Pedagogy of the Plants

Archive for the ‘Succulents’ Category

Baseball and Succulents

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My grandfather was the greatest baseball fan ever, and played minor league ball in Detroit during the Depression.  U.S. Rubber offered him a job because they wanted him to play for their company team.  The male cousins were expected to become professional golfers or baseball players.  He signed me up for private golf lessons in High Point, North Carolina, and I played little league for Tangi Finance in Ponchatoula, Louisiana.   More paternal tales and a DIY succulent planter…

Written by Cameron Brooks

May 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Aloe vera

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Our classroom aloe introduces medicinal plants.  “The Medicine Plant,” as they call it, saves many a trip to the clinic for minor scrapes. The cool, curious gel from a plant in the window cures instantly. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cameron Brooks

January 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Dune Marsh-Elder, Iva imbricada

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Written by Cameron Brooks

December 29, 2010 at 1:03 am

Agave, Agave americana

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Written by Cameron Brooks

December 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Chilean Cactus, Eulychnia acida

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Disputes between locals and mining companies are ubiquitous throughout Chile.  I took these photos in Cochiguaz fifteen days before the Copiapó mining accident.

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 23, 2010 at 2:48 am

Carrion Plant, Stapelia gigantea

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While writing on the porch last October, I sensed movement behind me.  The twisted tip of a large, light yellow carrion flower pod began to unravel.  I watched as four slits widened a few centimeters at a time.  Over the course of forty-five minutes, it splayed wide open in a ten inch base jump from the shelf.

Within minutes, a large black fly arrived to sample the thick white chunks in the center of a flower that smelled like three-day-old roadkill in late July.

The squatting stink bug delivers the stink eye.

Ghost Plant, Graptopetalum paraguayense

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These are the only ghost plant flowers I’ve ever seen.  The plant sits next to a sunny window in the lobby/reception room of the Elqui Domos, in Elqui Valley, Chile.

This planter brings to mind a quote I scribbled in a journal years ago:

The belief that violence is a reasonable and often necessary route to achieving our aims goes unquestioned in most societies. Violence is thought to be the nature of things. It’s what works. It seems inevitable-the last and often, the first resort in conflicts. This Myth of Redemptive Violence is the real myth of the modern world. It, and not Judaism or Christianity or Islam, is the dominant religion in our society.

by Walter Wink

The Myth of Redemptive Violence is a Babylonian creation story.  The “Enuma Elish” (circa 1250 BCE), is a story about two parent gods who give birth to all other gods. The children kill the father because they discover their parents’ plans to kill them all because they make too much noise. Enraged, the battle ensues between the gods and their mother. The youngest of the gods winds-up killing her.

One July, I bought this plant from a woman at a flea market outside of town my students call “La Pulga.”  The specter floated above the stoop in a hanging basket for about a year. Once I swung the door too wide, and knocked it seven feet to the ground.  After a considerable soil hemorrhage left a small hollow under the plant, I noticed an illusive wren flitting back and forth with twigs and other oddments.  The plant thrived while baby birds hatched beneath.

I met a curious mantis climbing the funbox at a local skate spot after a nose manual, then found this little guy on the porch when I got home.

Buenos dias.