Cryptobiosis. This blog has entered it.

As you might have noticed, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve last updated this blog, but I want to assure you that I don’t want to let it die. It’s just that, except for a brief period of rest in the exotic land of Turkey, my summer has been full of work for my stage (or internship or whatever the hell you want to call it) and my exams – and it’s not over. I still have to complete the stage, write my thesis, take one last exam and choose where to continue my University adventure. So I declare officially that this blog, while not dead, certainly is in a state of cryptobiosis; don’t expect too much in the next few months, even though I might pop up sometimes with something new. See ya, folks.

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Face to face: Pulmonaria apennina

Pulmonaria apennina

Undergrowth in purple.

I’m BAAAAAACK! There are no excuses for such a long absence, but I have been a little busier than usual with the university – and I’ll be in the immediate future too! Recently, I’ve attended a course called “Ecosystemic Laboratory”, which includes a series of excursions in natural parks, and I had the opportunity to learn a lot about the local flora. Here’s Pulmonaria apennina, a protected species that is not very common everywhere, but in some places can be very abundant. The flowers are pink at first, and then become purple, and the leaves present many white spots (the green parenchyma in those spots is reduced). The function of the spots, if they have any, is unknown (it could be for protection from insects, like some exotic plants in which the leaves look like they’ve already been infested, thus prompting the insect to search some other plant) but in the middle ages people believed that, since the spots vaguely looked like alveoli in a lung, the plant was a miraculous cure for respiratory problems. It isn’t, of course, but the trichomes (“hair”) of the leaves caused expectoration, reinforcing the belief. It’s a plant that grows in shadowy places, like the underwood, and flowers around march-april, and its main pollinators are bumblebees (genus: Bombus)

Guess what…

… the only post for the next 7-8 days is gonna be the next Friday’s Featured Organism. Yeah, you guessed it, my blogging is going to slow down a bit for a while, AGAIN. Motivation? Next week I’ll take an exam in Applied Ecology and one in Evolutionary Zoology. Then peace will come for a while – then I’ll have to start thinking about Physics, since, after the passage from Biotechnology to Biological Sciences, I have to retake that exam. Whatevs. Anyway, I’m pretty proud of my relatively continuous dedication to this blog (written in a foreign language, I’d add), especially since at the beginning I was supposed to have TWO guys working on it, then the other guy retired without contributing to anything. So yeah, suck it everyone.