Thursday, 26 April 2018

Presence

Снежинка на разноцветном фоне

"The smallest snowstorm on record took place an hour ago in my back yard. It was approximately two flakes. I waited for more to fall, but that was it. The entire storm was just two flakes."

Richard Brautigan

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

WW: Le printemps a pissé dans mon lit

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Hermitcraft: Pickleweed

Unlikely as it seems, this common plant of the high tide line (Salicornia spp.) is a member of the spinach family, and a righteous edible in its own right. Common names include sea bean, samphire, sea asparagus, and glasswort, but when I was growing up on the North Pacific coast we called it pickleweed.

Salicornia is delicious raw, and adds salty crispness to salads and sandwiches. (Egg salad and hamburgers being two of my favourites.)

The name "pickleweed" may come from the fact that Old Settlers jarred and pickled it; the French, among others, still do.

Or maybe it just looks like pickles. (Likewise, "sea beans" is a reference to its visual and culinary resemblance to string beans.)

The larger, mature stems, which develop a stronger, "greener" flavour, can be steamed, then the entire branch placed in the mouth and the twiggy, woody heart pulled out by the base. This novel dish is a great accompaniment to fish and seafood, and can be enjoyed with or without lemon butter. Salicornia is also one of several marine vegetables layered into New England clambakes for flavour.

In Bretagne, where it blankets whole acres, farmers run flocks of sheep on pickleweed to produce a rare and expensive delicacy called agneau pré salée (salt-pasture lamb).

Finally, the term "glasswort" recalls glassmakers of times past who burned it in large quantities to make soda ash for their craft. And Salicornia may be on the industrial rebound these days, as it's currently being investigated as a biodiesel crop.

Pickleweed is one of those plants many have seen but few have noticed; most only know it as the weed they pass on the way to the tidelands. But because it sets in quantity, is easily identified, and good eating, it's a valuable edible to know.

So keep an eye out for Salicornia in your beach rambles. This uniquely delicious wild food may significantly enrich the experience.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

WW: What is this?


(One of several found in two wooded parks in my hometown. Hint number one: It's not modern art. Hint number two: it is the sort of thing you'd expect to find on the West Coast.)

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Hummingbird Sense



"I will do what I can, even when there is little chance of effect," is an unwritten subvow of my Rule.

I think of it often. I have to; my natural inclination in the face of unsurmountable opposition is to give up.

But surmounting things is not why we're here.

Now I find that internationally-recognised Kenyan academic, activist, Nobel laureate, and convicted uncontrollable woman Wangari Maathai also embraced this principle, though her interpretation was a little less… dour?

For even though hummingbirds aren't present in Africa (they're New World fauna), having known a great many of them, I'd say they are in fact the woodland creature most likely to employ such logic.

Because hummingbirds don't sit things out well.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

WW: Pounding brass

(Me at the controls of my beloved Tentec 580 Delta. Nearly forty years old, it's still the best CW [radiotelegraphy] rig ever made.)

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Blogger Kyôsaku

Water calligraphy Peking 03





"When I talk I am telling my story and also the collective story."

Claude Anshin Thomas









(Photo of the original Zen blog courtesy of Immanuel Giel and Wikimedia Commons.)

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

WW: Home port


(Open in a new window to see it larger.)



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