Thursday, November 6, 2014

BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW


DIRTIER ....The Monthly Garden Memoir
AtDianneB_Logo_wHead02 5
Volume 60   November, 2014                                                              

Dianne B                                                                                       
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So, really...did you know:

That swans are double-jointed?
I didn’t either until I saw this

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He/she is having a good scratch and this is a “resting” position, or posture as you will.


That big spring-blooming old Magnolia trees make this gorgeous, and decidedly phallic, seedpod

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They are decidedly lustier this year.

The Chinese variegated dogwood runs a
pretty close second

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This beauty is Cornus kousa 'Klipka' from the
great ForestFarm in southern Oregon

Or how to tell a delicious delectable mushroom
from a toxic one???

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I don’t know either, but these sure do look good.
Research indicates that they are wild and
    edible, but now I've gone to retrieve them
and they are lost under the autumn leaves.
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OH, of course
It is a Ball Jar, and not a Bell jar
in which I capture my slugs.


Screenshot 2014-09-11 13.12.19     Screenshot 2014-09-11 13.12.51

I thank David L Meyers for correcting my mistake in nomenclature.
I chalk it up to Sylvia Plath.


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DELIGHTS of the AUTUMN GARDEN

The peeling bark of the Crape Myrtle is endlessly fascinating - shedding its skin just like our now beloved garden garter snakes

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The shedding is as exciting as the shading...
so beautiful as it emerges

A new-to-me-last-year plant called
Hemiboea subcapitata
  sports a fox-glove-like flower in October
(it could use a better name)
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from the great Glover’s Perennials

Redemption:  For all the floppy Colchicums that never quite live up to their hype,
suddenly there comes along a great one...

Harlequin from the fabulous
Odyssey Bulbs
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But the regualr old floppy ones
do have their own charm,
especially when put in a vase,
particularly this nice hand-shaped one
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There seem to be more and more all-white leaves on the Cornus controversa variegata as it settles
into the garden,
now five years with me.
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Aside from its glistening leaves, Colocasia fontaneisii provides an endless stream of delights
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And the spectacular seedpods of the various Arisaema...
I have them galore this year...
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It's so exciting


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Eventually, the Eucomis all came through
last year's hard winter,
This one didn't make itself known till autumn


Which, again, proves that
good things come to those who wait


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TO TULIP OR NOT TO TULIP?

I am embroiled in the fabulous dilemma of my currently all-encompassing diversion into Shakespeare.
More proof of the above proverb about patience -
perhaps I have been waiting to play
Queen Gertrude in Hamlet
my entire life!

The dilemma:
  The Play's the Thing and all encompassing and comes at the expense of the heaps of bulbs that are piling up
 All have arrived from my favorite five; but aside from uncrating them (they do need to breathe) and categorizing them a bit --
they lie there ignored and unplanted.


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To say I am excited, nervous and exhilarated is an understatement... and so
engrossed that I hardly recognize myself.
Particularly since I have acquired
long hair to be a more adaptable
and regal Queen,
who of course is the notorious
mother of Hamlet.


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                                                                                                                                           Tom Kochie Photo

The tulips and the daffodils in their hard outer shells can wait, of course, but the delicate and tenuous layers of the fragile fritillary and lily bulbs are begging attention

But they must wait because every single breath, every line, every hesitation, every scene change in the
Round Table Theater Company counts...
everyone is dedicated, professional and passionate
about making this a great
Hamlet 


                                                                                                                  
Here we are:

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We open on Friday Novemebr 7.
By then the lines will be learned and the rehearsals done and God willing ... there will still be plenty time to plant.

There are nine performances in the beautiful
John Drew Theater at Guild Hall on three weeknds


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                                                                                                                    Tom Kochie Photo

Fridays and Saturdays @ 7:00pm
November 7 + 8, 14 + 15 and 21 + 22
Sundays @ 2:00pm
November 9, 16 and 23


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                                                                                                             Morgan Vaughan Photo

SO...if you are anywhere near the
East End of Long Island and
if you count yourself as one who would appreciate a thoroughly fresh, fabulous and even funny
production of Hamlet,
Do come.
This is the best cultural $25 ticket you will ever buy.

Buy Guild Hall tickets HERE.


