Unique eh?


This week’s Photo Challenge is Unique

1. A unique plant

The neighbor who gave me the night-blooming cereus, gave me another plant with similar stick like stems, and last winter it produced three delicate, large, pink flowers that lasted for several weeks. This winter it gave me one flower. I think I gave it too much fertilizer after it bloomed.

I don’t know what it is. Do you?

flower pot on my patio

 several different succulents in the pot on my patio


2. A unique person:
I met twelve-year old Faith Butterfield at my cash register a couple of years ago when she and her younger sister visited the museum with their “tutor” David Mehnert.

David told me Faith was an “autistic artist savant“.

“A what?” I said.

“A savant is someone with impaired social functions, in Faith’s case she doesn’t communicate verbally, but she’s extraordinarily skilled in art,” he said.

He had my attention.

“I have to show you how talented she it. Hey Faith you’ve got five minutes to do a drawing of Rosie,” he told her.

Faith took out her pencils, and did a portrait of me at my cash register.  When David made her go back to add some color, she included my purple glasses. I think it’s brilliant.

Faith did my portrait

Faith drew my portrait in five minutes

Thank you Faith. I apologize that your story got trapped in my files.


3. A unique food

Have you eaten Fiddleheads, the unfurled fronds of a young fern?

The tiny green spirals, which are the premium wild forage vegetable of spring, emerge around the first week of May in the lowland forests from the Great Lakes to the Maritimes of Canada.

I ate them in Canada a few years ago. They have a mild taste similar to asparagus, and are easy to cook.


We ate these Fiddleheads for our dinner

4. A unique place.

Happy Birthday wishes to Grand Central Terminal aka Grand Central Station in New York City, which is one hundred years old today.

The station used by over 150,000 commuters every day, is one of the busiest in the world.


Grand Central Station (photo credit FreeFoto.com)

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Do you agree with me that fiddleheads are delicious? Can you identify my plant with the beautiful pink flowers? Have you been to Grand Central Station? What do you think of my portrait?

About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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89 Responses to Unique eh?

  1. Could the flower be an orchid cactus (Epiphyllum)?
    Love the drawing of you 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      Wow I think you’re right – it certainly looks like an orchid cactus (Epiphyllum). Thanks Tara.
      btw did my post come up on your reader?

      • Fabulous flowers and great photo. I keep forgetting that succulents can flower – I am so fascinated by how the ‘leaves’ are constructed, so when flowers show up, it is an extra bonus.

        I get your post announcements via email.

      • dearrosie says:

        I didn’t know that there was such a thing called an orchid cactus.
        It gets very big – the green “sticks” are spreading all over the patio.
        Not all my succulents get flowers and I didn’t expect anything from this poor plant. The nice neighbor gave it to me so I put it outside…

        I’m using the reader to simplify things but this post of mine didn’t appear on my reader.

  2. Wow, didn’t know people ate fiddleheads.
    Like the drawing of you!

    • dearrosie says:

      We dont get Fiddleheads in California. I’ve only eaten them once when I was in Canada the week they were in season. They are really tasty.
      Yaay a vote for the drawing. I like it too. 😀

  3. Debra Kolkka says:

    I have never eaten fiddleheads, I didn’t know you could. I think the plant is a type of Zygocactus, but I am not really sure. I love your portrait and I will be in New York in a couple of weeks and I will revisit Central Station…one of my favourite places in NY.

    • dearrosie says:

      Fiddlehead season is very short – a week or so of early spring – so unfortunately you won’t be able to find it in NYC in February, but I would imagine Grand Central will be partying all year so that should be fun. Yesterday the shops were all going to charge 1913 prices!

      I’ll look up “Zygocactus”. Thank you Debra.

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  5. nrhatch says:

    I’ve never tried fiddleheads . . . but I’ve been to Grand Central Station. 😀

    Love the portrait Faith did of you, much better than I could manage in 5 minutes.

    • dearrosie says:

      Fiddleheads don’t grow in your part of the world – its too hot. If you ever find yourself in the lowland forests from the Great Lakes to the Maritimes of Canada during early spring you’ll be lucky to eat them.
      I was surprised to learn that Grand Central station was only 100.

