Tasty Pond Scum!

Well, potentially tasty.

Basically, and old fascination of mine (stinging nettle) had met a new one (smoothies) and the result is what I like to lovingly call “pond scum”. Mostly because of the look of it, as for the taste I don’t have all the needed information for a reliable comparison and I plan to keep it that way. (Until the day there’s hard evidence for pond scum having anti-aging effects; then all bets are off. Continue reading

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Evolution Is Hard On Us All

It’s not hot news anymore that what our instincts are by now at odds with our surroundings. Food? Especially very colorful, sweet food that comes in tiny bits? Eat a lot of it, it’s full of vitamins and minerals and quick energy! Oh, and since one or two centuries, it could also be full of fat, additives and a colorings. But just keep trying, it has been good advice for millenia after all.

Yesterday I came across two swans who were caught in a similar bind. Not concerning food, but something just as essential: how to bring your genes into the next generation. The time-honored wisdom is: nest as close to water as you can. There’s food and the kiddies will be close to your natural element, and it’s quick access to mobility because let’s face it: on land you move like a pregnant rudder boat.

All you have to do is trample down all the green stuff, lay a clutch of eggs on it and spend the next 40 days sitting there and moving green bits from here to there, from there to over here and from over here to right there. (I tidy up by pretty much the same principle.)

So: they listened to their inner wisdom and had their eggs right next to the water.

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Oh sweethearts.

Sadly, they already lost one egg to gravity: From where I stood I could see it in the water, but too deep to reach it without getting wet head to toe, and too close to the nest to get close to it without being in attack range of the parents. That and it was probably in there for a while already; the parents were completely ignoring it.

There are other things they seem to have difficulties with, too: one swan, I’m guessing the male, was fishing for seaweeds and pulling them up and out of the water, but then just moved them a bit behind himself and let them glide back into the water – according to wikipedia, he should be reaching them to the female to upholster the nest with it. I think maybe these are first time parents, and haven’t figured out some things. I do hope the second egg makes it, though.

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Fiendish & delicious feeling of superiority

… generated by some friendly creature right beside me in the inetnet cafe, who is loudly threatening his computer, his headphones turned up so loud I can hear the bloody lyrics, mainlining chocolate bars and smacking in tune to the music and, the cherry on top of this sundae, scratching his back side.

Yes, my own nutrition isn’t the best, and I talk to my computer on occasion  (and there is of course that delicious Tom Holt quote on cursing at your desktop) but not in public! Also, I had a trying day/week/year, so 10 minutes in company of someone I can feel smugly superior to does my withered stony heart a load of good.

 

Ah. Tom Holt:

Everybody curses at their desktop. Even the gold-embossed computer on the hard-wood desk in the Vatican has probably heard language that would make a drunken sailor blush.

 

(quoted from memory, therefor probably defective)

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Autumn Pleasures – “And I myself an elder tree”

This fall has been remarkably kind – clear skies and mild weather right into October, certainly not something you should expect this far up in the norther hemisphere. Probably won’t last much longer, but somehow that makes it sweeter.

The sun also made the wild berries sweeter, though: don’t be mislead by that. Not sweet like you might be led to expect from stuff like Wild Berry chewing gum, just sweet enough that you don’t spit a rowan berry out with a scrunched up face.

Shrubs and trees full of berries are pretty irresistible to me at the best of times; now, when taking walks without a bag I run the risk of ruining a shirt by using it as a make-shift apron. Elder berries have a special magic, woven into stories as they are. There is that beautiful story about the Rollright Stones which are of course warriors enchanted by a woman who became part of her own enchantment – Rise up stick and rise up stone   /   For king of England thou shalt be none    /     Thou and thy men hoar stones shall be    /    And I myself and elder tree. 

And of course elder trees are the living, breathing short hand for the Snow White tale. Why? Well, because of this:

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So of course I had to collect a few pounds of elder berries, buy antigel and wine yeast, cook, mix, disinfect, strain, bottle … and, just for the sake of branching out to yet another story, serve the whole stuff with arsenic, strychnine and just a pinch of cyanide. Because there’s nothing like a friendly person handing you a glass of wine to ease loneliness!

 

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