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                                                                                                                 Tom Kochie Photo

A tickler: This is not the long, drawn-out
four hour version -
it is only the best of the best.
(2  1/2 with Intermission)


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                                                                                                                             Tom Kochie Photo

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And speaking of The Best...

For your Fall Gardening Pleasure, I have added my favorite, and most useful, Garden Trug to my site.
DBTrug

Here it is holding eggs and bananas, but
it is perfect for comingling two or three colors of bulbs...or for shuffling in big doses of muscari around the daffodil patch...or for whatever bulbs you need to tote
to the planting holes.
(I never like to go through the trouble of making a big hole and then replacing all that dirt and just wind up with having planted one thing,
like always add some alliums in with the tulips for
another garden layer)
The trug is perfect for these tasks
and is made in America
from beautiful striated Myrtle wood
(yes, like crape myrtles)
and finished with copper nails.
A beauty - each slightly different



Other Dianne B Best news:
1.    There are no more Yard Bags... I think Bosbags are the next best thing, but they do not have long straps..oh well...the Dianne B ones are gone.
2.   Please watch for the next issue of DIRTIER for our exciting Christmas Combinations.
DBBestGardenGauntletGloves
3.   Time to warm up your hands. Fall gardening is upon us. This is when you need the fabulously appropriate lined leather Dianne B. Garden Gauntlet Glove.
Specially priced right now for my dear readers.
$35 -- that is a $10 savings -- S M L

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DO have faith...

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DON’T be dismayed, even though the
figs never did ripen

DO Plant more bulbs than you ever think you will
need or want...it’s never enough


and DO come to see Hamlet

                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                    
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                                                                                                     Morgan Vaughan Photo

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Morgan Vaughan Photo
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Summer's End Garden Memoir



DIRTIER ....The Monthly Garden Memoir
AtDianneB_Logo_wHead02 5        
Volume 59   September, 2014                                                                

Dianne B                                                                                                           
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“How come I haven’t gotten one of those, you know...blogs...you know... those pictures and things
you send”
Well...it's called DIRTIER and it joys me
to hear things like this, so here is some of the
bounty that was summer.

Clematis never happier...
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Little Betty Corning bloomed and bloomed

and though this is just a little portion, Jackmanii
strecthed across half the width of the
Sargent’s Weeping Hemlock, which is
quite an expanse
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Fading leaves of ‘Black Mambo’ with hot orange seed head of Arum italicum
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Bicolor Lespedeza flourishing under the magnolia...
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The precious late-summer blooming Allium pulchellum
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Darmera - the roundest of the
Circular Garden
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Turk's cap lily embracing the sugar Maple as seen through
the weeping Datisca display
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A garden that is only green is not so bad
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SLUG  PATROL
What is that ugly thing?
you say...
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Well, it is a Bell Jar filled with salt and dead slugs.
Though despicable, not nearly as bad as
my slug-gnawed holey
leaves...

I recently learned that the two
things slugs do not like
are
Salt + Coffee Grounds.

So, like crazy I'm spreading all the coffee grounds
I can get my hands on at the base of the plants
they like best
(hydrangeas, dahlias and all of my big leafy things)...
which, let me tell you - takes a lot of coffee -
especially since this is a one cup a day household,
so the gathering of the grounds has become
another entire occupation)

This seems to be working somewhat,
but
picking the slugs off the leaves by my own
Little Black Glove-covered hand
 seems to be most effective.

Even the little baby ones that think they can sneak in
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unnoticed
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are fair game.

As far as I know, slugs serve no good purpose ⎯
unlike the snake and other things that might initially appear to be creepy ⎯

As for the alternatives,
I have tried filling tuna cans with beer.
It is too disgusting.  I have spent a fortune on slug bait, which doesn’t  work and turns into mold while the slugs still slither and so, each evening at home I try to allow about 30 minutes before dark ⎯
when they are the most voracious and audacious –
sliming around right on top of the leaves...
easy to pick

So, 'Slug Patrol' has somewhat saved some
of the garden...

