Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Plants I'm Growing--First Blooms: Halimiocistus Sahucii, Pacific Iris

First blooms today on the low-growing rock rose Halimiocistus sahucii and on the Pacific iris under the smoke tree at the front of the house. Halimiocistus sahucii bloomed on April 2 in 2009 and March 18 in 2010, calculating years of 350 days and 384 days, averaging to 367 days. The pacific iris bloomed on April 5 in 2010, for a year of 366 days, very close to an actual year.

The redbud tree by the garage started blooming on April 2 (I note belatedly). The tree first bloomed on March 26 in 2010, for a year of 372 days.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Plants I'm Growing--First Blooms: Scabiosa, Tulipa Clusiana

 First blooms of 2011 yesterday on the garden-variety scabiosa in the back of the house and on the few Tulipa clusiana tulips that survive. The tulips are very pretty, but haven't lasted well. Among the species tulips (that is, tulips that are not hybrids), Tulipa bakeri "Lilac Wonder" has been most reliable here.

Scabiosa bloomed on March 15 in 2009 but on April 5 in 2010. The plant thus calculated a year of 386 days last year and of 363 days this year. Tulipa clusiana bloomed on March 16 in 2010, for a year of 383 days.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wines I'm Drinking: Two Wines from BearBoat

Yesterday I tried two wines from BearBoat. I can't say I enjoyed either wine--a 2008 Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc and a 2007 Central Coast Riesling. The Sauvignon Blanc was thin and virtually tasteless. The Riesling was somewhat better, but not at all nuanced. Both wines were inexpensive at only $4.99 a bottle, and the BearBoat labels--or is that Bear Boat? (it's hard to tell)--are attractive and whimsical (on the Sauvignon Blanc label we see two bears in a boat musing on the meaning of life; one says he feels his life is adrift, the other, named Zeke, points out that they live on a rowboat...), but I don't think I'd buy either again; whimsy and packaging can't really make up for what's absent from the bottle. Brief tasting notes follow.

The 2008 Bear Boat Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc was a very pale gold. It had a slightly perfumed scent at first--offering something floral--with hints of vanilla, but little else. There was none of the gooseberry that usually identifies Sauvignon Blanc, although there was a vague suggestion of lime. On the palate, the wine was clean, light, and thin, but that's about all I can say for it.  It was virtually tasteless. There was no concentration at all. Not unpleasant, and there were even a few attractive hints of green melon, but, overall, I'd call this wine simply bland. Not recommended. (The 2007 label is shown here, but it's more or less identical to the 2008 label).

The 2007 Bear Boat Central Coast Riesling was a more interesting wine. If I had to choose between the two I'd take the Riesling simply because it had some flavor, but ultimately, this too, was rather dull. It was a medium gold color. It had the typical "petroleum" scent of Riesling with a hint of honey and later a suggestion of dried apricots, and on the palate it suggested candied grapefruit rind--which is a reasonably interesting to thing to suggest--, but the wine was one-dimensional and a little bit cloying. Not recommended (except perhaps well-chilled as a cheap summer barbecue aperitif for the undiscerning).

I write about many subjects. Use the labels at right above to explore this blog. For more wine reviews, use the Wines I'm Drinking label. 

Found Art: Graffiti on Blue Trash Container, Santa Rosa April 3, 2011

Yesterday, while walking around downtown Santa Rosa, I came across this dark blue trash container decorated with silver spray paint, in places etched away with a sharp tool. Unintended art. Collaborative art.

For more found art, see my blog Serendipitous Art.
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