August 2012 archive

Beautiful butterworts

Pinguicula moranesis glands [CC-BY-SA-3.0 Steve Cook]: microscopic stalked glands covering the leaf surface secrete mucilage

A recent hike in Königssee to see Germany’s highest waterfall was a little underwhelming but the hydrological shortcomings were entirely forgotten when I spotted this beauty growing in a crevice above the lake: Butterworts are amongst my favourite carnivorous plants: their murderous ways are so delicately concealed. Who would suspect such a pretty bank of flowers to be a veritable morgue …

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Farewell Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal [Carl van Vechten 1948]

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise Being an avowed atheist, a form of words appropriate to death has always eluded me: “rest in peace” has always seemed inappropriate, implying – as it does – that something is left after death that could be at rest or …

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