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Tomato as art….grown by Round Swamp Farm,
East Hampton

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Is there a hypernym for GARDEN?
.... or even a generic word?

i.e.  dog is a hypernym for Cocker Spaniel, Briard, Japanese Chin, Poodle etc;
house is a hypernym for villa, shack or cottage or mansion

but a garden is a garden

And in the garden there are lilies – in every season
(more or less) and on most corners of the earth,
in one or another forms, grows the LILY

Here are some from this summer’s array:

The first to plump up on  very strong stems –
the leaves and the buds are almost reward enough  -
The old-fashioned charmer
Lily martagon
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And I have finally found a few Asiatic lilies that I like...
usually too stiff and plasticy...
which is good because they bloom earlier and fill
the gap after the iris.
This is Netty’s Pride, an ungainly name but very early to bloom and lasts a long time and looks good
with everything.
( the pale one with the burgundy blotch)
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the dark lily next to it ...you would think that would be my
first choice, yes?
Well, no, it is named Landini, and is a good color, but lasts
a mere fleeting few days –
so who needs it...

But this one...so full of vigor, such a heady color, lasted forever...
Found it in Breck’s catalogue
but they don't seem to have it this year
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Now, here’s a different thing entirely, and very nice
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Called Purple Prince, these came from Van Engelen, earliest blooming of the trumpet sorts (of course,
not considering the ubiquitous Easter lily, which actually blooms in summer in my yard)...nice, yes, but also quick to go...and this first year ⎯ only 1 bloom per stem ⎯
so no gold stars - yet.
Called an Orienpet...all the catalogues have it
and you know,
it  takes a few years for lilies to really get going.

Like the extraordinary ‘Black Beauty’...
some reached, I’d say
8 feet this year... growing behind the Magnolia macrophylla, which keeps them in check
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a classic Tiger lily peeking around an Oakleaf Hydrangea
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CALLA  Means BEAUTIFUL in Greek
and so much so in the garden...
the abundance of Calla Lilies this year made all that fall digging and endless late spring replanting
Very Worthwhile...

This one...incredible...started blooming in June and
went on and on.
I think it is ‘Mango"...my labelling of the dried old
tubers not very precise
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White ones, the hybrid sort ⎯  not aethoipica
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How about this:  two purple Callas (the one with the black-edged leaves is the greatest: Black Star) neighboring a left-leaning Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’

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I adore the chic black edge on the leaves
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Fantasy array of Calla colors
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A few other sorts of lilies:
Pineapple lily in the lower left and my hardy
VooDoo lily next to the Ganesha
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and of course, Casablanca Oriental lily,
everyone else’s favorite but not mine
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I'll take these beautiful last-to-bloom
Species Lily 'speciosum Alba'
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These "Easter lilies" below are the real thing...
actually lilies that were potted on the altar of our Church at Easter...
blooming last week in the garden.
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Philippe Petit celebrated the 40th Anniversary of his World Trade Center Walk by crisscrossing LongHouse pond exceedingly gracefully four times,
while Paul Winter played the alto sax on a raft disguised as a lotus leaf and Melissa Leo performed Philippe’s feelings like only a real actress can.

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me with him
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He not only walked on this wire...
(same length - same everything as WTC
but not as high)
he laid on it and got himself up with one foot.
Amazing...he is now 65 ...
takes the fear out of getting old.
                                                                                                                                    
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FIGS....!
 
My stepsons have been showing off their figs for
a month already,
but Sonoma is Zone 8 and we are
the cold side of Zone 7...so
we will not be cowed by this from their gorgeous crop
FIGS
     
                                                                                                      Photo: Mark Benson + Charles Sullivan


But We shall have our own Figs too!
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I think...if the sun keeps shining
Right here on Davids Lane
This is due to the impressive winter-wrapping
of our fig tree 'Brown Turkey'.
The total credit goes to Lys Marigold
and her old bathrobes and sheepskins.

So for her and her determination to replicate her
father’s one-time fig orchard in Connecticut,
I have grown this Hollyhock.
A little gardeney for me, but she likes them
and so I nestled it next
to the brick patio (they are suppsed to like protection and walls) and supplied a strong
obelisk-like trellis to give it stamina...
et voilá-
still blooming in September !

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Grapes too, are another of her things, though unlike the appealing shape and leaves of the fig tree,
 these sprawling vines are actually a mess.
 
