<![CDATA[The Color Reading Professor - Archives]]>Tue, 13 Mar 2018 06:59:39 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Fuchsia]]>Sun, 09 Aug 2015 23:01:48 GMThttp://colorreadingprofessor.com/archives/fuchsiaFuchsia Today I want to talk about a plant we have not discussed in-depth in this column: fuchsias. I have always liked them and, indeed, have had a couple of hanging baskets on my patio for years. Hummingbirds love them.  

This shade-lover is relatively easy to grow. But my interest in them seems to have soared. This past weekend I was I was at the Ithaca Book Sale. I picked up five different books on the plant, great books at only $1.50 each. Once I started reading and studying the pictures I was enthralled. Then I went on to the Internet. Then I ordered 25 different varieties from a nursery in Oregon. They are not here yet, but I am truly excited. I even found other different varieties at a nursery north of Seattle. I’m tempted, but I will wait until I get the first batch growing.  

While a few species are native to New Zealand, the bulk of the nearly 110 species are native to areas throughout South America, a few to Mexico and other parts of Central America. Of course, species are important, but as we look into this plant, the most beautiful types are the hybrids, and there are literally thousands of them. Their size ranges from small, foot-tall plants to very large shrubs. In our Pacific Northwest and along our mid-Atlantic Coast, the plants thrive because of the temperate climate. Most fuchsias are tropical or sub-tropical. No, they are not hardy in our area, but do well in large pots and are easy to over-winter. I’ll talk about that in a bit.  

The flowers are teardrop-shaped. Many are bi-colored and what makes them even more interesting is that the stamens and anthers generally hang below the flower, adding interest and making it easier for birds, especially hummingbirds, to get to the nectar.  

The two main types are upright and trailing; there are hundreds of hybrids in the trailing division. They are the fuchsias that are most often seen in our area. All those hanging baskets are trailers and the most popular hybrids are black beauty and black prince. Care is very easy. Hang those plants where they will get partial to full shade. They just do not do well in high heat and full sun. Move the baskets indoors or to the coolest spot in your garden when the temperatures get above 80 degrees. With too much heat, you will have bloom failure.  

Fuchsias like a lot of water, but do not want to sit in water. So water thoroughly and let dry a bit before watering. And during the growing season, spring and summer, they should be fed with a liquid fertilizer about every three weeks. Keep a wary eye out for insects during the summer season. The plants are especially favored by aphids and mealy bugs. They are easily controlled if you do not let them get ahead of you. If you are fortunate enough to have fantastic growth, it might be wise to prune away some of the branches for better air circulations and to let light get through to all the leaves.  

Stop fertilization in the fall, when you move them indoors. To over-winter your plants, you need to move them indoors before the first frost or when there is a significant drop in temperatures. Once indoors, prune the plant back significantly and store it in a place, garage or cold basement where the temperature hovers between 40 to 50 degrees. While in storage, it would be good to give a cup of water a month to normal (10-12-inch) baskets.  

So much for the hanging basket fuchsias. Let’s take a look at the upright types. The color range is fantastic, ranging from the most delicate pinks to burgundy, from deep purple to an almost blue. The whites are spectacular. But the most fascinating are the bi-colors. I am out of space, so let us look at the uprights next week.  

Carmen Cosentino operates Cosentino's Florist with his daughter, Jessica. He was elected to the National Floriculture Hall of Fame in 1998, and in 2008, received the Tommy Bright award for lifetime achievements in floral education. He can be reached at cosenti@aol.com or (315) 253-5316.  

Copyright 2015 Auburn Citizen. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.  



Fuchsia Fun Facts Fun Facts about Fuchsia...    

How well do you know your colors? :) 

Fuchsia has got to be one of the MOST misspelled words in the English language. On this site you will see it spelled a million ways, fushia, fuschia, fucshia, fuchia, etc. etc. Even I spell it wrong ALL the time. The correct spelling is fuchsia. Here are some fun (and random :) facts about this color I LOVE:  

1. The color fuchsia is actually named after the fuchsia plant (see pic).  

2. The fuchsia plant is named after a botanist named Leonard Fuchs.  

3. There are actually several shades of fuchsia. What shade of fuchsia are you using? My fuchsia is the Hollywood cerise shade (also called fashion fuchsia).  

4. The first recorded use of fuchsia as a color was in 1892.  

5. Also, according to Wikipedia, in gay slang, a beautiful, attractive woman is known as a fuchsia queen and wearing a fuchsia bandana means you have a spanking fetish LOL. I don't know how accurate that is, it's Wikipedia! Hahahaha  


Fuchsia Facts Fuchsia, also known as lady's eardrop, is bushy plant that belongs to the family evening primrose. It originates from Chile, Argentina and Mexico. There are more than 100 species and numerous varieties of fuchsia that grow in tropical and subtropical areas around the world. Fuchsia can be found from the sea level to the altitude of 13.900 feet. These plants were discovered at the end of 17th century and named in honor of the famous German botanist Leonhart Fuchs. Ever since that time, popularity of fuchsias is growing and today they represent one of the most cultivated ornamental plants in the world. 

Fuchsia usually grows in the form of shrub that can reach from 8 inches to more than 13 feet in height, depending on the variety. 

Fuchsia has simple, lanceolate leaves gathered in whorls or arranged in opposite pairs on the branches. Margins can be whole or serrated. 

Fuchsia develops drooping, tubular or bell-shaped flowers. They can be seen during the summer and autumn in subtropical areas or all year round in tropics. Flowers last few days. 

Majority of species of fuchsia develop brightly colored flowers, composed of red sepals and purple petals. Some varieties of fuchsia produce white, yellowish, orange, dark red and purple-blue colored flowers. 

Colorful flowers attract hummingbirds, main pollinators of fuchsia. 

Fruit of fuchsia are berries. They can be reddish green, red or purple-colored, depending on the variety. Berries are filled with numerous miniature seed. 

All parts of fuchsia are edible, but berries are the most popular and most commonly used in human diet. Their taste ranges from acidic to sweet, depending on the cultivar. Berries are usually consumed in the form of jams. 

Native Americans used root of fuchsia as a source of black pigment for coloring of wool. 

Unlike other species of fuchsia, Fuchsia excorticata grows as tree. Its wood is so dense and hard that it cannot be used as firewood. Wood of Fuchsia excorticata is used for carving and manufacture of various long-lasting objects (such as combs). 

Indigenous people of New Zealand (Maori) were using blue pollen from the flowers of Fuchsia excorticata as a source of make-up. 

Fuchsia is a symbol of "good taste" in Japan, and "confiding love" and "amiability" in the western societies. 

Fuchsia is often cultivated in gardens because of its beautiful flowers and longevity. Fuchsia can be grown as shrub, trailing vine, miniature tree or bedding plant. 

Mites, aphids, caterpillars and various moths feed on fuchsia and negatively affect growth and development of this plant. 

Word "fuchsia" can be used to describe bright, purple-pink color. This shade is also known as magenta. 

Fuchsia can survive for hundreds of years. Oldest known fuchsia (that still lives) was planted in 1899. 

<![CDATA[PEACH]]>Mon, 13 Jul 2015 23:47:01 GMThttp://colorreadingprofessor.com/archives/peachSouth Carolina Peach FestivalSouth Carolina Peach Festival  

The South Carolina Peach Festival begins in Gaffney as a salute to the peach industry with a kick-off at the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, 225 S. Limestone St., featuring delicious peach dessert contest and a live band. A pet dog contest starts the afternoon at the Cherokee County History & Arts Museum at 301 S Johnson St.  

 Thursday evening is New Talent Night at Fullerton Auditorium of Limestone College. Friday offers a Golf Tournament and the beginning of the Family Fest downtown at noon in Gaffney through Saturday until 5pm including Carnival Rides, Arts and Crafts, lots of Food Vendors and Commercial Vendors.  

 At the Family Fun Fest for your musical enjoyment, there will be area bands playing a variety of music. BBQ Cook-Off and Corn Hole competitions will be held on Saturday. Saturday begins early with 7:30 a.m. Road Races through historic Gaffney immediately followed at 10:00 a.m. with the SC Peach Festival Parade. Saturday evening concert at Lake Welchel features prominent music artists for the Peach Jam.  

 A Peach Festival Beauty Pageant is held on Friday at Fullerton Auditorium at Limestone College. Entry forms and information is available on the website. The SC Peach Festival is bringing back the Mud Bog on Saturday at Lake Whelchel.  

