Tuesday, March 3, 2015


After three months of glacial progress,  our amaryllis shot up leaves and a double blossom last week.  And then, like a damp firecracker, it fizzled, turned into a dud, a shoo-shoo.  What had finally looked like a true amaryllis bud revealed itself to be mostly hollow with a few dried out papery proto-flower parts. 

I had started thinking shoo-shoo when I noticed that one of the hyacinth buds in our latest bulb pot was small and only partly developed.  I dug around a little deeper inside the one bud that didn't seem be progressing and found the dried up stump shown in 4125.  I then wondered if that slow-moving amaryllis bud could be a shoo-shoo too.  The rest of these drawings show the withered dried out thin papery flower parts that didn't make it.  There was no evidence of insect damage or mildew,  just undeveloped dessicated almost transparent petals.

I learned the word shoo-shoo in New Orleans when I was a child.  We kids used to go outside on the 5th of July and poke around in the gutters to look for shoo-shoos-- fireworks that had ignited but then fizzled out.  We considered a shoo-shoo to be a lucky find because they were mostly intact, and we knew that if we dried them out completely we would be able to light them and they would explode!  We never, ever succeeded in exploding a shoo-shoo, but that didn't keep us from hunting for shoo-shoos in the wake of every holiday involving fireworks.

1 comment:

  1. And Gwen is correct. Not only did we go out on July 5th to look for "shoo shoos", but we went out on New Years Day. People would light whole packs of firecrackers to watch them dance as they exploded in the middle of the street. But often some of them wouldn't explode. We'd also find unexploded firecrackers with no fuse and bend them in half and light the powder and watch them dance around sending out a shower of sparks.

    Now, we didn't wear any protective gear like helmets or elbow pads or knee pads or gloves. But, we survived intact to this day.