Mars and a Colourful Lunar Fog Bow

Arching across the lower part of the image above is a rare lunar fog bow. Unlike a more commonly seen rainbow, which is created by sunlight reflected prismatically by falling rain, this fog bow was created by moonlight reflected by the small water drops that compose fog. Although most fog bows appear white, all of the colours of the rainbow were somehow visible here. The above image was taken from high atop Haleakala, a huge volcano in Hawaii, USA, by Wally Pacholka. 2 Feb 2010 APOD

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

New shoots now showing

Not much has been happening for the last few weeks after sowing on the Roots day. I waited in anticipation for the new shoots that signal what has germinated and what may grow this year.

As the weather has now warmed up it has produced the first signs of growth though we have had some air frosts so I have only sown a small quantity directly outside with the rest safely inside, in pots on the windowsills.

At the left of the photo in my square foot plot, I have 8 crimson flowered broad beans with canes for support. They were sown indoors in March and have grown to about 8" tall. Alongside them I have sown some dwarf french beans, both purple and a green variety. I much prefer them to runner beans. I have some others indoors in case I lose any to frost and have also sown some dwarf borlotti beans which look so pretty with their dappled pinky brown colour.

To the right at the back of the plot are some radishes showing. They are sown between the rows of Paris Baron carrots, a round carrot that has yet to show signs of life. The radishes are a long white one called Icicle and the usual round red variety. There is a second lot in one of the small troughs in front of the bed next to some shallots and garlic.

I've also sown some purple carrots just for fun, some beetroot and some spinach which has come up on the far right but as it's in shadow it isn't visible in this shot.

Before sowing any of these I had put down a thick layer of the Alpaca poo and topped with a layer of compost. So once the root systems have established there should be a good source of nutrients to encourage healthy growth. This Alpaca manure is known to produce good "greenery" so we'll see if we get a jungle this year then.

At the very back of the picture, up against the front of my house for a bit of protection, I have got 3 more green troughs. Salad leaves in the left one, wild rocket in the middle one and then a Valmaine cut and come again lettuce. This last one is related to the Romaine lettuce and produces crisp sweet leaves. Great for a Caesar Salad.

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