 Entry forms and more information for all events will be available on the SC Peach Festival website. There's something for everyone to enjoy at this year's festival!  


Peach Rivalry Becomes War Between the TastesPeach Rivalry Becomes War Between the Tastes  


CLEMSON, S.C. — The South has plenty of rivalries. Auburn and Alabama fight over football dominance. North Carolina and Tennessee battle over barbecue.  

And then there is Georgia, which is getting kicked to the curb by South Carolina over the fruit that defines its very identity.  

For more than 100 years, since Georgia first began shipping peaches beyond its borders, the state has claimed the fruit as its own.  

An image of the peach is on the official state quarter and its license plates. In Atlanta, where a giant peach drops from a downtown building each New Year’s Eve, a driver can get lost among all the streets with variations on the name Peachtree.  

But here is the harsh truth: South Carolina has shipped out more than twice as many peaches as Georgia so far this summer. And it has been that way for years.  

It gets worse. At the end of July, the University of Georgia will officially close its peach program. The head peach horticulturist left the job a couple of years ago. When budgets tightened recently, university officials decided to simply eliminate the position altogether. (Programs for blueberries and vegetables had to go, too.)  

The Peachoid water tower stands beacon in Gaffney, S.C. Credit Andy McMillan for The New York Times   

And if that was not enough, last week Georgia’s premier peach farmers had to head across the state line to South Carolina for a regional peach conference.  

“Georgia may be the peach state, but we’re the tastier peach state,” said Desmond R. Layne, an associate professor at Clemson University and the man who arranged the conference, which included a tasting of 40 varieties of peaches grown in his state.  

The Georgia peach farmers, grim-faced beneath their John Deere caps, sat in the auditorium unmoved by the enthusiasm of their South Carolina counterparts. Quantity, they said, cannot replace quality.  

“They’re trying to make it up in volume but they can’t best us,” said Will McGehee of Pearson Farm, pointing out that South Carolina’s nights are too cool for truly great peaches.  

“The key to a good peach is a hot night,” Mr. McGehee said. “What makes it miserable for humans makes it perfect for peaches.”  

Georgia began its peach dominance as the South rebuilt itself after the Civil War. In the late 1800s, the state began shipping the Elberta — a firm, yellow-fleshed peach named for a farmer’s wife — to New York and other East Coast cities.  

But by the 1950s, South Carolina had taken over as the biggest peach-producing state. Now, although quantities have dropped, it ships 90,000 tons a year compared with Georgia’s 40,000 tons, according to United States Department of Agriculture statistics. (New Jersey follows with 32,000 tons.)  

Georgia peach farmers have been fighting back, focusing on what they argue is a superior flavor that can come only from the unique mix of heat and red clay soil in their state.  

They have taken to marketing the Georgia peach as an exclusive and seasonal item. They have even resorted to the mascot, paying someone to dress like a seven-foot peach named “Big Fuzzy.”  

The brand appears to have an edge, at least among Internet users. Searches for “Georgia peaches” have outpaced those for “South Carolina peaches” by nearly 20 percent since 2004, said Sandra Heikkinen of Google.  

So who really grows the best peach? In this good-natured rivalry, there may be no real way to judge. Plenty of variables determine what makes the kind of peach that drenches your hand and tastes exactly like summer. Rain, heat and soil conditions all play a part, as does the variety planted and the time from the tree to the eater’s mouth.  

Georgia's long-held identity as a peach-growing capital is reflected in its license plates. Credit Andy McMillan for The New York Times   

“I honestly don’t think you can taste a difference,” said Josh Tanner, the produce coordinator for Whole Foods stores in the South. “There is a lot of state pride and that’s what it’s about.”  

But even Georgia natives have their doubts.  


Peach Mountain ObservatoryThe History of the Peach Mountain Observatory 
by Dave Snyder

 Revised: September 2014  

Radio Telescope  

The 26 meter radio dish. Mark Bialek took this image on the night of June 29, 2011 from the observing field between the radio dishes... during the exposure Mark illuminated the dish with a red flashlight, for this artistic shot! (Photo by Mark Bialek).  

When the Portage Lake Observatory was first opened, another tract of land a half mile to the west had been reserved for the Astronomy Department. However it was not until 1955 that this land was used. First a 8.54 meter radio dish and subsequently a 26 meter radio dish were built. Eventually the 8.54 meter dish was turned off (it still exists at its original location, but has been unused for years). The control building for this dish is still in use, however it no longer controls a radio telescope. The 26 meter dish is still in use.  

The 24” telescope from the McMath-Hulbert Observatory was transferred to a new building that was constructed about 700 feet from the old 8.54 meter dish. The Astronomy Department subsequently decided it had no use for the building or the telescope, and the department allowed an amateur astronomy group known as the University Lowbrow Astronomers to use the telescope. After some effort in refurbishing and adding new equipment, the Lowbrows started a program of regular open houses that continue to this day.  

An chronology of events follows:

•1955 - A 8.54 meter radio dish was constructed.

•1958 - A 26 meter radio dish was constructed (though the 8 meter dish was still used, at least for a while).

•1958 - The 24” telescope from the McMath-Hulbert Observatory is dismantled in preparation to being moved.

•1958-1959 - An observatory building is constructed about 700 feet from the 26 meter radio telescope. Unlike the typical observatory with a dome, this building has a roof that can be moved. In the closed position the telescope is protected from the elements, in the open position, the roof is out of the way and the telescope can take observations. See photographs taken during construction.

•1959 - The 24” telescope is reassembled within this building. The original polar axis was replaced by a larger and stiffer axis built in the observatory shop.

•Circa 1979 - After several years of research work, the University no longer has a need for the optical telescope. The Department of Astronomy agrees to give access to a newly formed group of amateur astronomers known as the University Lowbrow Astronomers. The Department still owns the land, but operation and maintenance of the telescope are now the responsibility of the Lowbrows. After the Lowbrows start using the telescope, they refurbish it, and over the years add several pieces of equipment including a Telrad, an NGC-Max and a 6” refractor which was permanently mounted on the side of the 24” telescope. The 26 meter radio dish is still in use.

•After 2010, the Astronomy Department ceased operations at Peach Mountain (they still have access to telescopes in Arizona and other parts of the world). The Department of Aerospace Engineering (also at the University of Michigan) is in the process of upgrading the radio telescope. When the upgrades are complete, it will be used to communicate with artificial satellites. For information about the upgrade, see this PDF document (a handout given during a tour of the facility on September 18, 2014): The Peach Mountain Observatory.

The photograph above shows another view of the 26 meter dish. The control building is easier to see in this photo. Note that the orientation of the dish is different in this photograph than it was in the previous photograph; the orientation changes over time so the telescope can image different targets. Unlike an optical telescope, a radio telescope can operate day or night and is not affected by clouds or rain.  

The 8.54 meter dish  

The 8.54 meter dish is next to a small building (the dish and the building are shown in the photograph above). Originally the building was used to control the small dish and record data. The dish was decommissioned years ago, but the building has been used for a variety of purposes. The Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences has used the building for research on aurora. The building is currently used by the Astronomy Department as a dark sky observatory for astronomy students (the building holds some telescopes which are used in the nearby field) and by the Physics Department to conduct measurements on night sky brightness levels (the building contains an all-sky camera which can make measurements once per second all night long). The night sky measurements may give information on light pollution which has been a steadily increasing problem even in locations such as Peach Mountain.  


Peach Lake, New YorkPeach Lake, New York  

Location in Putnam County and the state of New York.
Coordinates: 41°21′49″N 73°34′28″WCoordinates: 41°21′49″N 73°34′28″W  

Peach Lake is a hamlet (and census-designated place) located mostly in the town of Southeast in Putnam County, New York; a portion of the CDP is in the town of North Salem in Westchester County. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,629.  

The community of Peach Lake is located on the northeast side of a lake with the same name. The lake itself is in two counties. The community is south of Interstate 84.


Peach Lake is in two towns (North Salem and Southeast) and two counties (Westchester and Putnam). Peach Lake was originally farmed by several families. On the west side of the lake were the Bloomer and Palmer families, on the north side the Ryder family in the town of Southeast, and the Vail family were on the east side of the lake.  

