This morning, Emma phoned me on her way to the bus stop to point out that the wooden fences along our street were steaming. It had been very wet yesterday but it was comparatively warm and sunny this morning so the fences were warming up.
A couple of years ago I tried to grow Butternut Squash and one of the plants did quite well and we got 2 squash off it. This year I haven't had a single squash but the plant has grown huge and taken over half of the garden. It has covered the leeks, carrots and shallots so our crop of those has been very poor too.
The recent warm weather seems to have confused some of the other plants in the garden. I recently cut down one of the pepper plants and the wild strawberry plants but some small green shoots have appeared. I expect the strawberries to do ok over the winter but I will probably have to put the pepper somewhere sheltered to see if it survives the winter to give it a good head start in the spring.
I am still getting tomatoes and chilli peppers from the garden although things are ripening quite slowly now. At least those two crops have been successful this year and I have made roast tomato soup several times, often adding some other veg, such as peppers and courgettes, to the roasting pan.
The Clevedon Hamster Show took place today at St Andrews church hall. While the AGM took place, I took the camera and went for a walk. Apart from the photo of the Ground Squirrel, the photos below were all taken in the town.
Click on the thumbnail to view the image
The London Champs small animal show took place today at its new venue, the East of England Showground in Peterborough. We were there as part of the Hamster Club, as usual. The venue was being shared with the East of England Autumn Show so there were more animals to look at, including sheep, pigs and goats.
In part 1, I discussed how early life may have arisen. In this part I will comment on one of the aspects of current terrestrial life - that of molecules symmetry or 'handedness'.
Molecular handedness, which chemists call Chirality, is a property of the 4 bonds which a carbon atom can form. If a particular carbon has 4 different groups of atoms attached to it, then there are two ways of attaching them such that one is a mirror image of the other. These are the two chiral forms, which are referred to as D- or L-isomers depending on the particular arrangement. In the 'skeleton' form of the amino acid Leucine, shown below, triangles mean the bond is pointing towards the viewer and the 'ladder' is a bond pointing away.
This week's science posting is in two parts. Part 1 covers a few theories about how life arose on Earth. Part 2 goes into a bit more detail on the molecules of life.
How Life came to Earth
There are two main theories on how life started on Earth: It came from Outer Space, and it started here on Earth. I will briefly describe the two approaches.
After last week's post about Yeast, I received a couple of questions asking for a bit of clarification. I thought it would be a good idea to post the questions and my response here.