Thursday, May 15, 2014


St. Helena, CA

All this time, I've thought I was looking at tiny grape clusters. Wrong. I might have flunked Botany, but I didn't even take it, so I've got some catching up to do.

Grapes are hermaphroditic (who knew?), having both male and female sex organs, discreetly covered by those green caps, the grapevine's version of a fig leaf.

So small, a ladybug can't even hide under them.
At bloom the green caps, called calyptra, throw discretion to the wind, break open and expose the organs, which is what happened in our neighborhood this week.

Since the clusters are so close together, neither birds nor bees are necessary to carry the pollen between the buds. They just rub against each other. Once the party's over, the flowers begin to transform themselves into grape berries.

Apparently this is a critical phase in development and various weather and temperature issues can adversely affect the whole way-hey-hey process. So far, so good. Think fertilizing thoughts.

Today, I'm grateful for: red.


  1. Wow, never knew that either. And the roses, have a new appreciation for those!

    1. Thanks for reading, Claire! Come on back over if you get weary of globetrotting… xo