      That’s another vote for my portrait. Thank you Nancy.

  6. Larooby says:

    I’d enjoy eating fiddleheads in Grand Central Station sitting next to a flowering succulent … it could happen…!

  7. sybil says:

    Not sure what your plant.is, ‘cept it’s purdy.
    The portrait is lovely.
    Yep, I have had fiddleheads — I’m Can-ay-jun eh ?
    I do believe I once was in Grand Central Station, but gosh that would have been in the 60’s !

    • dearrosie says:

      I know you’re longing for color at this time of the year Sybil so I hope the photo of the flowers helped ;D
      The portrait is astonishingly good when you think she just did it in a few minutes!
      I don’t know whether you can get fiddleheads in British Columbia? I would imagine them to be plentiful in Nova Scotia with all that rain you get!

      It doesn’t matter how long ago you were in Grand Central Station, you still get the badge of honor because you were there once.

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  10. munchow says:

    It was fun to read about your four uniquenesses. Of the four of them I think Faith is the most amazing. When I lived in New York more than 20 years ago I was photographing Grand Central as one of my personal projects. Fun to see the place again. Fiddleheads I have never heard about before, and neither the night-blooming cereus.

    • dearrosie says:

      My god Otto you sure get around. What a wonderful adventure for a young photographer to live in NYC! I look forward to seeing your photographs of Grand Central! Have you shared them on your blog?

      You’ve never eaten Fiddleheads? Look out for them if you’re in the area ie “in the lowland forests from the Great Lakes to the Maritimes of Canada” in the early spring. They are easy to cook – my daughter made these for our dinner.

      I was astonished to see how effortlessly Faith did my drawing, and how accurate it is.

      The Night-blooming cereus bloomed for me this past summer. The flower gives off an intoxicatingly beautiful scent and lasts just one night. Click on the link above to see the photos.

      • munchow says:

        I guess I do get around. As for those photos of Grand Central, I have not shared them on my blog – and probably never will. Those many years later I take different pictures – and hopefully better. At least they don’t much represent my photo of today.

      • dearrosie says:

        That you get around is an understatement!
        I understand why you’re not keen to share those early pictures on your blog.

  11. Hello Rosie…it is lovely to meet you. Thank you for stopping by my blog to say kind words about my entry into Nancy’s writing desk contest.
    I have been to Grand Central Station (grew up in NYC)…it’s quite an impressive edifice…and we used to hike a lot and did see fiddlehead ferns…but I have not eaten them.:)
    The portrait is amazing…and beautiful…what a precious piece of art for you to have.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Vivian. What a pleasure to welcome you to my blog.
      I was most impressed with your entry into Nancy’s contest.
      I work in an art museum and Faith is someone I met when David the man she was with came up to my cash register. It is amazingly accurate. She captured something about me…
      If you grew up in NYC you must’ve used Grand Central station all the time. Did you know that the stores in the station were going to charge 1913 prices all day? I wonder what the price of a cup of coffee was? Ten cents?

      I don’t know where you live now but if you go to visit relatives in NYC in early spring you’ll be able to try FIddleheads

      You said you used to hike a lot. Have you stopped?

      • I do get to the east coast…but more in the NH area, not NYC. But with all that is happening in my life with picture book writing and other stuff (I’ll be going to Singapore in May to speak at a conference), who knows…I may wind up in MYC at some point in time. My husband has many health issues, so we don’t hike, flyfish, snowshoe, etc as we used to.
        Interesting about the 1913 prices..must have been fun!

      • dearrosie says:

        I’m very interested to learn that you’re going to be speaking at a conference in Singapore. Is that a children’s book conference?
        Sorry to hear your husband’s health issues have kept you both away from hiking, and flyfishing.

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  14. Sartenada says:

    How nice. I love Your beautiful photos, but most of all I love “night-blooming cereus”. I have never seen it! Thank You showing it.

    • dearrosie says:

      The evening when the night-blooming cereus bloomed was an experience I’ll never forget- the flower opened in just an hour or two and once fully open it gave off an intoxicating scent that made my knees week. I’ve included the time on all the photos in my post.

