Various mostly-seasonal items today, just 'cause.
Not quite a lawn ornament, technically, because it's not intended to be permanent (the season and amount of deterioriation suggest a Halloween decoration), but close enough. More people should have monsters in their yard. I think it would be good for everybody. (Especially the monster-facsimile-production industry.)
Speaking of monsters: it's poinsettia time again. Ugh.
The previously-mentioned Cryptbergia x rubra flowers have begun to open. I'm underwhelmed. The color isn't even as strong as on Billbergia nutans: both the green and the blue are washed-out. (Admittedly, this is also not a great photo, but the flowers are paler in reality than I was expecting.)
Speaking of the Billbergia nutans -- which has gotten enormous since it arrived two and a half years ago -- it has a flower spike developing on it. I'd really like for it to produce more than one of those at a time, for photographic purposes, but I suppose there's still time.
I have previously reported being unable to smell Freesias. I could smell this particular batch, though. To me, they smelled like Froot Loops, which may or may not be standard. (One person described the smell that way in the previous Freesia post, so . . . possibly.) There may also have been interference from other flowers on the table -- there were tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) and cyclamen and I'm not sure what all else. But so I may not be genetically incapable of smelling Freesia after all. Which I guess is a good thing.
It may not be easy to see from the picture, but what we have here is an artificial tree, constructed around a mechanism that blows tiny styrofoam balls up into the air above the tree, so that they fall down on it like snow. Some collect in the branches, some stick to ornaments via static electricity, and some fall down through the tree to the base, where a pump sucks them in and blows them back up through the tube again. I would have loved the fuck out of this when I was a kid. I bet it's also super-entertaining for households containing static-prone black cats that like to climb things.
The down side: they're expensive. Just the mechanism alone is $200, and then you have to buy a fake tree to cover up the mechanism. It also requires a large floor area, so all the styrofoam balls can be collected (though I bet you some of them find their way under the couch regardless). And of course there's the part where it's hard to decide whether it's cool, or kitschy, or so kitschy that it loops around and meets cool from the other side. I mean, tiny non-biodegradable styrofoam balls pretending to be snow, being propelled into the air by an electric motor that probably ultimately gets its energy from burning coal, so they can fall on non-biodegradable plastic pretending to be a tree! It's so early-21st-century!
Kitsch or not, I want, like, five of them, so I can point them all at one another and have a tiny styrofoam blizzard down in the basement whenever I want. (I suppose it would have to go next to the peat bog.) Anybody who wants to donate $1000 to make this possible should do so via the donation button at top right. I promise to take lots of pictures.