Have you ever experienced a recurring dream?
I have one, that comes to me during ragweed season.
I find myself walking and walking in the country.
Trees and plants, woods and fields, hills and dales.
There are people with me, walking and talking, talking and talking, talking of stalking, pointing and gesticulating.
In the dream, I don’t know the time, but I know it’s very early. Too early for all this gesticulating – I can’t even say that word, at this early hour. Hand-waving, then, and sounds like they’re speaking in Latin. Are we monks?? I don’t understand any of it.
Then I hear a voice say clearly “…The F Stop…” and I look around for a bus. But there isn’t any, so we keep walking. I don’t know what time it is, but I know somehow, that it’s early, and we’re rambling in the grayness of Pre-Noon – that horrible, fuzzy zone that exists before lunchtime.
Without looking, I can tell my socks don’t match. One feels like it’s wool, knee-high, and itchy. I don’t own any socks like that.
It’s at that point, the slow dawning horror comes over me, as I become aware, that I’m not dreaming.
I’m actually awake, out and about at this ungodly hour, hiking apparently, and have fallen among some roving cult of naturalists, botanists, forest-bathers, and photographers. Why does this keep happening. Apparently sometime last night, once again, I agreed to an Early Morning Nature Walk. Don’t remember. Don’t remember if anyone thought to give me breakfast first, or brunch, like decent, civilized people. Don’t remember signing on to wander around in the shrubbery and thickets of binomial nomenclature.
But that explains the people in my dream, talking in Latin. And the “F Stops” – the photographer has us straying through sodden “Depths of Field” or suchlike, and my socks are soggy.
Ragweed Season. I don’t sleep well, and I don’t do awake so well, either. I’m stumbling along, coked to the gills on antihistamines, Echinacea, Sudafed, Mucinex. Just let the mosquitoes drink as much of my blood as they want. They try to fly off, but then the Benadryl hits, and they drop from the sky like stones.
Walking at breakfast time. Dogwoods, but no doughnuts, fritillaries, but no frittatas. Someone offers me a handful of Dragon’s Tongues. They’re surprisingly tiny and green. It seems like the dream-state is resuming. But “dragon’s tongues” turns out to be a mixture of grape vine tendrils and the leaves of a flowering mustard plant, they call “wild arugula.” Not bad! The grape tendrils are delicious, kind of lemony. Someone pulls out a thermos and gives me some coffee.
I open my eyes, and it’s a pretty nice day! Nature’s not so bad, really, as long as the plant life includes coffee beans and tea leaves.
I know, these pictures look like a nature walk with the Addams Family. I’m enjoying the fresh new foliage and spring flowers as much as anyone, really, but on a recent hike, it was the tree fungi that caught my eye.
Doesn’t the 2nd shot looks like Pan di Spagna (Italian sponge cake)?
I also wondered about the minimalist spider web in the 3rd shot. I once saw photos of spiderwebs, after the spiders had been given various drugs (OK, I guess it’s occurred to all of us to do that). The caffeine web was jazzy, random, frenetic-looking. The LSD web, as I remember, was unnaturally perfect.
Apparently nibbling on this fungus leads to a lack of ambition and inability to complete tasks?
Or just a desire to simplify and try something new, even if you don’t catch any juicy bugs that way.
A Guest Post by Miroku
Once a year or so, I “re-blog” a post. I’d like to introduce Miroku, a blogger from Japan, who writes about many interesting and vital issues of our day.
Today, I have a good news.
I discovered the way how to make a wonderful thing.
Moreover, it is very easy.
I will introduce it.
It needs few things.
The things we have to prepare are cling wrap and sandpaper.
Firstly, roll cling wrap into a ball.
Secondly, compress it very strongly.
Finally, only one step remains to be done.
Polish it with sandpaper.
Polish! Polish! Polish! Polish!
After a while, we’ll be rewarded with this creation.
And it’s very beautiful!
It needs a few times but it is very easy.
Let’s try it!
I received some opinions.
They say “I can’t do it well”.
So I give you a tip.
The key to the success is “Don’t give up polishing”.
Keep polishing and check a calendar.
And you will find an answer.
(Please point out my mistakes in English grammar or my life. I…
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Well kids, we’ve been learning a lot of History by looking at statues, haven’t we. Today’s entry is Paul Revere, an amazing guy – – silversmith, engraver, industrialist, propagandist, volunteer soldier, and patriot.
When I examined this statue, I noticed straight away, something very odd – – no pigeons were roosting on it.
It’s always nice to see someone on horseback, who isn’t brandishing a sword. But I also found his pose a bit odd, and wondered aloud, why Paul was depicted with his arm out like that. A well-informed passerby informed me that Revere was famous for feeding the birds as he rode, and told me the story of “Paul & the Pigeons in the Park,” which has been set to verse. I also have his recipe for Pigeon Pie, if anyone wants it.
In days of old
Pigeons were bold
And chased all the kids from their play.
Never seen in the park,
Were the robin or lark,
Only pigeons on pavements gray.
In parks they’d lurk
Twice as big as a turk-
Ey, in days of yore
Kids sad as Eeyore
Then a hero did appear,
Named Paul Revere.
Paul mounted his steed,
And cast down bird seed,
Luring pigeons onto the highway.
On they came, bad and fat,
And Paul’s horse stomped them flat.
And for dinner they had them that day.
Boston loves its beans and cod,
Banks and money, more than God.
And Sam Adams rocks –
A very fine beer,
But after the Sox,
It’s Paul they Revere.
Granny Hitchborn’s Receipt for Pigeon Pye
Take ye the pigeons that look to be young fat & sweet. After ye have trimmed them, drawn them, and trussed them as ye would a squab, scrub in salt water & then scald in fair water, heated ‘til seething. Beat with a billet of wood & pluck them. Then kill the birds & boil them until it be sufficient.
Lay the birds in a charger & add a handful of whortleberries, unless they be more sour than a Pilgrim at a May Pole Dance, then add rather a goodly store of currants instead.
Now boil the blood and with it Madeira & plenty of mace nutmeg & pepper. Gum Arabick if needs thickening.
Roll a crust of flour & lard, or lard & hard tack, broke into pieces, or lard, flour, lard, hard tack & lard, and lay on it the crust daintily and bake it
When it has cooked sufficient, on top scatter rosemary & thyme, to lay the smell a bit.
Let cool before cutting and watch ye out for beaks.
St Paddy’s Day has come & gone, and still not much is wearing green in Upstate.
But this clump of moss was like a vibrant little island in the woods.
I took a picture of it with my cellphone, to look at daily, because it’s the greenest thing I’ve seen for months.
You may spot a few white pellets — the snow was pelting down in angular, misshapen granules.
I was once in a kind of sketchy pub, and the bartender told us, “No ice, it’s gone off.”
We stuck with bottled beer that night, and didn’t use the glasses.
I’d never heard of ice going bad before. But then, moving into a new apartment, we found the ice cubes in the freezer were shrunken in their little tray compartments, no longer cubes in fact, and seemed to have picked up a metallic odor. I guess there was that incident with the Titanic, too, now I think about it, under the heading “Bad Ice.”
Even the weather is tired of ice and snow by now. The precipitation has become unimaginative. Old Man Winter is spring cleaning, too tired to dream up new crystalline shapes, just shoveling out whatever icy trash is left in the clouds, sleet and grayish-white grit, can’t be bothered with delicate snowflakes.
And so in the cold dun and gray, a homely clump of moss receives its due, and becomes our hero for the day, a real luminary in the woods.