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  17. adinparadise says:

    I really love Grand Central. It’s really special. Faith was certainly very quick to sketch you, and the purple glasses are a nice touch. 🙂 The Fiddleheads sounds very nice. I’ve never seen them here though. No idea what the plant is called, but the flowers are beautiful.

    • dearrosie says:

      To celebrate Grand Central Station’s birthday the shops were charging 1913 prices. Imagine eating breakfast in NYC for what, fifty cents? Hah! Sorry I wasn’t there.

      Faith captured something of me in her sketch. I didn’t include a photo of me but my glasses are purple. 😀

      I know you travel a lot but I don’t know where you live. Fiddleheads grow in a narrow band around the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Look for them if you’re ever in the area in the early spring.

      I don’t know whether I only got one bloom this winter because I gave it fertilizer in the summer. I hope I’ll get a whole bunch of flowers next winter.

  18. bronxboy55 says:

    No idea about the plant, but that drawing of you is spectacular. I wonder if Faith has a collection of her caricature-portraits; I bet they’d make a great exhibition.

    I had fiddleheads last year for the first time. Some friends cooked them in tomato sauce, and to my shock I really liked them. I’ve been to Grand Central hundreds of times. It’s a stunning place, but hard to appreciate when you’re rushing to get somewhere.

    Great post, Rosie.

    • dearrosie says:

      I also wonder whether Faith has a collection of her caricature-portraits. I hope that she finds my blog and tells us about herself.

      I’m glad to hear you tasted Fiddleheads and enjoyed them. I know you don’t like many new foods 🙂

      I’m not surprised to hear that BronxBoy has been to Grand Central many times.

  19. Wow, Rosie, Faith’s drawing is amazing! If that isn’t unique, I don’t know what is!

    Sorry to have been so absent recently. We are getting ready to sell our house in the US and move to Ecuador, and that process has been all-consuming. So glad not to have missed this post, however.


  20. I’m familiar with fiddleheads but haven’t tried them. We forage for mushrooms around the same time of year as the ferns appear, but I’ve never known anyone who knew enough about the ferns to teach me which ones to pick and how to prepare them. I’d love to try them though.

    Your picture is fabulous. You look like a comic book heroine! Yeah Rosie!

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m ever so impressed that you know your mushrooms so well you can forage for them in the spring. I hope you can find someone to teach you which Fiddleheads to pick. They are easy to cook.

      Do you think the portrait make me look as though I’m going to go flying in the air doing good deeds with Wonder Woman?

  21. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Rosie, these four unique veggies, people, flowers, and places were intriguing. They really reveal that you have wide interests! Faith’s drawing so impressed me. She has such confidence as an artist.

    I don’t know what the plant is but I bet some of your comment-tators do!

    I’ve seen fiddleheads in the North Woods of Minnesota but never eaten any.

    And I have been in Grand Center Terminal back in 1957 when I traveled to New York for a meeting during my college years. What a wonderful place.

    Take care and have a great week. Peace.

    • dearrosie says:

      Its true I do have wide interests – I think it comes from living in three countries.
      Faith drew my portrait with such ease and confidence – no need for an eraser.
      I think the plant is an orchid cactus – identified by Tara who lives in China.
      Perhaps you’ll try fiddleheads next time you’re somewhere in the spring and they are on the menu?
      I wonder how much Grand Central Station has changed in the half a century since you were there?

  22. Yahobahne says:

    You have very unique tastes. I love the flowers, but am more interested in tasting the Fiddleheads. I love asparagus. Beautiful and colorful pictures. AHA! Thank you for sharing.

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you for dropping in Yahobhne. I’m glad to know you like my photos.
      If you like asparagus you should try Fiddleheads – they have the same mild flavor.

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  24. rynnasaryonnah says:

    Love the portrait!

  25. Arindam says:

    Rosie Auntie, let me tell you it’s a unique post! I’ve not read something like this before. You always choose unique themes for your posts and that make them more interesting. And I too loved your portrait. 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you Arindam. It always makes me very happy to know that all the way over in India you found my posts interesting. And like my portrait.
      Thank you for your comment.

