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Take that, rats!

Picture of the Moment

One of my favorite bushes/trees is Iochroma cyaneum. It’s flowers look like this:

Iochroma cyanea

With regular watering, it pretty much blooms all year. Sadly, though, when it is blooming, the big gigantic really really huge East San Diego County boondocks rats eat the flowers.

I have seen the rats jump from the fence and other trees into the Iochroma cyaneum to eat the flowers.

Early this morning I noticed that the leaves were looking a little sad. Sad? Ha! There are no leaves. It has been completely stripped by five of these alien creatures.

Big fat caterpillar

I give up. Sometime this week the remnants of this tree shall be removed and a tall cactus or succulent shall be planted in its place. Take that, rats!


And now you know….

Did you know?

A friend of mine, Kelly Griffin, is one of the world’s foremost hybridizers of aloes, which means he creates new plants without the approval of Mother & Father Nature. When one creates a new plant, one gets to name it. Some of Kelly’s hybrids named by him include:

Aloe ‘Bright Star’

Aloe ‘Christmas Carol’

Aloe ‘Coral Edge’

Aloe ‘Draculas Blood’

Aloe ‘Raspberry Ruffles’

Aloe ‘AJR’

Aloe ‘Papa Woody’

Mother & Father Nature sometimes create hybrids on their own, so simply calling it a hybrid in the plant community doesn’t work because people want to know if it’s a natural hybrid or a human-created hybrid.

There are two ways to write the name of human-created hybrids, one using cv. to mean cultivar, and the other to put the name of the cultivar in single quotes.

Sometimes hybridizers name plants after people (‘Papa Woody’). Other times they name them because of what the plant looks like or what it reminds them of.

One of the more interesting cultivars in the plant world is this one:

Lophocereus schottii cv, Big Penis Cactus

Its name is Lophocereus schottii cv. Big Penis Cactus. It’s a name that is difficult to say in polite company and, perhaps, not safe for viewing at work.

I had four of these plants until I gave one away yesterday to a friend who owns a plant nursery. The following picture shows the other three, with the small one at right being the one I gave away. The middle plant is about four feet tall.

Lophocereus schottii cv. Big Penis Cactus

And now you know….


Double R Creations & Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

Double R Creations

Double R Creations & Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

Several years ago, just before I retired on December 31, 2016, I created Double R Creations with the intent of using the billions of pictures that I have taken since 1966 to create unique stuff, like leather pillows, coffee cups, drinking glasses, 8″x8″ tiles and huge 30″ x 20″ tile pictures, calendars, playing cards, and more.

I’m in the process of creating several calendars featuring my Photographic Art, cacti & succulents, flowers, animals, and one featuring nature’s geometry. Speaking of nature’s geometry, the proof book of Nature’s Geometry: Succulents by Russel Ray (that’s me!) arrived yesterday. Looks like this:

Nature's Geometry: Succulents by Russel Ray

Nature's Geometry: Succulents by Russel Ray

I already have found a place to create leather pillows, as well as canvas, metal, acrylic, and glass prints, all at reasonable prices.

A couple of weeks ago I found a place that can create quality puzzles for me, also at reasonable prices. I ordered two puzzles, and they arrived yesterday. Looks like this:

1014-piece, 30"x20" puzzle from Double R Creations

1014-piece, 30"x20" puzzle from Double R Creations

As items are developed with prices, I’ll announce regularly here at my blog, so stay tuned!

2019 calendars by Russel Ray Creations

I live in my own little world

Many decades ago I had a word processing/publishing company dedicated to faculty, staff, and students at Texas A&M University. One of the things that I created for them were calendars, but they were different. They kept Saturday & Sunday together, so instead of a Sunday through Saturday calendar, they were Monday through Sunday. That was important because of all the weekend activities occurring on a college campus. I mean, it’s called the weekend, so why split it up?

In my retirement years, filled with sheer boredom, I’m back to making Monday through Sunday calendars. My first is titled Cacti & Succulents; it is an 11″x17″ wall calendar.

2019 Cacti & Succulent calendar

It is not proofed yet because I just finished it, so if you find an error, I would appreciate you letting me know. You just might get a free calendar out of it!

I’m going to make these calendars available at a reasonable price, certainly no more expensive than the most expensive calendar I have found so far, which is $21.95. I also am going to give away some free but that will have to wait for another post while I determine how much it will cost to print these things.

I have other calendars in the work, too: Zoey the Cool Cat, flowers, birds, animals, trains, San Diego…. I’m also thinking about a calendar just for YOU using 14 pictures that YOU provide. Stay tuned.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post