

What I do on Yule usually depends on other people's plans. What I'd like to do on Yule is have a big meal, a fire (even if it's just blazing pudding), trade small, hearfelt (ideally homemade or secondhand/antique) gifts with close friends and family, and then stay up until the darkest hour when we make as much noise as is humanly possible. The whole point of midwinter celebrations originally were to shout at the darkness - to announce through sympathetic magic that the darkness and cold wouldn't get us, and we'd be fine until spring. That's what my Yule would do.
From:foxyfiles
Date:September 16th, 2005 06:25 am (UTC)
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Wow, I love finding like-minded people. squeee!
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From:dabunz
Date:September 16th, 2005 06:46 am (UTC)
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Isn't she a keeper? I love to here you both squee!
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From:thesheryl
Date:September 17th, 2005 04:44 pm (UTC)
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"and that was before I knew they could eat rats!" LOL!!!

That sounds like what I do at yule as well. (not eat rats)
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From:kmfda
Date:September 15th, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC)
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Cool! Glad you are enjoying it :)
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