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  28. Even though the name of our food co-op is Fiddleheads, I don’t believe I’ve ever had any. I can’t identify your plant with the gorgeous pink flowers, but I will say that your succulents look a lot larger and more bright and colorful than the hens-and-chicks succulents we can grow here in our gardens. Yes, I’ve been to Grand Central Station a number of times. 🙂 I LOVE your portrait – Faith is a very talented artist! Did you get to keep the drawing, Rosie?

    • dearrosie says:

      I think you should ask your food co-op to make a dinner of Fiddleheads for the members – it’s the least they can do.
      We’re lucky in S. California that our gardens don’t get frozen over in the winter, so my succulents can produce flowers like this in December and January. I’ve never grown hens-and-chicks. I think they’re more like a ground cover?
      I did keep the drawing Barbara.
      Thanks for commenting.

  29. You must have that portrait in a special place in the house. It’s such a friendly portrait making you want to meet the girl behind the purple glasses. I say girl, because this caricature type drawing makes you look ageless, I think.
    I can’t help you with a name for your flower. Can your neighbor help you?
    I have been to Grand Central as a child and then as a college student when I rode the train in to NYC for a seminar at Columbia.

    • dearrosie says:

      I’ve got the drawing in a pile of papers on my desk. Although David told me to be sure to frame it, I haven’t yet. I know I should.
      I would imagine that a child who goes to Grand Central Station would find it a bewildering experience of too many people rushing by to catch their train…

  30. Love them all but my favorite, your picture. People do are unique and what makes them more amazing are what’s in their heart and the talents/gifts they have. Have a beautiful weekend.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi IT,
      I have too many Museum stories “trapped” in my files. Faith drew the picture of me some time ago – I’m glad I was able to share it. She is very talented. I wonder whether she’s still drawing.

  31. Reggie says:

    I can’t identify the plant for you, I totally love the portrait that Faith drew, I have never eaten fiddleheads (they do look exactly like the head of a fiddle!), and I have never been to Grand Central Station. An excellent interpretation of the theme ‘Unique’!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Reggie,
      How nice to see you again 😀 Thanks for your great comment.
      Next time you come to the US I hope you can visit Grand Central Station and eat fiddleheads (if you like asparagus you’ll like them).

      I have way too many Museum stories “trapped” in my files. I’m so glad I finally shared this one. Faith is very talented.

  32. aFrankAngle says:

    Sorry … but I’m not helpful on the info you are seeking. Meanwhile, I once recall being to NYC’s GCS. Stunning!!!

  33. Wow, so cool! I must add trying fiddleheads to my bucket list!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi PC
      Its a great treat to eat something like fiddleheads perhaps because they aren’t available year round – they have to be eaten fresh.
      Thanks for commenting.

  34. Kathy says:

    Rosie, this is a very unique post. I am not sure if I’ve eaten fiddleheads. We harvested what we thought were fiddleheads and tried to eat them one spring, but spit them out because they were not good at all. Can not identify the plant. Have been to Grand Central Station when visiting our daughter and loved it! And that is one awesome portrait. What a gift to come shining into a day.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Kathy,
      I think you live in the fiddlehead region so you should look out for them in the spring – perhaps you’ll find them at farmer’s markets.
      It seems that most of my blogging buddies who live in the US have been to Grand Central. I find that interesting!
      I can’t explain why I took so long to share Faith’s portrait of me. I get so backlogged…

  35. Val says:

    I’ve never eaten fiddleheads but they look like… what do they look like? Asparagus? I can’t remember. They look like something. Maybe they look like themselves? 🙂

    Never been to America so have only ever seen Grand Central Station in photos (saw on yesterday). And now the one here.

    Autistic Savant – Her picture of you is very sweet. They can be incredibly talented. There’s a very famous one, Stephen Wiltshire (wait to skip the ad at the start, sorry about that – only a few seconds of it):

    • dearrosie says:

      If you haven’t eaten fiddleheads over in the UK I guess the only place in the world where they grow is a narrow band from the Great Lakes to the Maritimes of Canada. Wow!