Prior to 1731, the eastern edge of the Bloomer farm was the border of Connecticut. The area from there to the current state border was given to New York as part of the OBLONG, EQUIVALENCY or Connecticut's Panhandle agreement.  

The area was a strong dairy community from the 1850s through 1915, when the Borden Condensed Milk factory was in production in Brewster, New York. By 1915, the factory closed after New York City condemned much of the property along the rivers and lakes in the area to protect the water quality flowing into the newly created Croton Reservoir system.  

The Bloomer family, originally from Rye, New York, started farming the property on the west side of the lake prior to 1760. In 1762 they purchased the land and built, along with the Palmer family, the Peach Lake Meeting House (Quaker Meeting house) at the southeast corner of the Lake. This Peach Lake meeting house, like many others starting at Long Island Sound and heading north, was built in the disputed area between the Connecticut and New York colonies called the Oblong.  

The Vails family ran the dairy farm on the east side of the lake.  

The Ryder family, who have for generations controlled the Putnam County National Bank, have farmed land on the northern end of Peach Lake since the 18th century.  

North Salem was under the control of the Mohegans and more directly the Mohegan group called the Kitawonks, who laid claim to all the lands bordering the Kitchewan or Croton River that separates North Salem from present-day Somers. The lake and surrounding area was called Pechquenakonck by the Indian population. Dutch documents, such as Van der Donck’s 1656 History of New Netherland, mention the area. Other maps from Dutch archives, circa 1685, show the "Indian Tribes of the New World" and locations of Indian villages, including Pechquenakonck at Peach Lake. During 1600 and 1700s the lake was called Lake Pehquenakonck. Later it was called Peach Pond, which was a derivation of the Indian Pech-Quen. By the mid-1800s, the name was changed again to Peach Lake. The local middle school is called Pequenakonck (pronounced pee-kwon-a-konk), and the Country Club at Bloomerside Cooperative is called Pehquenakonck Country Club.  

There are four large residential communities around Peach Lake. There are three cooperatives: Bloomerside and Vails after the original farming families, Pietsch Gardens Cooperative originally owned by the Pietsch family (purchased in 1926 from the Teagarden family) and Northern Westchester Country Club (aka Hotel Property) formerly owned by the Palmer family in the early 19th century. These four communities comprise approximately 460 homes which started as summer homes and communities about 1914.  


Peach Lake is located at 
41°21′49″N 73°34′28″W (41.363521, -73.574454).  

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), of which 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2), or 11.76%, is water.  

Peach Lake water body  

The water body Peach Lake is located in the towns of North Salem and Southeast. The lake is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long and 0.5 miles (0.80 km) wide at its center. It was created by springs in the ground, which built up over time. One can see the situation that confronted many of the early settlers by looking at the southernmost section of the lake, which, just below the surface of the water, is littered with many smaller rounded rocks.  

Peach Lake drops to a depth of about 24 feet (7.3 m) at its deepest point. The western side of the lake is deeper than the eastern side, a happenstance of the final glacial gouging. A sharp thermocline is present at a depth of about 11 to 13 feet (3.4 to 4.0 m) where the water temperature may change 15 °F (−9 °C) within an inch. This thermocline protects the lake from excessive weed growth in areas of the lake that are deeper than the thermocline layer as it is simply too cold for the weeds to start growing. This temperature gradient is caused by the natural springs that feed the lake. There are no rivers entering the lake and only a very small intermittent stream on the southeastern corner.  

The lake is a Class B reservoir for New York City and outflows north into the East Branch Reservoir in the town of Southeast which is part of the Croton Reservoir system.  


Peaches!!! Peaches

Botanical name: Prunus persica
Plant type: Fruit
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5, 6, 7, 8
Sun exposure: Full Sun
Soil type: Sandy
Soil pH: Slightly Acidic to Neutral
Bloom time: Summer 

Peaches are a well-known, delicious fruit that can be grown right at home. The trick to growing your very own peaches is to choose a type that will fit with your specific climate.  


Peach trees can grow in USDA Zones 5 to 8, but do especially well in Zones 6 and 7.

If you live in one of these zones, you can focus on choosing a variety based on its flavor and harvest-time. If you live in colder regions, there are some varieties that are more cold tolerant that you can choose.

Choose a site with well-drained, moderately fertile soil in full sun. Be sure to avoid low areas because frost can more easily settle there and destroy your peaches.

Plant the trees in spring. It is best to plant the trees the day you get them (if possible). Pick a tree that is about 1 year old.

For container-grown trees, remove the plant from its pot and remove any circling roots by laying the root ball on its side and using shears to cut through the roots.

For grafted trees, position the inside of the curve of the graft union away from the sun when planting.

Dig a hole that is a few inches deeper and wider than the spread of the roots. Set the tree on top of a small mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Be sure to spread the roots away from the trunk without excessively bending them.

If you are planting standard-size trees, space them 15 to 20 feet apart. Space dwarf trees 10 to 12 feet apart. However, most types of peach trees are self-fertile, so planting one tree at a time is fine.    


About 6 weeks after planting, fertilize the young trees with 1 pound of a nitrogen fertilizer.

During the second year, add 3/4 pound of nitrogen fertilizer once in the spring and once in the early summer.

After the third year, add about 1 pound of actual nitrogen per year to the mature trees in the spring.

To help make the tree hardier, do not fertilize it within 2 months of the first fall frost date or when the fruits are maturing.

Be sure to prune the tree to an open center shape. In the summer of the first year, cut the vigorous shoots that form on the top of the tree by two or three buds. After about a month, check the tree. As soon as you have three wide-angled branches, spaced equally apart, cut back any other branches so that these three are the main branches. In the early summer of the second year, cut back the branches in the middle of the tree to short stubs and prune any shoots developing below the three main branches. After the third year, remove any shoots in the center of the tree to keep its shape.

Be sure to prune the tree annually to encourage production. Pruning is usually done mid to late April. Pinching the trees in the summer is also helpful.

Prune and fertilize to accomplish 10-18 inches of new growth each season.

Thin the fruits so that they are 6 to 8 inches apart on the branch after the tree blooms (about 4 to 6 weeks). This ensures that the fruits will be larger.

A plastic lean-to can protect fan-trained peach trees from peach leaf curl and frost in the winter.

To help increase resistance to fruit diseases, be sure to prune the trees, thin the fruit, and pick the fruit when it is ripe.   


Harvest your peaches when they are fully ripe, meaning that there is no green left on the fruit. They should come off the tree with only a slight twist. The fruits found on the top and outside of the tree usually ripen first.

Be careful when picking your peaches because some varieties bruise very easily.

You can store peaches in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. They should keep for about 5 days.

You can also store peaches by making jam or by making pickled peaches.

Peaches can also be canned or kept frozen for storage.  

Recommended Varieties  

'Redhaven', which is the standard and most popular choice. These peaches are medium-size, but can be small if the tree is not properly thinned. Its skin is tough and firm and red in color.

'Reliance', which is a hardy variety. It produces small and soft fruits.

'Harmony' ('Canadian Harmony'), which is winter hardy and moderately resistant to bacterial leaf spot. It produces medium to large fruit and freezes well.

Some zone favorites are:  

Hale  Madison  Saturn  Contender  Frost  Topaz Florida Beauty  

Wit& Wisdom  

Although peaches are native to the Chinese countryside, the peach was brought to the western world from Iran.  

Peaches ripen faster in a closed paper bag at room temperature.  

Test buds of peaches and other sensitive fruits for freeze damage. Bring in a few twigs cut from the trees and place them in a vase of water. If the twigs bloom in a week or two, expect blossoms in the spring and a crop the following fall.  


20 Peach Facts20 interesting facts about peaches you might not know
1.Peach is good for digestion and it has a diuretic effect - you can eat these fruits to cleanse your kidneys and bladder.

2.It has a natural soothing effect: peach can even help to calm a sour stomach.

3.It is an ideal snack between meals – eating a peach can give you the feeling of being full, so you will eat less; great for losing weight (one peach contains about 35-50 calories and not fat at all).

4.Contains many vitamins (A/B/C), magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium: so it is not only good for the digestive system, but for the well-being of muscles, the heart and bones, too.

5.Because of the above mentioned A and C vitamins in this fruit, it is a great moisturizer and a natural cure for refreshing the skin; therefore it is often used in cosmetics.

6.Peach can even have a positive effect on our scalp and it is able to reduce hair loss.

