Moso is a very old species. They say it can remember Cliff Richard’s first single.
So moso is careful. It won’t shoot till things are just about right. It will wait for its best chance. Adequate rain around spring equinox should bring it on. A warm winter after a moist autumn won’t convince it: look here…nothing happening.
I’m not saying moso should have the confidence of a mulberry. A White Shahtoot mulberry will rush into leaf and start forming fruit at the merest breath of warmth. Mulberries are fearless…or stupid. (Yes, White Shahtoots are delicious, but, no, I don’t get to eat mine. Flying foxes usually eat them before the bowerbirds, who are usually too busy at that time with my grafted loquats etc.)
The pawlonia is usually careful, and, if it flowers, there’s reason to believe that the heavy frosts are over. Mind you, it’s only had a few decades to learn about Australian weather. Here’s one of mine doing its spring-thing.
The light fragrance on warmish nights is worth an evening stroll. (Interestingly, I’ve seen the same species growing and flowering out of cracks in the stone above the Seine: about the only vegetation that isn’t hacked into strict geometrical shape in the most Cartesian of cities.)
Some tea before bed?
Shu is the name given to puerh tea when it’s been fermented like black tea. It’s different to black tea because of the initial sun-drying and the broad Yunnan leaf used in production. It’s different to raw puerh being earthier, smoother and less nuanced. The point is that it doesn’t need so much aging, which is why the process was introduced a few decades ago by the famous Menghai factory.
Shu can be made from fine, fine golden buds, or blended using various leaf-grades for a balanced effect. Tonight I just had to have some coarser stuff, with a hint of stagnant pond-water but sweet with a most wonderful slidey-smoothness. Don’t worry, it’s well made by the respectable Boyou factory, and the pondy flavour will go away in a few years. Trouble is, I like a bit of pondiness. Getting freaky.
Tonight I’ve been re-reading a book which had a lot of success in the eighties. It was an adventure yarn done right. Its author has himself led an adventurous life, and he is, among other things, the inventor and promoter of a controversial desalination process. A bit potty, and certainly pulpy…all of which puts him in the company of some good scribblers.
Can you guess? I’ll post later.