December 5, 2020

Post Thanksgiving Holiday V2.0 & a Whole Lot More…

Patti Paolella and I have been planning our second version of a post Thanksgiving dinner party and my week long visit to Richfield, MN for the past two years. V1.0 was in 2017 and the 2018 version just never quite got off the ground (my fault entirely). I regret now not having posted the V1.0 visit on this blog. I would if my memory could handle the variety of activities that visit entailed. Suffice it to say V1.0 was worth a repeat. My Minnesota visit was from December 3rd through the 7th. Yes, to the cold and snowy MN. I …

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2019 / Florida / x

Hypoluxo Scrub (May, 2019)

Not far from our apartment, here in Boynton Beach, is a Florida scrub (an area of bare, white sand and evergreens – often named for the dominant plant species found in them) called the Hypoluxo Scrub Natural Area – a protected habitat. We have visited this area many time over the last 10+ years to enjoy the many plants and a few animals, including the gopher tortoise that digs underground burrows/tunnels. Photos from our latest visit – if we have misidentified anything, please let us know: What we love about visiting several of the scrub areas around Boynton Beach is …

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2017 / India / x

Unexpected India (1-4 June 2017)

When Ray and I flew back to Singapore to visit Jenny et al we didn’t plan on any additional trips until we leave at the end of June for our next adventure. But an opportunity arose shortly before we left the US. Jenny had a work trip to New Delhi the week after we arrived in Singapore. She asked me if I wanted to join her at the end of the work week for a few days of mother/daughter adventure. I had just enough time to apply and wait the 7 working days to get my India visa (I had …

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2017 / Panama / x

Discovering Molas in Panama

I read about molas in our Lonely Planet guide so was on the lookout for them. Panama is different in lots of ways from many tourist destinations. They do not promote crafts and souvenirs quite the same way as most countries. So it took a trip out of Panama City to a local village market square in the Anson Valley area to find the molas I was looking for. OK, what is a mola? The mola or molas, forms part of the traditional outfit of a Kuna woman in Panama, two mola panels being incorporated as front and back panels …

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Charlotte Foraging #3:- Bayberries (Myrica cerfera)

Gathering bayberry berries is not as easy as picking apples off of a tree. These berries really cling to their branches plus they are really tiny. Botanists refer to the bayberry berry as a “drupe” which in the botany world is a fruit in which the outer fleshy part surrounds a shell with a seed inside. Other types of drupes are peaches, plums, olives, etc. Enough of the botany talk, we were interested in experimenting with the wax properties of the drupes. So two large bayberry trees and 5+ cups of berries later we had sore hands and enough boiled …

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Charlotte Foraging #2 – American Persimmons (Diospyros virginiana)

I had a run in with an American persimmon a few years ago in late summer. Fool that I am I picked one off the tree, googled it on my iphone and discovered what it was. That’s not too foolish but the foolish part was tasting it BEFORE reading farther to find out that this fruit has to be almost mushy and pulpy before eating. Needless to say I had a huge mouthful of dry. Drinking water was not helpful, I just went “Mmmmhh” for quite awhile. Ray enjoyed himself immensely at my expense. We saw large Asian persimmons while in …

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Charlotte Foraging #1 – Part 2, still Chestnuts

I was hoping to try another batch of candied chestnuts or even Marty’s soup recipe but I left my last batch of chestnuts still in their spiky covering on our patio. We went out of town for a few days and came back to chestnut husks scattered all over. I don’t know how the squirrels or chipmunks can handle the spiky stuff but I figured “more power to them” if they really want them that badly. I still have a bowlful that I hope to keep until Thanksgiving. But in the mean time here is the soup recipe Marty made. …

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Charlotte Foraging #1: Chestnuts (Castanea dentata)

I’ve written posts about my shell and sea glass collecting, which I dearly love to do. Before we left for Singapore I was known to gather morels, bitter oranges, smooth river rocks, acorns, etc. Now that we are back in Charlotte, NC, and with my foraging buddy, Marty, we have been busy gathering for the winter, like all the squirrels around town. I thought I’d post a few of our adventures along with some recipes.  We are chestnut nuts, indeed. You have to be brave to gather chestnuts while still in their outer green spiky jackets. Nasty, nasty sharp – …

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2016 / Spain / x

Location: Spain. Subject: Tile Work

Whenever I travel, one subject seems to get stuck in my camera lens, figuratively that is. In France it was fleur de lis. In Bali it was temple offerings. In Cambodia it was stone carvings. In Melbourne it was graffiti. And in almost every place it’s food markets and food. This December in Spain I found another subject – tiles. Tiles on the ceiling, tiles along a storefront, souvenir tiles, tiles in the Alhambra. No matter where I looked a tile was looking to be photographed. Here are some of my images without captions (although Ray will fuss about this). …

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Bali underfoot.

I wanted to write a post about the parts of Bali that I saw. Often I see details and things that others overlook. However as I started to collect the photos I wanted to show I realized that these items were not hidden but underfoot. And underfoot everywhere! Bali is the only island in Indonesia that is Hindu. The rest of the country is Muslim. So I was expecting to see the brightly painted Hindu shrines like I see in Singapore and saw in Cambodia. I was surprised that the difference in Bali is quite striking. Leaving the airport I …

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