Mendel’s peas in bloom

The peas I brought back from the Mendel Museum in Brno are blooming! At times like this I wish I had a better grasp of genetics. I am writing about my grandmother (from Horni Lomna) and my mother (who never knew her birth parents) and trying to figure out some of the mysteries of families. So planting these peas seemed like a good way to think about origins, inherited traits, and other considerations of who we are, and why. How much of our personality and physiology comes from our families and how much we shape our own selves.

Here are the peas, the seeds of which were smooth:

White flowers! I have this little chart on my desk and know what to expect now…

I have hazel eyes and John’s are hazel too; this means we’re both hybrid brown, I think. We have three children, one with hazel eyes and two with blue eyes. My father’s eyes were green — also hybrid brown — and my mother’s were (I think) true brown. John’s mum’s eyes are hazel and his father’s were blue-grey.  I have three brothers, all with either hybrid or true brown eyes.  I wish I knew how to make sense of this.

2 thoughts on “Mendel’s peas in bloom”

  1. My sister has wonderful hazel eyes, and so does my daughter. My mother’s were blue, my father’s were brown. I don’t know where those marvellous hazel eyes came from. It’s interesting and curious to think about.

  2. Yes, the whole area of inherited traits can be puzzling to those of us with literature in our backgrounds, not science! I intend to have our Brendan help me a little with the math! At the Mendel Museum, I could follow the logic until the third generation and then I felt hopelessly lost. It was lovely though to be there among his pruning tools, his bee-keeping notes, and his meteorological stations.

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