7.It is a good stress-reliever, helps to reduce anxiety – it is often referred to as the ‘Fruit of Calmness’ in Hungary.

8.Peach can be used as an aphrodisiac too.

9.According to research peach has a positive effect in preventing cancer (as it contains selenium).

10.In Roman times, people thought peach originated from Persia – its scientific latin name also reflects this: ‘Prunus persica ’. Peaches were often called as ‘Persian Apples ’.

11.In fact this fruit originates from China and they were introduced to the West through Persia.

12.In China this fruit is a symbol of good luck, protection and longevity.

13.This fruit is a member of the Rosaceae family and is a close relative of almonds.

14.August is the National Peach Month in the USA since 1982.

15.The peach tree is often considered to be the tree of life.

16.Colombus brought several peach trees to America on his second and third voyages.

17.The first peach orchard in the USA was established in Florida in 1565.

18.Georgia is also known as the Peach State, as there are many orchards, although California produces about 50% of all peaches in the USA.

19.On the world, China is the biggest producer of peaches and Italy is the second.

20.Although the peach pit contains hydrocyanic acid which is a poisonous substance in a bigger amount, an adult is safe to eat 1-2 seeds acquired from the pits of the peaches they ate before (100g a day is considered to be dangerous and one peach seed weights about 10g). But as it does not taste too good, barely any people eat these. More info here.  


Peach RosesPeach Roses  

Peach roses are so delicate and yet so charming. Their main attraction is their simple elegance and breathe-taking beauty. The symbolic significance of peach roses is as engaging as their elegant beauty. The soft peach hue in a rose is fast gaining in popularity, and is now widely loved by many.  

 The first and most obvious meaning of the pale peach rose is modesty. The pale peach color is indicative of the soft blush on a virgin's face, and the color speaks of demureness, purity and innocence. A bashful modesty that needs to be expressed, the delicate feelings of constraint and reserve are well denoted by the peach rose.  

While orange roses celebrate new beginnings, pale peach roses celebrate the closing of a deal. When things have gone beautifully well, and reached their natural closing, pale peach roses grace the table. Peach roses are therefore a symbol of harmony, peace and great cheer. Peach roses are used to express the geniality and cheer of a get together.  

Sincerity is another noble sentiment expressed by peach roses. The clarity of the color of the rose, its grace and beauty together instill a sense of complete genuineness. When you need to emphasize the earnestness of your gesture send some pale peach roses. Their gentle yet pleasing color can also be sent as an expression of sympathy.  

 Peach roses are indicative of gratitude and thankfulness also. When the affection you seek to express is genuine warmth that has no tinge of love, use a peach rose. Their subtle, gorgeous blooms are ideal to say "thanks!" or to show how much you miss a dear friend. It shows that the receiver is much appreciated and that his or her efforts have been acknowledged with thankfulness.

 The simple peach rose expresses sociability, friendliness, purity and innocence. This rose so delicate and dainty in its beauty delivers a simple message of genuine warmth and sincere thoughts. That is why social gatherings and friendly parties often sport these beautiful roses in abundance. Simply put, they are a celebration of the deep social instinct of man.  


Color Quote of the Week!!!“I can remember exactly where I sat when my teacher first read Roald Dahl's 'James and the Giant Peach'.”

--Dave Eggers (author)


     What do you think? What from your childhood are some moments that have really stuck with you? A particular family vacation? A special thing you did with a friend? A teacher reading a particular book?

     For Dave Eggers, it was the latter kind of experience—a teacher reading to her students-- that proved to mark just such a special moment. He remembers even decades later exactly where he sat in his classroom, and if we asked him to, I bet he could provide even more detail about the scene. His attention must have truly been captivated. At some point, he became so interested in reading, writing and thinking about his own experiences that he has gone on to become a well-known author in his own right, noted in part for a memoir (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000) which recounted many additional events that influenced the trajectory of his life.

On the other side of the experience, what of Mr. Eggers’ long ago teacher? Here’ someone who probably thought she was simply doing her job—and probably doing it well--engaging in the activities so normal to the workings of a classroom. She could have had no idea that a simple reading of a book would prove to have so much influence on one of her students.

     You never know what will end up being an important experience, and you never know what of what you say or do will make a difference. It’s important though to keep putting those sayings and doings out there. Something will land and will indeed bear fruit (perhaps even peaches), making someone’s life better in the process.

      How do these ideas resonate with you, and what is one small action you could take in the next day (or so) on that basis?

  Dealing with Difference


“One does a whole painting for one peach and people think just the opposite - that particular peach is but a detail.”

--Pablo Picasso (artist)


     What does Picasso’s thought bring to mind for you? As is true to his calling, he’s talking about the act of painting; His observation could equally well apply to just about any situation you can think of.  You know what you want to create or communicate, and you know why you want to do it.     You are excited to put in the effort and you have set aside the time. Actually, you’ve got yourself going on a pretty good roll. Your vision is crystal clear—to you!

     And that’s of course the catch. Picasso wants the central feature of his painting to concentrate on the peach. Others see the picture very differently, viewing the peach as a mere detail on a broader canvas.

    Different perspectives. Different communication styles. Different interpretations even of the same situation.  They’re aggravating, they’re frustrating, and they can drive you crazy. They can also, from a contrasting standpoint altogether, show us that there’s another side to the story too.  In Picasso’s world of art, those mismatches in communication and interpretation are seen as natural and normal; putting that alternative spin on disagreements can certainly make it easier to take such opposing viewpoints in stride. Not to mention the benefits of putting ourselves in situations where we’re likely to learn to think differently and to expand our own ways of seeing things.

     So when you’re feeling frustrated about a misunderstanding or a miscommunication, it might also be helpful to remember to enjoy the irony accompanying Picasso’s thought; “One does a whole painting for one peach and people think just the opposite - that particular peach is but a detail.”

     And since peach is a color which asks us not to take things more seriously than we need to in our relationships, it encourages us to approach things with the same lightness and warmth.      

      How do these ideas resonate with you, and what is one small action you could take in the next day (or so) on that basis?

<![CDATA[Green]]>Sat, 06 Jun 2015 15:26:03 GMThttp://colorreadingprofessor.com/archives/green1Sir Gawain and the Green KnightSir Gawain and the Green Knight establishes the setting firmly in Arthurian Britain by means of a lengthy description of the legendary history of Britain. Britain is a land of great wonders and strife, but King Arthur has established a court of utmost nobility and chivalry, peopled with the bravest knights and fairest ladies. This story begins at a lavish New Year's celebration in Camelot, King Arthur's court.

 A rich description of the celebration follows, where the poet carefully conveys luxurious details of decoration and attire. There is the incomparably beautiful Queen Guinevere, Arthur himself, and seated in honor around them, various noble knights and relatives of Arthur, including Sir Gawain . We learn that Arthur does not like to begin his feasts until he has heard a great tale or witnessed a great marvel. Indeed, in the midst of the feasting, a wondrous stranger bursts into the hall. The giant-like stranger is most remarkable because he is entirely green, but he nevertheless carries an air of handsome civility, wearing sumptuous green and gold clothes and armor. His horse is equally decked in ornate green, and the knight himself holds a branch of holly in one hand and a formidable battle-axe in the other. He demands, somewhat arrogantly, to speak to the ruler of the company, while the court stares on in stunned silence. When Arthur finally speaks, the stranger explains that he has come to this famously valiant court to play a Christmas game. Whoever agrees to play this game will be allowed to strike the Green Knight on the spot, in the middle of the court; in exchange, the Green Knight will strike a return blow upon the volunteer a year and a day hence. None of the court volunteers as the game seems to imply certain death for whomever plays; the stranger ridicules them all for Camelot's supposed bravery.

 Eventually Arthur agrees to play the game, but as he is about to wield the great battle-axe, Gawain speaks. In polite and self-effacing language, Gawain begs to take up the boon instead, so the life of the king can be spared in place of a knight as weak and lowly as he. The court agrees to let Gawain play, and after restating the terms of the agreement to each other, the stranger gives the battle-axe to Gawain, who cleaves off the stranger's head in one blow. But miraculously enough, the stranger does not die, and the body of the Green Knight picks up the severed head, which even speaks to Gawain. The stranger charges Gawain to meet him at the Green Chapel next New Year's morning, so that he may receive his exchange blow.

After the stranger leaves, the New Year's feast continues unaffected, but the poet ends the fitt by foreshadowing the dangerous adventures Gawain must face.

