In February 2021 we were able to meet for the first time in a year – on line – to view and hear a talk entitled Delightful, Delovely , Deranged by Nancy Stevens in Glasgow. Her audience in the balmy south enjoyed seeing and hearing about some of the amazing wonders of nature.
- The Japanese hold Iris celebrations where weddings are conducted whilst couples are rowed through waterways lined with Iris.
- Hydrangeas in all their glory, flowering at the start of the rainy season, attract orderly crowds. A centenarian grower had replanted a field previously used to grow tangerines, with many-hued Hydrangeas which now attracts over 20,000 visitors a year.
- In South America the Atacama Desert will burst into colour after the rarely seen rain; lizards who normally live on grubs will, for a short time, feast on this vegetation.
- Wax pines in Columbia looking like exclamation marks in the landscape grow to 200′ dwarfing horses grazing beneath.
- The more southerly American coastline has trees from the Euphorbia family which are highly poisonous, dripping deadly sap – certainly a visitor deterrent!
- The cannon ball tree with long racemes of pink/white flowers goes on to produce dangling hard ball fruit, these smell revolting to us but are eaten by cattle.
- With a more pleasant smell, Damask roses, grown in Bulgaria are distilled for Rose oil, it is so resistant to heat it is used to lubricate rocket parts.
- There is a type of Fir tree, also growing to 200′, which only responds to light stimulus , lacking a response to gravity. When grown in equatorial regions it grows up straight, in other latitudes it will lean alarmingly – and then probably just fall down!
Towards the end of the talk we were treated to a picture of an English woodland carpeted with a sea of bluebells. Surely the best sight of all as our own Spring emerges.