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Passionflower Vine August 8, 2007

Posted by barn owl in energy use, gardening.
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My AC condenser unit was inconveniently placed on the west side of the house, so we built a screen to shade it in the afternoons. I’ve trained a passionflower vine around the latticework, and periodically it produces dozens of baroque (and rather louche, I think) flowers. Not surprisingly, the southwestern US was not as heavily populated before the days of AC. This year has been unusually rainy, but in a typical year this region is semi-arid. I’m working on xeriscaping parts of my backyard, but of course the lawn can be pretty water-intensive (looks like crap when it dries out too-I’ve tried that).



Recycled tote bags August 6, 2007

Posted by barn owl in crochet, recycling.

Just a quick post before going off to teach anatomy lab (difficult dissections today: contents of vertebral canal, suboccipital triangle). Good thing that one year of Iyengar yoga practice has improved my posture, opened my shoulders, and reversed the overpronation of my feet, else I’d be a wreck after a few hours of teaching.

I’ve been crocheting tote bags from yarn made with strips cut from plastic carrier bags and newspaper wrappers. People are happy to donate their stashes of plastic! Two bags are shown below; they work great for holding produce picked from the garden.

Recycled Plastic Totes

Sea Lemon August 5, 2007

Posted by barn owl in coral reefs, crochet, molluscs.
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Sea lemons are dorid nudibranchs which may sport colored projections, or tubercles, on the mantle. I’ve encountered the Pacific or speckled sea lemon (Anisodoris nobilis) in tidepools along the Oregon coast, and there is also a Monterey Bay sea lemon (Archidoris monteryensis). The dorid nudibranchs are named for the Oceanid Doris, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys.

Pacific sea lemon, crocheted from golden acrylic yarn and fuzzy pale yellow baby yarn, with wooden beads to represent the tubercles. Photographed with the coral sea lettuce, crocheted using hyperbolic method, from variegated acrylic yarn:

Pacific Sea Lemon

Crocheted Aplysia July 31, 2007

Posted by barn owl in crochet, molluscs.
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Welcome to my blog about arts and crafts with a nature/environmental theme, often including items made from recycled materials.

I don’t live on the coast any longer, but I’ve always found the ocean and its wildlife to be very inspiring and fascinating. The photo is of a crocheted marine mollusc called a sea hare, species Aplysia californica, an animal commonly used in neuroscience research. I used inexpensive acrylic yarn (leftover from crocheted afghans) for the body, head, and rhinophores, since this type of yarn provides stiffness for shaping. The parapodia are crocheted (the technique is hyperbolic crochet, to provide waviness) from inexpensive novelty yarn, which is very soft and fuzzy.

Aplysia californica