The second part of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight opens with a lush, detailed description of Nature and the passing of the year. After the Christmas feast and the Green Knight's challenge, the winter passes into a springtime and summer. But eventually harvest season approaches, the leaves fall, and as winter begins, Gawain remembers his agreement with the Green Knight. So, at a Michaelmas feast, he sadly bids farewell to Arthur's court. All the lords and ladies are silently sorrowful that a knight as worthy as Gawain must go to his doom by receiving the exchange blow from the Green Knight.

The poet then gives a meticulous description of Gawain as he dons his ornate armor the next morning. Both he and his horse Gringolet are richly attired, but Gawain's most important piece of armor of all is his shield, which bears the emblem of the Pentangle, the five-pointed star. The Pentangle, the emblem of truth, is particularly suitable for Gawain because the five points of the star represent the five different ways in which Gawain, like purified gold, embodies faultless virtue. He is perfect in the five senses; his five fingers are unfailing; his faith is fixed firmly on the five wounds which Christ received on the cross; he draws his strength from the five joys Mary had through Jesus; and he embodies, better than any other living man, the five virtues: Franchise, Fellowship, Cleanness, Courtesy, and above all, Charity. On the inside of his shield is an image of the Virgin Mary, often the source of Gawain's courage.

Once armed with his shield, Gawain rides away from Camelot, the court mourning that such a young, faultless knight should sacrifice his life as a result of a silly Christmas game. Gawain rides for months, alone, with no friends but his horse and no one to talk to but God. On the way, he battles beasts and giants and struggles through a harsh, cold country which would have killed a weaker or more faithless man. On Christmas Eve, after toiling through a daunting wood, Gawain beseeches the Lord and Mary to guide him to some haven where he may attend mass and properly pray on Christmas morning. Almost immediately, Gawain stumbles upon a moated fortress, a beautiful castle with strong defences and intricate architectural flourishes. Awed and grateful, Gawain asks the porter of the castle for entrance and is greeted by a great, joyful, and eager company. He is welcomed by the lord of the castle, a massive, civilized, capable-looking man who sees to it that Gawain receives the best of care. After a great feast, his company learns that he is none other than Sir Gawain of Arthur's court, and they are delighted to have such an honored personage in their presence, the embodiment of good breeding and chivalry himself.

After dinner, the company attends the Christmastide mass, where Gawain meets the lady of the castle. She is incomparably beautiful, and she is accompanied by an ancient noble lady, whose utter ugliness enhances her own beauty. Gawain is pleased to meet her, and their companionship deepens over the next few days of feasting. After the third day, Gawain thanks the lord and declares himself his servant, but regrets that he must leave the next morning to continue his quest. The lord, however, reveals that the Green Chapel is but two miles away, so Gawain must stay for the remaining three days and relax in bed. Jubilant, Gawain again declares himself the servant of the lord, ready to do his bidding. The lord decides that the next day, Gawain will stay in bed until attending high mass and dinner with the lady of the castle; in the meantime, the lord himself will rise at dawn to go hunting. He suggests one more thing: whatever he wins in the forest tomorrow will be given to Gawain, and in exchange, whatever Gawain wins in the castle during the day he must give to the lord. Gawain agrees to this bargain, and the lord calls for more wine and revelry to celebrate their game.

Part Three covers the three days before Gawain must leave the lord's castle to meet the Green Knight on New Year's Day. On the first day, as planned, the lord arises early to go hunting. The poet describes in detail the hunting party as it moves through the winter forest, hounds and blaring horns in hot pursuit of deer. Then, almost drastically, the scene switches to the interior of the castle, to Gawain's bedroom where the slumbering knight is approached by the lovely lady of the castle.

A careful dialogue follows between Gawain and the lady, where he delicately and diplomatically evades and parries her sexual advances. As she is about to leave him, she asks for a kiss, and Gawain, as befits the chivalrous knight, grants her that. The rest of the day Gawain spends at mass and then in the company of the two ladies of the castle.

In the meantime, the lord's hunting party has slaughtered a great number of deer by sunset, and they then begin the meticulous process of cutting and dividing the bodies of the game. Once this is done, they return home and Gawain commends the lord for his fine hunting. As promised, the lord gives the game to Gawain and Gawain, in exchange, gives the lord a sweet kiss he received that day, but refuses to reveal who it was won from, claiming that it was not part of the agreement. The two men revel for the rest of the evening and agree to continue their contract, by exchanging their winnings of the next day.

The second day begins with the hunting party on the trail of an huge and vicious boar. Meanwhile, Gawain welcomes the lady as she enters his bedchamber, as dogged as ever in her pursuit of him. More flirtatious conversation ensues: she reprimands him for forgetting to kiss her and alludes to his reputation in Courtly Love and asks to be taught. In the end, Gawain evades the lady's amorous intentions, with only two kisses being exchanged. Outside, the hunt of the boar continues viciously, and the lord wins the battle by thrusting his sword into the boar's heart. Another complicated process divides the body of the boar, and the triumphant hunting party returns to the castle. Again, Gawain and the lord are joyously reunited; just as the lord gives the boar to Gawain, the younger knight bestows two kisses on him. The lady continues to dote adoringly on Gawain, and the lord convinces Gawain to stay a third day, with the same contract of exchanging winnings.

The final day of the game dawns with a description of its brilliant, wintry beauty, and the hunting dogs fall on the trail of a cunning fox. Inside the castle, the lady enters Gawain's bedchamber while wearing a lovely and very revealing gown. She wakes him from his sorrowful slumber, as he dreads the impending day of doom at the Green Chapel. Gawain again escapes her advances but the lady offers a token of remembrance: a valuable ring of gold, which he kindly refuses. The lady then offers him a green silk tunic which can protect the wearer from death. Aware of his impending meeting with the Green Knight, Gawain accepts the girdle, which the lady begs him to keep secret. After receiving a third kiss from her that morning, Gawain dresses, confesses his sins to a priest in preparation for his challenge the next day, and then spends the rest of the day in utter merriment. Meanwhile, after much dogged pursuit, the lord triumphantly captures the sly fox, and gives it to Gawain that night in the castle, in exchange for three kisses. Gawain does not reveal anything about the green girdle, and the lord assigns a servant to guide Gawain to the Green Chapel the next morning. Heavy-hearted, Gawain bids farewell to the people of the castle, all of whom are sad to see him go. That night, Gawain has trouble sleeping for fear of the next day's events.

 The final, dreaded day opens ominously with a fierce winter storm that keeps Gawain up at night. Before dawn on New Year's Day, the knight is awake and getting dressed, garbing himself in rich, bejeweled clothes -- most importantly the green girdle which the lady had given him. With the servant accompanying him, Gawain leaves the castle and travels through a somber, snow-covered landscape. The servant begs Gawain to reconsider his mission and run from the Green Knight, who is a horrible, cruel monster: huge, merciless, someone who kills for pure joy. But Gawain refuses to run, as that would prove himself a cowardly knight. Resigned, the servant leaves Gawain, and the knight continues alone to the Green Chapel. Gawain marvels at the deserted ugliness of the place, fearing that he might encounter the Devil himself in such a place.

 Suddenly, Gawain hears the sound of a blade being sharpened on a grindstone, and meets the terrifying Green Knight, who bears a monstrous axe. He welcomes Gawain, praising him for maintaining his part of the agreement and the horrified Gawain exposes his neck to receive the exchange blow. But at the last moment, he flinches from the axe, and the Green Knight stops to yell at the cowardly Gawain. The second attempt stops short as well, enraging Gawain. On the third stroke, the Green Knight splits the skin on Gawain's neck but that is all the injury done. The Green Knight explains to the wondrous Gawain what has just happened: the Green Knight is the lord of the castle, and the two feinted ax strokes represent the first two days of the game, when Gawain faithfully gave everything he won that day to the King. But that third day, Gawain did conceal the green sash from the King and as a result is punished by the slight scrape on his neck. The lord reveals that he arranged his wife's advances upon Gawain, but having seen the result, he is convinced that Gawain is the finest man alive, his only failure stemming understandably from his love of life. But Gawain is harsher on himself, cursing his cowardice and covetousness and rejecting the green sash which made him guilty.

