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Posts Tagged: Girl Scouts

It Was a Scorpion Kind of Day at the Bohart Museum of Entomology

Logan Loss, 6, of Rocklin talks about scorpions to Bohart associate and scorpion scientist Wade Spencer. The kindergarten student is an avid scorpion enthusiast. Also pictured are members of the Vacaville Brownie Girl Scout Troop (from left) Jayda Navarette, Keira Yu and Kendl Macklin, front. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Little Logan Loss of Rocklin is only 6 but already he knows more about scorpions than many, if not most, adults do. Logan, a visitor at the Bohart...

Logan Loss, 6, of Rocklin talks about scorpions to Bohart associate and scorpion scientist Wade Spencer. The kindergarten student is an avid scorpion enthusiast. Also pictured are members of the Vacaville Brownie Girl Scout Troop (from left) Jayda Navarette, Keira Yu and Kendl Macklin, front. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Logan Loss, 6, of Rocklin talks about scorpions to Bohart associate and scorpion scientist Wade Spencer. The kindergarten student is an avid scorpion enthusiast. Also pictured are members of the Vacaville Brownie Girl Scout Troop (from left) Jayda Navarette, Keira Yu and Kendl Macklin, front. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Logan Loss, 6, of Rocklin talks about scorpions to Bohart associate and scorpion scientist Wade Spencer. The kindergarten student is an avid scorpion enthusiast. Also pictured are members of the Vacaville Brownie Girl Scout Troop (from left) Jayda Navarette, Keira Yu and Kendl Macklin, front. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bohart associates and entomology students Lohit Garikipati show scorpions to the crowd. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Bohart associates and entomology students Lohit Garikipati show scorpions to the crowd. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bohart associates and entomology students Lohit Garikipati show scorpions to the crowd. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is Wade Spencer's desert hairy scorpion named Barthlomew. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This is Wade Spencer's desert hairy scorpion named Barthlomew. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is Wade Spencer's desert hairy scorpion named Barthlomew. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wade Spencer's desert hairy scorpion named Barthlomew glows under UV light. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Wade Spencer's desert hairy scorpion named Barthlomew glows under UV light. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wade Spencer's desert hairy scorpion named Barthlomew glows under UV light. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wade Spencer holds his African burrowing scorpion (left) and desert hairy scorpion under UV light. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Wade Spencer holds his African burrowing scorpion (left) and desert hairy scorpion under UV light. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wade Spencer holds his African burrowing scorpion (left) and desert hairy scorpion under UV light. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Coolness of Coleus

I was 12 years old when I started noticing plants. It was 1972, I was a Girl Scout and our troop was learning to macramé. We each learned how to make a macramé plant hanger, replete with wooden beads and a long tail that nearly touched the floor. My hanger absolutely had to have a plant, one that would do well indoors in my shadowy bedroom. I started noticing my friends were growing a variety of classic houseplants: wandering Jews (Tradescantia albiflora), spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum), coleuses (Solenostemon scutellarioides). I tried rooting cuttings in a glass of water on my bedroom windowsill. Success was mine! That goofy macramé hanger held a variegated spider plant for at least a decade, through my college years. My roommate and I shared the plantlets. Good times.

Alas, the spider plants and the macramé hanger went the way of beanbag chairs and bell-bottom jeans. I simplified, cleared the ceiling of plant hangers and took my interest to outdoor plants. But I’ve been kind of thrilled to see a plant from those years has returned, better than ever. How cool is it to see coleus at the nurseries again? I’m smitten.

These newer varieties are bigger, more dramatic, and — depending on foliage color — thrive in sun or partial shade. What beautiful foliage it is: deep burgundy, bright fuchsia, acid green, nearly black, gold, brown, rust, big smooth leaves, smaller frilly leaves. According to Sunset, these plants are easy to start from seed or cuttings. Sunset also suggests pinching off the frilly purple flower spires. Pffft, I say to that; honeybees visit those flowers, which is always a good thing.

For a few years in a row, I’ve potted several coleuses in a corner of dappled shade near our front door. They behave like annuals in my yard, succumbing to the inevitable cold snaps we have in December or January. But they can be maintained as tender perennials, if you’re willing to bring them indoors in late fall. Maybe even put them in your old macramé plant hanger?

Colorful, beautiful coleus. (photo by Kathy Thomas-Rico)
Colorful, beautiful coleus. (photo by Kathy Thomas-Rico)

Posted on Friday, September 27, 2013 at 8:48 AM
Tags: 1972 (1), coleus (1), Girl Scouts (2), macrame (1), spiderplants (1)
 
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