      I wonder how many of my blogging buddies have been to Waterloo station in London which has the distinction of being the busiest station on the Tube…

      Thanks for including the YouTube of Stephen Wiltshire. I was going to include something about him, but decided the post was too long already. It is unbelievable to watch him drawing.
      Thanks for your comment Val.

  36. souldipper says:

    I agree, Rosie, the purple glasses are classic! What a unique gift to be given! 🙂

    I LOVE fiddleheads. And we can’t pick just any new fern bud, either… they generally have to come from the Eastern part of Canada. Our western ones…I think they are too bitter, but I haven’t had the desire to try them. The most famous ones come from Newfoundland. But that may be the Newfoundlanders bragging! 😀

    How are you healing?

    • dearrosie says:

      Thanks for explaining why we can’t eat the fern buds on the west coast. I guess must be a certain variety of fern that aren’t bitter and too they have to freeze over winter. I don’t know whether the Newfoundland fiddleheads are the best. I’ve eaten the Ontario variety and they were simply delicious.

      As far as I know I think I’m healing very well thank you Amy. I see the periodontist today, I hope he agrees with me. 😀

  37. Just want to thank you for the recent comment. Always a joy to hear from you. Wishing you a week full of adventures.

  38. I see someone has already told you that it’s not a Cereus but instead an Epiphyllum. Snail bait will control the snails.

    • dearrosie says:

      Thanks for helping identify the plant Russel. Do you have them in your garden? Do you know whether one should give these plants fertilzier?
      I don’t like putting out something like snail bait because our MontyCarlo would find it!

      • Yes, I do have epiphyllums. No, you don’t need to fertilize them. Cactus and succulents don’t need anything other than sunshine.

        I don’t know what a MontyCarlo is, but if you don’t like to put out snail bait, then get some fine mulch and spread it around the top of the soil. Make sure it’s fine. That tears the snails little tummies, causing them to dessicate and die. After a couple of them sacrifice themselves, the other snails know. They are not dumb.

      • dearrosie says:

        Last winter when my little plant put out so many flowers at once I was so excited I immediately started giving it cactus fertilizer, and ditto when the night blooming cereus bloomed in the summer… I didn’t know there were plants that didn’t want fertilizer! I hope they forgive me and produce more flowers this year. 🙂
        A MontyCarlo is our little doggie. He has a nose that gets everywhere. When I feed fish fertilizer to the pots on the patio I have to lock him inside or he licks it up.
        Thank you for the tip about fine mulch. I’ve never seen a fine mulch though – Is there a brand you recommend?

  39. Robin says:

    I love your portrait! ♥ I can’t identify the flowers, but they are beautiful. I do agree with you about fiddleheads. It’s been a long time since I’ve had them. I’ll have to look for them this year. I wish I knew enough about foraging in the wild to pick them myself, but I always worry that I’ll pick something poisonous. I’ve been to Grand Central Station once, and I don’t think I’ve ever posted the photos I took there. I’ll have to go through the archives someday and pull them out.

  40. Mahalia says:

    Fiddleheads! I dream of spring & fiddlehead season, here in the slump of February’s chill. http://www.drmahaliafreed.com/fiddleheads/

    • dearrosie says:

      Winter’s almost over, its not that long to wait for fiddlehead season.
      Thanks so much for the link to your fiddlehead recipe. Its a shame that most of my blogging buddies have already commented and so will miss it.

  41. Faith is certainly unique, and talented, and those fiddleheads look enticing, but I’ve never had them before. I love asparagus, so I’m sure I would like them. 🙂

  42. impressive post, amiga! your posts have become quite popular, and i am so proud of your success! it’s hard to stay caught up at times, to answer the comments and still find time to read other posts! thank you, always, for the time you spend on my posts!
    (those fiddleheads look so delicious!)

    • dearrosie says:

      My dear amiga,
      A pleasure to see you here Lisa. You know I’m always happy when you manage to pop in.
      Thank you too for acknowledging my visits to your blog. I cannot imagine how people can blog every day and still manage to visit umpteen other blogs.
      I’m glad to know you enjoyed this post. It is a popular one eh?

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