 The Green Knight urges Gawain to keep the sash as a token of their struggle and invites him back to the castle to celebrate the New Year. Gawain declines and considers the dangerous wiles of women . He agrees to keep the girdle to remind himself of the "fault and frailty of the foolish flesh." The Green Knight reveals himself to be Bertilak de Hautdesert, servant to the sorceress Morgan le Fay. It was Morgan who engineered the entire game, sending Bertilak down to Camelot so that Guinevere would be shocked to death by the staged beheading. In fact, Morgan was the ancient noble lady at Hautdesert castle and is the scheming half-sister to Arthur, the king's traditional nemesis. A disillusioned Gawain returns to Camelot, where is greeted with much cheering and joy from Arthur, Guinevere, and the others. He recounts his entire adventure, but is ashamed when he tells of his ultimate failing as a result of the green girdle. Nevertheless, Arthur and the courtiers, unaware of Gawain's shame, adopt the green girdle as a heraldic token in honor of Gawain. From there, the poet concludes in much the same way he opened the poem, praising Arthur, moving back through Brutus to the siege of Troy. The final two lines implore Jesus Christ for bliss.


Rhododendron The name Rhododendron comes from the greek words "rodon" which means "rose" and "dendron" which means "tree", hence Rose Tree. Rhododendron flowers are usually produced in trusses. The family Ericacea, into which the genus Rhododendron falls, also includes heathers, mountain laurels, blueberries and cranberries as well as manzanita, trailing arbutus, madrone, huckleberry, kalmiopsis, sourwood, blueberries and a number of other genus. Rhododendrons are referred to as the King of Shrubs since they are regarded by many as the best flowering evergreen plants for the temperate landscape.

Kingdom Plantae Sub Kingdom Tracheobionta Super Division Spermatophyta Division Magnoliophyta Class Magnoliopsida Sub Class Dilleniidae Order Ericales Family Ericaceae Genus Rhododendron L.

Facts About Rhododendron

• Most people know rhododendrons as big leathery leafed shrubs with round clusters of white, pink, red, or purple blooms.

• Rhododendron was discovered by The 16th century Flemish botanist, Charles l'Ecluse.

• Rhododendron was introduced to Britain in 1656 from the European Alps, and so the name Alpine Rose for Rhododendron histrum.

• Exploration in America came as a result of a partnership between English Quaker Peter Collinson and botanist/farmer John Bartram of Pennsylvania. This led to the importation to England of the American natives, Rhododendron canescens, Rhododendron nudiflorum, and Rhododendron viscosum in 1734, and Rhododendron maximum in 1736.

• Rhododendron ferrugineum, another species from the European Alps also known as the Alpine Rose, came along in 1752.

• The Washington State Senate confirmed that the Coast Rhododendron / Pacific Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum) would be the floral emblem for Washington state.

• Rhododendron is also the national flower of Nepal, and the state flower of Sikkim in India.

• All the parts of Rhododendrons are dangerous, especially leaves, showing symptoms of Stomach irritation, abdominal pain, abnormal heart rate and rhythm, convulsions, coma, death. Honey made from the nectar of Rhododendron flowers is also toxic and should not be consumed.

 What is the difference between Rhododendrons and Azaleas?

• The genus Rhododendron includes both Rhododendrons and Azaleas. In this genus, both Rhododendron and Azalea are used as common names. The distinctions that follow are made by gardeners. The Rhododendron plants are usually evergreen and those labeled Azalea plants are deciduous, although there are a few evergreen Azaleas like those in the florist or nursery trade. To the typical gardener, azaleas are conspicuous because they don't have trusses. The exception to this is the Homebush type azaleas which have a very tight ball shaped truss but this type of azalea is deciduous. It should be mentioned that the tropical Vireya rhododendrons don't have a truss either and look more like azaleas but are in general treated as a special class, different from most other rhododendrons and azaleas.

•Rhododendrons have ten or more stamens, while Azaleas have five.

• Rhododendrons have large, paddle-shaped leaves and large, bell- or funnel-shaped flowers borne in terminal trusses. Azaleas have small, elliptical leaves and trumpet- or tubular-shaped flowers at the ends of the shoots. Still some rhododendrons, called lepidoes have small leaves and small flowers and some rhododendrons are naturally miniature have miniscule leaves and flowers. It is true that all azaleas have small leaves compared to the large leaved rhododendrons, the elepidotes.

•Rhododendrons are erect, growing up to 80 feet high, while Azaleas are more twiggy, spreading bushes, usually reaching a height of no more than 8 feet.

•Both Rhododendrons and Azaleas provide fragrant blossoms in an array of colors - from pure white and light pastels to brilliant orange and gold to purple and red. Some blossoms change color over time or are marked with contrasting colors.

 Growing Rhododendrons

Never plant a rhododendron deeper than it was originally planted. The roots seldom ever extend more than twelve inches deep. Planting them deeper than twelve inches will prevent them from getting enough air.

• Plant Rhododendrons in spring or fall.

• Space plants 2 to 6 feet apart, depending on the expected mature size of the plant. Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide.

• Rhododendrons need an acidic soil. If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you've removed from the hole with a small amount of compost.

• Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole.

• Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets.

• The chief killer of rhododendrons is wet soil. Rhododendrons need moist well drained soil, but not a water logged soil. Rhododendrons seem to thrive in Mediterranean climates where there are long periods with no rain.

 Rhododendrons Plant Care

• Apply a layer of compost under the shrub each spring, spreading it out to the dripline (the area under the outermost branches).

• Add a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds, keeping mulch a few inches away from the trunk.

• Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. In regions with severe winters, protect evergreen rhododendrons in the fall by wrapping burlap around them.

• Although seldom, rhododendrons need Pruning to remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches anytime. Prune Rhododendrons to reduce height after flowering in spring. Rhododendrons will grow back from old wood.

• Rhododendrons are not usually prone to insects or diseases. They can develop a condition called chlorosis, which is characterized by yellowing of a leaf between dark green veins. Chlorosis can be caused by malnutrition caused by alkalinity of the soil, potassium deficiency, calcium deficiency, iron deficiency or magnesium deficiency. A combination of acidification with sulfur and iron supplements such as chelated iron or iron sulfate will usually treat this problem. Chlorosis can also be caused by nitrogen toxicity (usually caused by nitrate fertilizers) or other conditions that damage the roots such as root rot, severe cutting of the roots, root weevils or root death caused by extreme amounts of fertilizer.


Albany Tulip FestivalThe Tulip Festival is held in Albany, New York every spring at Washington Park. It stems from when Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd got a city ordinance passed declaring the tulip as Albany's official flower on July 1, 1948. In addition, he sent a request to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands to name a variety as Albany's tulip. On July 11, 1948 her reply was "Her Majesty gladly accepts the invitation to designate a tulip as the official flower of Albany." She picked the variety "Orange Wonder", an 18-inch tall tulip that is orange-shaded with a scarlet toward the center, it is a slow-grower and relatively rare. The first Tulip Fest was celebrated the next year on May 14, 1949 with opening ceremonies still carried on today as tradition, such as the sweeping of State Street and the crowning of a Tulip Queen. In 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the festival the state of New York designated Albany as the "I Love New York Spring Destination". Also for the 50th anniversary a descendant variety of the "Wonder Orange" tulip was found in the Netherlands, and the new variety was named "City of Albany". The African-American tradition of Pinksterfest, whose origins are traced back even further to Dutch festivities, was later incorporated into the Tulip Fest. Since 1998 the Tulip Fest has included the Mother of the Year award.  


Venus the Goddess of Loveby Brittany Garcia
published on 27 August 2013
The Birth of Venus (Sandro Botticelli)
In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of love, sex, beauty, and fertility. She was the Roman counterpart to the Greek Aphrodite. However, Roman Venus had many abilities beyond the Greek Aphrodite; she was a goddess of victory, fertility, and even prostitution. According to Hesiod's Theogony, Aphrodite was born of the foam from the sea after Saturn (Greek Cronus) castrated his father Uranus (Ouranus) and his blood fell to the sea. This latter explanation appears to be more a popular theory due to the countless artworks depicting Venus rising from the sea in a clam.

Divine Lovers & Children

Venus had two main divine lovers: her husband Vulcan (Hephaistos) and Mars (Ares). There is a myth concerning Venus' and Mars' love affair and how Vulcan cunningly trapped them in bed with a net. Therefore, Vulcan and Venus had a loveless marriage and no children. Albeit, the goddess of love and sex was not barren; she had many children from different gods. With Mars, she gave birth to Timor (Phobos) the personification of fear who accompanied his father into battle, his twin Metus (Deimos) the personification of terror, Concordia (Harmonia) the goddess of harmony and concord, and the Cupids (Erotes) who were a collection of winged love deities who represented the different aspects of love.

