Flowers #530BR, 478BR, 526AR & 530CR

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August 20, 2016

Orange Stars, whose botanical name is Ornithogalum Dubium, is a species of flowering plants in the Asparagaceae family that is native to the mountainous region of South Africa, where it grows in stony, clayish soil. Growing to a height of nearly twenty inches, the bulbous perennial spouts up to eight lance-shaped, deep green leaves and bears fifteen to twenty spherical-shaped, tangerine colored flowers per each stem. The small, six-petal blooms often have a green or brown center.

Nearly unknown in the United States, where it is hardy only in zones eight through eleven, Orange Stars are said to be a much sought after potted plant throughout Europe. The plant prefers a sandy, well-drained, neutral pH soil and a bright, indirect sun. Water your plant so it is moist, but not soggy during the growing season, as the bulbs can rot if too wet. The bulbs can also rot if they remain wet during its winter dormant season.

If grown in containers, a sporadic drying out of the potting mix can cause significant damage to the plant’s delicate root system. Spent flowers should be removed from the plant as they die, and after the plant has finished flowering, the stems should be cut back as well. Once the plant has yellowed, prune the entire foliage to the ground.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Lilies #1651AR, 1655CR, 1644BR, 1646AR, 1645AR & 1641AR

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August 13, 2016

Lilies, whose scientific name is Lilium, has more than one hundred gorgeous species in its family. There are many plants that have lily in their common name; however, not all are true Lilies. Two examples of this misnomer are Day Lilies and Peace Lilies. True Lilies are mostly native throughout the temperate climate regions of the northern hemisphere of planet Earth, although their range can extend into the northern subtropics as well. This range extends across much of Europe, Asia, Japan and the Philippines and across southern Canada and throughout most of the United States.

Lilies are very easy to grow. They are not especially particular about soil neither type nor pH level. Their only requirement is well-drained soil. Lilies grow best in full sun; however, they may thrive in partial sun as well. An interesting fact about this plant is that most Lily bulbs have very thick roots that have the ability to pull the bulb down into the soil at a depth that is most optimum for their continued survival.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Lilies #2515AR, 2544AR, 2524AR & 2543AR

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August 6, 2016

Lilies, whose scientific name is Lilium, has more than one hundred gorgeous species in its family. There are many plants that have lily in their common name; however, not all are true Lilies. Two examples of this misnomer are Day Lilies and Peace Lilies. True Lilies are mostly native throughout the temperate climate regions of the northern hemisphere of planet Earth, although their range can extend into the northern subtropics as well. This range extends across much of Europe, Asia, Japan and the Philippines and across southern Canada and throughout most of the United States.

Lilies are very easy to grow. They are not especially particular about soil neither type nor pH level. Their only requirement is well-drained soil. Lilies grow best in full sun; however, they may thrive in partial sun as well. An interesting fact about this plant is that most Lily bulbs have very thick roots that have the ability to pull the bulb down into the soil at a depth that is most optimum for their continued survival.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Sunset Over The Pacific #112A, 114A, 115A & 116A

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July 30, 2016

Sometime around 1981, I went on a “business” trip out west to Los Angeles. Leaving Columbus, Ohio in a thirty-two foot Winnebago, besides myself there were one of my brothers, a cousin and an older gentleman who was a childhood friend of my uncle. Though I had never driven such a vehicle, I drove nearly the entire trip. The only time I did not drive was when passing through Chicago and in LA. Also along for the ride were Mary Jane and Timothy Leary.

We first drove up to Minneapolis, Minnesota where we dropped off my brother who was going to help another cousin move back to Ohio. From there, we headed to the land of enchantment. Arriving in LA, we discovered that the item being purchased would not be ready until the next morning, so we headed down the coast to find a spot along the beach in which to spend the night. It was while parked along the Pacific Ocean that these photographs were taken. Driving back to LA the next morning, we picked up what we were after and headed home. When passing through Oklahoma City, we dropped off my cousin at the airport who caught a plane to Minneapolis to help his brother move back home.

All told, we made the roughly five thousand mile round trip in seven days. Thankfully, the journey was made uneventfully, except for some fog so thick while passing through Missouri you could have cut it with a knife.

Needless to say, it was a wild trip.

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Did An American Presidential Candidate Commit Treason?

July 27, 2015

If it appears that this presidential season cannot get any weirder, it did so this morning when Donald Trump called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s thirty thousand deleted emails. Who among us has never deleted thousands of emails over the years? However, what makes his comment ever more alarming it that it comes just days after WikiLeaks published online nearly twenty thousand emails that were hacked from the Democratic National Committee’s computer system over the course of at least the past twelve months. Not only did the hack result in the theft of that organization’s emails and internal reports but also data from other organizations with ties to the federal government. Democrat leaders are placing blame on Russia.  Urging a hostile, foreign government to conduct a cyber attack on an American citizen from her days as Secretary of State might be construed as treason.

