Jon Crispin's Notebook

Paperwhite Update #5

Posted in Flowers, Plants by joncrispin on 16/02/2014

This will be the last of paperwhite posts for a while as this batch of bulbs is nearing the end of their cycle.  They are finally looking a bit tired, and the living room is no longer smelling quite so pleasant.

You can just begin to see the flowers starting to lose their shape.  /  This has been a great batch of bulbs though, and we never had any drooping or sagging.  I have to run some errands later today, and I think I’ll pick up some new ones.

Paperwhite Update #1

Posted in Flowers by joncrispin on 26/01/2014

A few of you have been asking for updates on the paperwhite situation, and I am happy to oblige.  This is the second of our two sets of bulbs and as you can see they are progressing nicely.  Cris says that they are sucking up more water than is usual; maybe a combination of it being really dry in the house, and this lot being a particularly thirsty variety.  I can remember some years where we only added water once a week or so. / I reckon we’ll start seeing (and smelling) flowers in the next few days.


Posted in Family, Flowers, Nature, Plants, Seasons by joncrispin on 17/01/2014

A few years ago my sister Karen gave us some paperwhite bulbs and told us how to get them to flower.  The process seemed to mysterious to me; put some dried up bulbs on some stones, add just enough water to cover the bottom of the bulbs and  in a short amount of time…voila, you have the most amazing smelling flowers in your house.  In winter!  So we do it every year now.  Give it a shot.  It is a great way to brighten up a household.

End of a Week

Posted in Abandoned Buildings, Architecture, Art, Flowers, Friends, Landscape, Nature, Plants, Rivers, Water by joncrispin on 22/09/2013

Last Saturday I posted pictures from the Amherst Farmers’ Market.  On Thursday I got an email from Casey at Old Friends Farm asking if he could use some of the photos in the farm’s weekly newsletter.  I was more than happy to oblige and went into heavy negotiation mode.  Pictures for flowers;  quite a good deal for us both.

Earlier in the week I went to watch Cris teach an undergrad class in one of the UMASS School of Ed. buildings.  The class meets in a now-closed elementary school  auditorium.   Down a hallway and behind a set of doors with a “NO ENTRY” sign was this school gymnasium.  I can remember being a kid at the East End School in Meadville and being in a similar gym (they all look pretty much alike).  I especially like the climbing ropes and the cargo net.

Today we drove to Williamstown to meet up with Peggy Ross, her husband Peter, and their friend Pierette who is visiting from France.   We met at the Williams College Museum of Art and then walked into town for a beer.  It is a lovely small New England town with 2 great museums (the other being the Clark, which is a gem).

Driving back along Route 2, I was compelled to stop and grab a few shots of the Deerfield River.

I hope to have the site up and running tomorrow.  I am so excited and will post an update as soon as it is online.

Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus)

Posted in Flowers, Plants by joncrispin on 10/01/2013

Hey Cris!  The paperwhites are blooming.  They smell great and are awaiting your return.

Pink Lady’s Slippers (Cypripedium acaule)

Posted in Flowers, Insects, Orchids, Plants, Weather by joncrispin on 27/05/2011

A few months ago I mentioned Pink Lady’s Slippers in a post and  I have been waiting for them to show up in the woods next to the house.  We have had so much rain lately and very little sun, so I wasn’t sure if we would have a good showing.  Each year they seem to spread a bit wider and this year is no exception.  There are at least fifty within a hundred feet of our deck.  / The US Forest Service has a good description here.

They will be around for another week or so and then disappear back into the forest floor.


Posted in Flowers by joncrispin on 04/04/2010

Every April these crocuses (I looked up the plural) come out through a pile of pine needles and leaves just out the kitchen window.  It seems so improbable that it could happen year after year.  After a long winter of burning wood in the stove, and darkness and cold, how this happens is a wonder to me.

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