 The Roman poet Ovid recounts that Aphrodite bore Hermaphroditos by Hermes, who was the epitome of effeminacy and androgyny. She also bore with either Hermes or Zeus, Fortuna (Tyche) who was the personification of luck and fate within Roman religion. Venus is ascribed as the mother of the minor deity Priapus (a fertility god often characterized with an absurdly large phallus) by Bacchus. According to Pausanias, the Graces were thought to be the offspring of Venus and Bacchus, but more commonly their birth is credited to Jupiter and Euynome. However, the Graces were part of Venus' retinue along with the Cupids and Suadela, the goddess of persuasion in the realms of romance, love, and seduction.

Mortal Lovers, Children, & Descendants

Venus had several mortal lovers as well. The two most famous would be Anchises and Adonis, but she was also the lover of the Sicilian king Butes and mother to their son Eryx and Paethon with whom she mothered Sandocus, who fathered Metamorphoses' Cinyras. Ovid's Metamorphoses (Book X) recounts how Venus fell in love with the mortal Adonis (either due to his beauty or Cupid's arrow) and besought Proserpina (Persephone) to care for him until she came for him. The two goddesses both grew enamored with the mortal, so they fought until Zeus decided that Adonis would spend one-third the year with each of them and a third wherever he pleased. Ultimately, he spent his time with Venus until he was killed by a boar.

According to the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, Anchises, a prince from Dardania and ally to Troy, was seduced by Venus. She disguised herself as a Phrygian princess and seduced him; it was only nine months later that she revealed her divine identity. She presented Anchises with their son Aeneas. Venus warned Anchises never to brag about their affair lest he be struck by Jupiter. Unfortunately, Anchises did brag and was crippled by Jupiter's bolt. The Trojan Aeneas, according to Virgil's Aeneid, was fated to found Rome guided by his divine mother Venus. Aeneas' son Ascanius or Iulus, a king of Alba Longa, was credited, by Virgil, to be the ancestor of the founders of Rome: Romulus and Remus along with the Gens (family) Julia. The Gen Julia was the family that included Julius Caesar, Augustus (Octavian) Caesar and his descendants.

Temples, Cults, & Festival in Ancient Rome

 The first appearance of a temple to Venus was in 295 BCE. It was to Venus Obsequens (Obedient Venus) on the Aventine Hill by Q. Fabius Gurges. However, this temple was diffused with Greek aspects (Aphrodite's cults) and was not a new creation. In 217 BCE, the Sibyline oracle suggested that if Rome (at that time losing the Second Punic War) could persuade Venus Eyrcina (Venus of Eryx) to change her allegiance from the Carthagian Silician allies to the Romans, the war would be won. Rome laid siege to Eryx, offered the goddess a magnificent temple and took her image back to Rome. It was this foreign image that eventually became Rome's Venus Genetrix (Venus the Mother). The cult forming around Venus Genetrix on the Capitoline Hill was reserved for the higher-classes, but in 181 BCE  and 114 BCE the temples and cult of Venus Eycina and Venus Verticordia (Venus the changer of hearts) were established for the plebeians.

 Venus' month was April (the beginning of spring and fertility) when most of her festivals were held. On the first of April a festival was held in honor of Venus Verticordia called Veneralia. On the 23rd, Vinalia Urbana was held which was a wine festival belonging to both Venus (goddess of profane wine) and Jupiter. Vinalia Rusticia was held on August 10th. It was Venus' oldest festival and associated with her form as Venus Obsequens. September 26th was the date for the festival of Venus Genetrix, the mother and protector of Rome.

Venus& Politics

At the close of the Roman Republic, some Romans laid claim to Venus' favor and competed for it, such as: Sulla (adopting the name Felix, Latin for lucky, and accrediting Venus Felix to his divine favor), Pompey (who dedicated, in 55 BCE, a temple to Venus Victris - Venus of Victory), Julius Caesar (who claimed favor with Venus Victrix and Venus Genetrix), and Hadrian (who, in 139 CE, dedicated a temple to Venus and Roma Aererna  - Eternal Rome - making Venus the protective mother of the Roman state).

Venus& The Evening Star

In Virgil's Aeneid, the Trojan hero Aeneas is led to Latium by his mother in her celestial form: the evening star. It is this same star which Vergil accounts lifts Julius Caesar's soul to the heavens. This is also the secondary name for the planet Venus, because it so bright and discernible in the night's sky.

Art& Appearance

Images of Venus have been found in countless forms from sculptures to mosaics to shrines and even domestic murals and fresco. Venus, due to her natural beauty and sexual nature, was often depicted nude. Most sculptures of Venus resembled a close similarity to the Aphrodite of Cnidus. However, there are many fine wall paintings from Pompeii that depict Venus in different forms. Venus continued to be a popular subject matter for artists through antiquity and the renaissance even into the 20th century CE.


Wally the Green Monster Wally the Green Monster

 Wally the Green Monster is the official mascot for the Boston Red Sox. His name is derived from the Green Monster, the nickname of the 37-foot 2-inch wall in left field at Fenway Park. Wally debuted on April 13, 1997 to the chagrin of many older Red Sox fans. Although he was a big hit with children, older fans did not immediately adopt him as part of the franchise. As of 2009, Wally has become more accepted by Red Sox fans of all ages, largely due to broadcaster Jerry Remy creating stories about him and sharing them during televised games.


According to the Red Sox, Wally the Green Monster has long been a resident of Fenway Park, residing in the Green Monster wall since 1947. Wally has seen many legendary outfielders (and even a few National Baseball Hall of Famers) play Left Field and master the infamous "Green Monster" at Fenway. In 1997, Wally emerged from the wall to everyone's surprise on Opening Day. After 15 years, Wally has become a family favorite and entertains the crowds of fans who come to Fenway to see the Red Sox play. He wears Red Sox Jersey #97, indicating the Year of his emergence from the Wall, and his trusty Team-Issued Size 37 ballcap is never far from his green head.

In his spare time Wally likes to play catch with the Red Sox players, read his favorite book "Hello, Wally" written by his good friend and NESN Red Sox Broadcaster Jerry Remy, and sneak into the concession stands when no one is looking to grab a bite - or more, to eat. He prepares for every Red Sox game by eating a good meal, watching batting practice, and tuning into Red Sox Pregame as he ties up his shoes and grabs his trusty Red Sox flag.

 As pregame starts, Wally is on the field greeting fans near Field Level by taking pictures, signing autographs and sneaking in a kiss or two to the many fans of Red Sox Nation. After photo ops with some of Fenway's special guests of the game, he can be seen waving his flag and cheering on the Red Sox as the starting lineups are announced. The National Anthem is performed for all 37,000+ fans at Fenway and Wally, along with his special friend of the game, yell every baseball fans two favorite words, "PLAY BALL" and the game is ready to begin.

 Wally is a busy monster throughout the game. From doing seat visits for some special guests, to jumping up on the dugout to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch, Wally stays plenty busy meeting and greeting the fans of Red Sox Nation. And on weekends, Wally can be seen out on Yawkey Way taking pictures with fans who visit the "street fair atmosphere" of Wally's World around the Third Inning of the ballgame.

Some of Wally's memorable moments of being the Red Sox Mascot have come away from Fenway. Whether it is traveling to Fort Myers, Florida and jetBlue Park for Red Sox spring training or visiting other cities for special events, Wally is a well traveled monster. For example, this last December Wally was invited to Washington, D.C. to perform with Smokey Robinson in a tribute to a Red Sox favorite, and Music Legend, Neil Diamond (Writer/Performer of "Sweet Caroline") at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. When he was told that President Obama, his family, Mr. Diamond and many other celebrities would be in attendance, Wally knew he could not do it alone. He made some calls and brought 100 members of Red Sox Nation to Washington to perform on stage alongside him. Wally also travels to the Major League Baseball All Star Game every year to meet up with his furry friends from all over Major League Baseball for various fan-fests, signings and gatherings.

Wally loves to meet new people and visit the various parts of Red Sox Nation. He can be rented by visiting the team's official website for various events.


May Day!Why do we celebrate May Day?

