Monday, May 19, 2008

Young Oak Vineyards - Vol. 9: Botany !!!?!

March 26, 2008

Hi All:

I have to make a confession now.  When I applied for my bachelor's degree in biology, I had never got around to taking botany, a required class for the degree.  Since I was entering the graduate program at the same institution, they gave me my bachelor's anyway, but required me to take botany as a graduate course before I could advance in my master's program.  At about half of a semester into graduate program, I grew weary of another 2 to 3 years of college, so withdrew and follow my nose into the field of ?:

But that is a whole other story, for another time!  So, now that I am actually teaching biology, and we do cover botany, I kinda have to get my pistils and stamen straight!  Fortunately, I have picked up a few things about plant physiology here and there.  And depending how things work out this summer, I may get to spend a week at Texas A&M doing some teacher field work on botany research, where my other good old (long?) friend from kindergarten, Duncan MacKenzie, hangs his hat.  This is from the Texas A&M website "Yell" section:

AGGIE YELL [Hands flat, with index fingers and thumbs touching to form an "A"]

A-G-G-I-E-S , A-G-G-I-E-S,
 Aaaaaaaa , Fight 'em, Aggies !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Texas & Football, what can I say!  

Well , the grapevines buds are growing with each day of sunshine.  And the leaves are now forming, as you can see from the attached photo.  With the watering system in place, with a big thanks to friend of the family Gary Fine lending a hand this last week, the concern now shifts to survival.  The deer should be kept at bay by our fencing albeit only six feet tall.  And the gophers actually do not eat the grapevines, but are more of a menace to the root system, so we don't expect too many loses there.  But the big concern are the rabbits!  Other than Elmer Fudd's approach, anybody have good ideas?

On vigil down in the vineyard, John

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