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OTHER  SORTS of HIGHLIGHTS of AUGUST


Me and godson Jordan Fotouhi-Scholder
Jordan Fotouhi-Scholder
A tennis player, almost 16 - isn't he great?

Opera al Fresco at LongHouse...this choice young tenor
is Steven LaBrie.
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The Wildlife Rescue Benefit
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And a most wonderful experience, August 16 and 17 doing The Tempest
the first Bay Street Shakespeare Initiative –

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with my extraordinary friend John Glover and nine other GREAT actors - eight of whom I had never met before
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I apologize for not letting you all know about it,
especially since the first performance was FREE
in Mashashimuet Park ⎯
but the 2nd night we did it on the banks of an estate
on Shelter Island.
It was not Free, but it was great.
Imagine actually doing The Tempest on an island
with the sea and the night sky behind us...

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Great Guild Hall Garden as Art Tour:
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Look at that Hamptons blue sky over David Salle’s
splendid studio and grounds

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A stone table to covet

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A trio of Fastigiate
maples at RoundHouse
(different than my Monumentale sugar maple,
and maybe, not as tall)

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Dead tree as trellis/sculpture...not sure if this is an invention of Jack Larsen or The Bergsmas, the new owners of RoundHouse

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Judy Bergsma

And the most fabulous fruit tree I've ever seen in the crazy bounteous orchard of
Bettina and Fred Stelle...
these are lousy pics, but the real thing is to die for
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It's an Italian weeping Plum
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In real life, the leaves glisten blue-silver and the plums are succulently black.

Flanking the crazy orchard is a formal,
color-coordinated vegetable garden.
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The cobalt planters mixing with the
blue-green-purple-aqua-celadon
leaves is quite fashionable,
ne c'est pas?
 
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WHY DID I SAY YES?

The Minnesota State Horticultural Society is coming
to tour the garden on September 14th...
The following pics are all of the things that were in full throttle this past week...
But they will NOT see them next weekend.

Good late summer stuff like:
Caryopteris divaricata ‘Fairy’  from the great
Glover Perennials
 found at the abundant
Southampton nursery Lynch’s
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has just lost its blue flowers

The white turk’s cap lily, speciosum alba
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blooming even after Formosa
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is  officially  finished as of this morning...

So, no lilies and
not much beyond some dessicated leaves
and overripe seedpods.

But hoping these Minnesotans have an eye for detail, there are still –
at least as of this writing – some stunners:

A Eucomis flower spike teasing  out the pinkness in  Hydrangea ‘Little Quickfire’ ⎯ A real Proven Winner
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And another ripening Eucomis flowerhead among my beloved Abies koreana ‘Silberlocke’
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And though the Arisaema are all long gone
Thankfully, their seedheads linger on...
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and these garden-lovers might spy this unexpected Glorioso lily climbing way up among the
birch and the willow with the catkins
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The Moss Garden is quite green...
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and there are always special corners like this,
though all are looking a little tattered
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So, bring ‘em on...

(though why they are visiting Long Island gardens
in mid-September is quite the mystery)
         
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THE  BEST @ DIANNE B  NEWS ⎯

This is a little piece of bad news:
There are no more Japanese clippers.
I think this will come as a blow to some of you.
They have become too expensive for me to import and I am saving the last few for people who opt to
BUY EVERYTHING,
So they are not included in this
Fabulous
Autumn Opportunity


Just in time to get back into the garden,
and Lordy is there a lot to do....

For my special Readers only:
20% OFF Everything Else
(Use coupon code: 20%OFF)

I wouldn’t wait too long to stock up on Yard Bags...
they too are about to become a thing of the past
as my Philippine supplier is now asking for
 a huge minimum,
which makes no sense for my dear little
Best@DianneB business...

So, don’t say you weren’t warned...

And of course, not from me,
but...
Have you ordered your bulbs?
Did you get enough Allium? Snowdrops?
Dog-tooth lilies?  Fritillaria?
Tulips???

You know, when they start blooming...you always curse yourself for not having planted enough.
 
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BEAUTIFUL SEPTEMBER DAYS to ALL

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That little hole on the right lobe of my
precious Arisaema leaf is from
a slug that I caught in the act!
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