Happy May Day! A few words about this annual celebration, whose roots are in astronomy.

May Day. May 1 on the calendar.

May Day is an ancient spring festival in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s an astronomical holiday, one of the year’s four cross-quarter days, or day that falls more or less midway between an equinox and solstice – in this case the March equinox and June solstice. The other cross-quarter days are Groundhog Day on February 2, Lammas on August 1 and Halloween on October 31. May Day also stems from the Celtic festival of Beltane, which was related to the waxing power of the sun as we move closer to summer. At Beltane, people lit fires through which livestock were driven and around which people danced, moving in the same direction that the sun crosses the sky.

Maypole wrapping at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvannia in 2005. May Day festivities are an annual tradition at Bryn Mawr. Image Credit: Mike Goren via Wikimedia Commons

School children rehearsing Maypole festivity, in Gee's Bend, Alabama, 1939. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A group of happy neighbors in Texas, after wrapping a Maypole. See the wrapped pole being held up? Image Credit: Rick Patrick

Wrapping a Maypole with colorful ribbons is perhaps the best known of all May Day traditions. In the Middle Ages, English villages all had Maypoles, which were actual trees brought in from the woods in the midst of rejoicing and raucous merrymaking. Maypoles came in many sizes, and villages were said to compete with each other to show whose Maypole was tallest. Maypoles were usually set up for the day in small towns, but in London and the larger towns they were erected permanently.

We’re not too far away from a time in the late 20th century when people left homemade May baskets filled with spring flowers and sweets on each others’ doorsteps, usually anonymously. I can remember doing this as a child. Maybe it’s a tradition that can be revived.

Homemade May basket left on neighbor or friend's doorstep anonymously. Nice tradition!

Bottom line: May 1 is one of four cross-quarter days, midway between an equinox and a solstice. It stems from the ancient festival of Beltane, which relates to the waxing power of the sun at this time of year. Its most recognized tradition is the Maypole dance, in which people wrap ribbons around a tall pole.


Tulip Facts
•Currently, there are around 75 wild species of tulips and 150 species in total with over 3000 varieties.

•The word tulip is derived from a Persian word called delband, which means turban. It is generally believed that it was called this due to the turban-shaped nature of the flower. However, this might have been a translation error as it was fashionable to wear tulips on turbans at the time.

 •Tulips are perennials (a plant that lives for more than 2 years), they bloom in spring, usually for only 3-7 days.

 •Tulips grow from bulbs and being native to mountainous areas the tulip needs a period of cold dormancy, known as vernalization. So they should be planted in the fall (Autumn) and thrive best in climates with cool springs and dry summers.

 •The tulip is usually sweetly scented and depending on the variety it can grow from a few inches to over two feet tall. The flower has a variety of shapes and it comes in most colors although there are no pure blue varieties.

•Tulips normally have one flower per stem, however a few species have up to 4 flowers on a single stem.

 •Tulips are a part of the lily family.

 •The tulip is native to central Asia and eventually made its way to Turkey. But it was when the flower was first cultivated in the Netherlands that it really came to prominence.

 •The Dutch obsession with tulips began with Flemish botanist Carolus Clusius. When he was made director of Leiden University's new Hortus Botanicus (botanical garden) in 1593 he planted some of his own tulip bulbs. As a result, 1594 is considered the official date of tulips first blooming in Holland.

 •Carolus Clusius was also the first person to identify "broken tulips" which is a viral infection that caused beautiful streaks in the petals. Clusius would go on to create many new color variations of tulips.

 •Tulips started to become highly prized in Holland in the 1600s as some of Clusius unique tulip variations at Leiden became much sought after.

 •This led to a period from 1634 to 1637 known as "Tulip mania" when enthusiasm for the new flower started an economic frenzy and one of the world's first 'speculative bubbles'. The value of tulips shot up nearly overnight, they became the most expensive flower in the world, so expensive that they were treated as a form of currency.

 •At the peak of tulip mania certain bulbs were selling for 10 times more than the annual income of a skilled worker and a valuable tulip bulb could change hands up to ten times in a day. Tulip mania was short-lived though and the whole economy eventually crashed.

 •Today, the Netherlands is still the world's main producer of commercially sold tulips, producing as many as 3 billion bulbs annually, mostly for export.

 •Tulip petals are actually able to be eaten, during the Dutch famine of 1944 in WWII people often had to resort to eating sugar beets and tulips.

 •The tulip is the national flower or Turkey and Afghanistan.


Why is Grass Green?n the very first Wonder of the Day, we learned that flamingos are pink because of pigments called carotenoids found in the shrimp they eat. Carotenoids are also found in red, orange, and yellow foods, such as carrots, tomatoes, and egg yolks.Much like flamingos and carrots, grass contains a special pigment that gives it a green color. This pigment is called chlorophyll.

chlorophyll is used during photosynthesis. photosynthesis is a process that takes places when a plant uses sunlight to turn carbon dioxide and water into sugar. Unlike animals, which have to hunt for their food, plants can create their own food using sunlight. If you remove most plants from sunlight, they cannot produce food and will eventually die.

So what makes chlorophyll green? Every object on Earth has its own color. The light from the sun appears white, but is actually made up of a full spectrum of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

When white light hits an object, the object absorbs some colors and reflects others. When we look at an object, the color we see is the color the object reflects. The sky absorbs all the colors except blue, which it reflects. This is why the sky appears blue on a sunny day.

Think about the last time you played kickball with a group of friends. The red rubber ball absorbs all the wavelengths in white light except red. As you watch the red ball bounce along the ground, your eyes see the ball reflecting red light. Your eyes send this information to your brain, which tells you the ball is red.

Similarly, grass appears green because it absorbs all the wavelengths of white light except green. green is reflected off the grass. When the green wavelength reaches our eyes, we see grass as green.


Why dose Ireland have 40 Shades of Green? 

When we think of Ireland, we think of the Emerald Isle, the shamrock, the "Wearing of the Green" and the 37 other almost proverbial shades of green. But just why do we talk about "Forty Shades of Green"?


The Song


It is the fault of one man - none other than Johnny Cash. The "Man in Black" was so taken in by the Emerald Isle that he went green and reputedly penned an whole album's worth in celebration of Ireland.


While Cash seemed to be genuinely in love with Ireland at the time (1961), songs from that period seem to be seriously sentimental and overwrought today.


Cash's signature Irish song is "Forty Shades of Green", including the confession that "most of all I miss a girl in Tipperary town, and most of all I miss her lips as soft as eiderdown". Apart from Dingle, Donaghadee, the Shannon, Skibbereen, Shalimar, Cork and Larne, making this a very all-Irish song. And a celebration of the good old times when "the farmers drain the bogs and spade the turf". Never mind that a lot of these farmers might have told Cash to be on his way, preferring some modern comforts themselves.


And so ... Johnny Cash was responsible for creating the idea of Ireland being "forty shades of green". This was added on by Ireland's seminal rock group "Boomtown Rats", with singer Bob Geldof also mentioning "sixty shades of red" in reference to the "Troubles".


The Reality


But does Ireland really have forty shades of green? Though nobody has actually counted them, this would be a good guess - green is the dominant color in Ireland's landscape.



The simple reason for this is the Irish weather. While generally described as eternally changing, it is only changing within certain parameters. The influence of the gulf stream and the general climate combine to make Ireland well-balanced.


Seasons are not very pronounced - one usually enjoys "spells of" summer or winter, not the season as such. And even when Jack Frost nips and snow falls it will be on lush green fields. The green may fade a bit, but it never goes away.


And as you will see when visiting Ireland: Johnny Cash was right - Ireland really has forty shades of green.


<![CDATA[RED]]>Wed, 20 May 2015 03:13:18 GMThttp://colorreadingprofessor.com/archives/red
<![CDATA[Yellow]]>Mon, 20 Apr 2015 23:28:46 GMThttp://colorreadingprofessor.com/archives/yellow]]><![CDATA[Shades of Orange]]>Sat, 14 Mar 2015 13:23:36 GMThttp://colorreadingprofessor.com/archives/shades-of-orange]]><![CDATA[ORange 2015]]>Sat, 14 Feb 2015 19:32:24 GMThttp://colorreadingprofessor.com/archives/orange-2015]]><![CDATA[Red and Blue]]>Sun, 14 Dec 2014 05:57:23 GMThttp://colorreadingprofessor.com/archives/red-and-blue]]>