Yesterday, my pet sitter back in the U.S. pointed out that the flowers in the last post were not peonies, but crocus. Like I said, I'm not a gardener, but she's lucky I didn't call them Rhododendrons. For years now, my brother TravelMarx, who has a botany passion, has tried to educate me on plants and flowers. But to no avail, I can only remember one name. And when he quizzes me, that one name is my go-to answer: Rhododendron.
"What type of Rhododendron is this," I asked TravelMarx in an email sent with these photos.
TravelMarx to me is like a human Google. When I need to know something, I just ask him. The only difference is, TravelMarx doesn't usually just give me the answer, he makes me work for it. And while Google is a TravelMarx-approved educational tool, Wikipedia is not. While Wikipedia is a great place to start, its information is generally is too high level to really understand the nuances of any given subject. So TravelMarx always encourages me to inquire deeper.
As a child, I was a terrible school student, with barely passing grades. TravelMarx tutored me. Over the years he made learning into a game and tapped into my competitive spirit to inspire me to do better. Soon, I was getting A's in just about every subject, and in high school, was one of those geeky kids in the honors classes who actually gave a shit about her grades. His inspiration is what motivated me into college and all the way through graduate school. I've always been proud of my education and I have him to thank for it. But I am currently not doing a thing with either degree. In fact, I'm not even employed.
And I suppose I have him to thank for winding up an unemployed bum in Switzerland. Ya, so thanks TravelMarx!
So when I asked him what type of flower this was, I had to preface it with something that would make him feel better about just giving me the answer. Like, "I'm planning to photograph all those tulips in Morges and write about what I learn" or something to the tune to show that I'm not looking for the easy way out. Either that, or I have to come off so entirely stupid, he just rolls his eyes and gives me the answer. You gotta give me props for at least being clever enough to work my own mentor, right?
TravelMarx told me it looks like a Magnolia tree but he didn't know the species because he'd need to see the blossoms before they bloomed. Whatever TravelMarx. I let this one slide since you're claiming not to have all the information.
So here's your silly Magnolia trivia for the day.
No cash for the treat jar but you'd like to show the love? No problem! Connect with me on LinkedIn and endorse my creative writing skills. Thanks for the love!
"Your project is guaranteed to meet superior Siberian standards or I will fatally masticate it. You have my "woo" on that!"
"I keep your project safe from crows, coyotes, and flies. I prefer to be paid in salmon treats and tennis balls."
"I manage the treat jar & the staff's daily payroll of cookies and bones. The staff is excellent at math and let me know when I come up short."