I’ve Just Read An Article About Photosynthesis

I’ve just read an article about photosynthesis that was enlightening. It seems that it is very inefficient in plants due to the action of RuBisCo, which does not always select carbon dioxide for the process. Twenty percent of the time it chooses oxygen instead, resulting in the formation of toxic substances. The plant devised means of removing the substance, called photorespiration, requires energy that could otherwise go into plant growth. Scientists created, through gene editing, a shortcut in the pathway leading to the elimination of these toxic materials, and increased the plants size by 40%.

I was watching an Oregon Junco foraging in an unkempt area of the garden and realized what a perfect habitat I had created for it. The area was full of tall hollyhock seed stalks, tall dried grasses, mid sized plants and new emerging sprouts. There were aphid, weed seeds and fresh tender greens. He looked cheerful and energetic as hopped about in his jungle, free from the cats predation. Birds are a primary source of entertainment in the winter garden. I also spotted three Robin Red Breasts, a Blue Scrub Jay, a Rufus Sided Towhee and lots of sparrows. I have also created a perfect habitat for lizards right outside the garden, by the water faucet. In the summer every time I get a cup of water I look over my shoulder to see how many I can find. They survive best with big rocks in sandy gravel so I built them a dry creek bed. The cats find it difficult to get them in that environment so they flourish. One year I got five Blue Belly lizards from my son to stock it with. Their progeny are still there today. One of the best gifts ever 🙂

I’ve trapped two more juvenile rats in the garden, and the cats left one on the back deck for us. The rats are getting smaller, following their big brothers footsteps 🙂 After I drown them in a water trough, I chuck them over the garden fence down towards the creek. Shortly thereafter a crow will circle the area and start going “Caw caw”. It will continue squawking after it lands in the cottonwood trees, as if calling for reinforcements. I don’t think they are comfortable landing in the enclosed area between the blackberries in the creek bed and the tall grape vines of the back garden fence. They prefer to have a lookout before they land on the ground. Crows are very welcome in my environment. Their squawking is entertaining to me. It always interrupts my thinking and makes me happy to be outside. Sometimes when they fly low over the garden I can hear their wings flapping. It feels special, like bird shadows. When bird shadows cross the garden you instantly think a small furry critter is traversing it. “What was that?” followed by “Fooled again” 🙂

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