The Democrats are not just assuming Russia is responsible for the breach of security, as an internal investigation led by CrowdStrike, Inc., a cyber security firm, has traced the hack back to two organizations with ties to Russian intelligence. Two additional cyber security firms with knowledge of the investigation, FireEye, Inc. and Fidelis CyberSecurity have corroborated this theory.

Most Americans would assume that Trump is only making light of a very serious situation, especially considering all the outrageous things he has said during the past year, however, he is running for president of the United States. The potential leader of the free world should be smart enough to know not to say something as stupid as what he did, even if said jokingly.

Cyber security is such a serious matter that it can bring any nation to its knees. A major breach of a nation’s electrical grid can turn a military or industrial power into total chaos within a matter of days. What I find truly alarming regarding computers controlling all aspects of our lives is that this nation’s ICBM missile system, one-third of our Nuclear Triad is still operating on eight-inch “floppy” discs. Most Americans have probably never heard of such outdated technology, yet these discs are running our nuclear missile system, a system that has the potential to destroy the world in which we live.

Americans should be horrified!

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Zinnias #113AR, 109AR, 112AR & 108BR

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July 23, 2016

Zinnias are a genus of twenty species of flowering plants of the Asteracea family. However more than one hundred different varieties have been cultivated since crossbreeding them began in the nineteenth century. Zinnias, which is also its botanical name, are native to the scrub and dry grasslands of southwestern United States, Mexico and Central America. Noted for their long-stemmed flowers that come in a variety of bright colors, Zinnias are named for German professor of botany Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727-1759).

A perennial flowering plant in frost-free climates, Zinnias are an annual everywhere else. With leaves opposite each other, their shapes range from linear to ovate, with colors from pale to middle green. The blooms come in different shapes as well, ranging from a single row of petals to a doom shape. Their colors range from purple, red, pink, orange, yellow and white to multicolored. There are many different types of this flower. They come in dwarf types, quill-leaf cactus types and spider types. Fully grown Zinnias range from six inches high with a bloom less than an inch in diameter to plants four feet tall with seven-inch blooms. This plant will grow in most soil types, but thrives in humus-rich, well-watered, well-drained soils. They like the direct sun at least six hours a day; however, they will tolerate just the afternoon sun.

If grown as an annual, they can be started early indoors around mid April. Any earlier and they just might grow too large to manage as the plant germinates in only five to seven days. However, these plants are said to dislike being transplanted. If seeding is done outdoors, they should be sown in late May, after the threat of the last frost, when the soil is above sixty degrees. They will reseed themselves each year. Plant the seeds a quarter-inch deep, covered with loose soil. For bushier plants, pinch off an inch from the tips of the main stems while the plant is still young.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring
Earth

The Greatest Businessman Of All-Time. By A Lot.

July 20, 2016

How is it that the greatest businessman of all-time has filed for bankruptcy numerous times on his Atlantic City casinos, when the number one rule in gambling is that the house always wins? Making his business record even worse is that Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy on his Taj Mahal casino only one year after it opened. I’m no businessman (I do have an accounting degree), but that just doesn’t sound right. Most political pundits opine that Trump has filed for bankruptcy four times, but in fact, the actual number is six. They are:

1. Trump Taj Mahal (Atlantic City, New Jersey) in 1991,
2. Trump Castle (Atlantic City, New Jersey) in 1992,
3. Trump Plaza & Casino (Atlantic City, New Jersey) in 1992,
4. Plaza Hotel (New York, New York) also in 1992,
5. Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts in 2004 and
6. Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009.

In 1995, Trump created the Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts to bring all his casinos, including one in Gary, Indiana under the control of one company. After declaring bankruptcy in 2004 on this venture, Trump changed its name to Trump Entertainment Resorts.

With six bankruptcies under his belt, one would think Trump would be embarrassed by his business record of accomplishment, yet the world’s all-time greatest businessman boasts how he has swindled bankers throughout his career. When you also consider that Trump has been sued thirty-five hundred times over the years, including the ongoing lawsuit against the world’s all-time greatest university, Trump U., it makes me think that things just might not be what they seem. Especially considering how he refuses to release his tax returns, something every presidential candidate has done so since Richard Nixon. Trump gives the excuse that he is being audited, however, so was Nixon in 1972.

Law prevents the IRS from releasing a person’s tax returns, but nothing prevents a person to do so while being audited. Seems like he has something to hide, especially considering that when he released his returns in 1981 when he was getting involved in the casino industry, he paid no federal tax. What’s funny is that he has the nerve to call Hillary Clinton “crooked.”

Even more ironic is that the universe’s greatest businessman of all-time labeled Senator Ted Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted” even though fact checkers have determined that seventy-five percent of what the donald (non-capitalization purely intentional) espouses are not true. Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter behind Trump’s “The Art Of The Deal,” has been quoted as saying, “Lying is second nature to him.”

Abraham Lincoln was right when he opined “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Steven H. Spring
Earth