Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Change the World Wednesday – 24th Sep

This past week I have resolved to spend more time outdoors; just being with nature. Listening to the world around us was a recent CTWW challenge. Each day I have set aside 15 -30 minutes to walk around our praça (park) and then to just sit and observe.

For example a few days ago before we had a two-day cold snap, the air was full of dragon/damsel flies (I couldn’t tell which while they were on the wing) fascinating, I have never seen a swarm like it before.

We have a beautiful tree in the middle, it was in flower.

I have no idea what sort of tree it is. It’s just nice.

Following comments, I discovered it was probably an acacia tree.

So many people today are in such a rush, their lives are stressful, they don’t have a moment to stop and enjoy what is around them. I find it so peaceful to just sit and observe.

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There isn’t a CTWW challenge this week.

Small has done a bunk.

I suspect it is for good reason. So she has left us freelance and will be back on 8th Oct.

Until then, please continue with last week’s challenge, choose a challenge from THIS PAGE, create your own challenge, or … take a break!

There’s heaps of ideas in her list of past challenges, but this week, I am not going to rummage through it. I’ll prepare something for next week.

In the meantime I am going to claim that my resolution above is my answer and post for this week. Make it a daily ritual to take time out, get off my chuff and get outside. My life is mainly sedentary, due to my need to use a walking stick for security to walk longer distances; whereas around the praça I don’t need it. I work on the basis that if I fall over, the locals know where I live and will get me home.

Nigris and makimonos

Nigris and makimonos

Actually, there is an extension to the freelance nature of the challenge. This week I have decided to learn how to make sushi. I love sushi, I can’t always afford sushi, so I am going to make sushi at home.

I am a chef, but sushi has not previously been a part of my repetoire.

I am quite familiar with the eating aspect of of sushi and therefore know many of the terms, but research googling over the last week has enhanced my knowledge.

Did you know that the term sushi doesn’t actually refer to the fish, it means the vinegared rice used in the art. Many people wrongly call nigris, sushi.

This morning I am going exploring. A student from last night’s group told me of a shop where the makings and accoutrement for sushi are cheaper than the locally recognised oriental supply store.

California roll

California roll

Now there are two reasons why I mention my sushi making endeavour here.

Firstly, I am looking at making more vegetarian type things, makimonos with fruit and vegetables, mostly called California rolls. California rolls generally have kani (a processed crab meat stick) in them. I don’t like that stuff, I am dubious about the contents; a bit like ‘pink slime’.

So I am going to steer away from the processed aspects of making sushi.

Secondly, I am going to look at making my sushi techniques as green as possible.

I doubt whether my first attempts will look as glamorous as these photos, but they say practice makes perfect.

So there you have it. I have two answers to the CTWW challenge this week.

See you all next week.

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Nature Ramble

Turning back the clock.

Most of us, at least in my generation (read: old) remember a carefree childhood. One where we could wander at will and see nature.

But the intervening years have taken a toll on ‘carefree’.

Today, with industries encroaching on our lands we need more green spaces where we can be at one with nature.

Walking England’s new coast path: sea and skylarks in the north-east

Following Wales’s lead, England is opening a national coastal path. The first section, in the post-industrial north-east, makes a captivating two-day walk

End of the pier show … Chris Moss, on the left, at Steetly Pier on North Sands beach. Photograph: Kate Miller

Which do you like best: skylarks or racing pigeons? Coal-stained “black beaches” or white sandy ones? Kebabs or haute cuisine?

On the new coast path between Hartlepool, County Durham, and Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, the great thing is that you don’t have to choose. The route, which starts in North Gare beach by the mouth of the Tees and ends 34 miles to the north on the other side of the Wear, is either the ultimate in post-industrial flaneuring, or psycho-geographical “edgelanding” (exploring the boundaries where urban meets rural) – in other words going for a walk in the kind of landscape many of us grew up in.

“Eventually, this path will be part of a 4,500km [2,796 miles] England Coast Path,” said Andrew Best of Natural England, joining me and a friend for the walk. “We chose this area for the first stretch because the local authorities were really up for it – and it’s fascinating but under-explored.”

We set off on a glorious day from a car park at North Gare. Before facing north to follow the new ECP signs along the coast, we looked back towards EDF’s two nuclear power stations, the Seal Sands oil terminal and a landfill site. There’s still plenty of working industry in the north-east, but when we turned around we were looking over recovering grasslands, with redshanks, blackcaps and butterflies flickering all about. Every few metres a skylark ascended, emitting its busy call.

The walk into Hartlepool was flat and easy. Seaton Carew looked like a seaside town stuck somewhere between a quaint past and a future with potential. A new promenade was busy with pram-pushers, mobility scooters and dog-walkers.

 

Everyone smiled and said hello. An old deco-style lido was crying out for a posh cafe and a spot of gentrification.

At Hartlepool railway station we stopped for refreshment at the Rat Race, a lovely micro pub serving real ales (“924 beers since November 2009”), Belgian beers, and posh crisps. Skirting the pleasant harbour – and some less pleasant strip malls and dual carriageways – we came to a suburb called Headland, which lives up to its name geographically, and is the site of a statue commemorating much-loved sexist, beer-swilling comic-strip layabout Andy Capp.

Beside him stands Saint Andrew’s church, converted into the beautiful Mary Rowntree restaurant in 2012, and serving thinly battered fish and thrice-fried chips, with fine wines and even finer mushy peas.

After Headland we were on Durham’s Heritage Coast, established in the late 1990s after the closure of the collieries to beautify the area and protect the magnesian limestone cliffs, unique to the region. The official path currently meanders through development land so we opted to walk via North Sands beach – easy enough at low tide – and enjoy a plodge (paddle) on the way. Wood-framed Steetley Pier sticks far out, a remnant of the magnesite industry that is now used by fishermen brave enough to clamber up its rotting legs. A little farther along was a fenced-in nesting area for little terns, a rare breed on these shores. Just beneath it a ringed plover was scouring a stream for food.

Source: TheGuardian Read and see more

 

Change the World Wednesday – 25th Jun

Goiaba branca

Goiaba branca

My first goiaba branca (white guava).

The tree only produced two, but it was late in its first season. I am hopeful for next summer.

White guava are less flavoured than the traditional pinky ones, and they have a short window between ripe and rotten.

Ate it for breakfast this morning.

As for my ‘normal’ guava, I am eating them daily as they ripen.

Exciting news!

My bricks

I have a new brick.

You may remember from a few CTWWs back that I have bricks in my kitchen, which is a bit like having bats in the belfry, but with more purpose.

I am going to try to remove some of the partitions and line them with cardboard to accommodate my knives better and prevent the cutting edge from grating against the harshness of the brick.

Most of you know, that one of my hidden talents is a chef. As a chef, I take good care of my knives and they are finely honed; it doesn’t take much to knock the edge off.

Further good news. I have only one incandescent light bulb left in the house. I changed the kitchen one yesterday (after four days of procrastinating in the dark) to a CFL. A story about that on my EIMDBPFPR post.

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So, what do we have for CTWW this week?

Discovering Nature

This week, go outside and spend some time. Perhaps take a leisurely stroll down a hiking trail or sit in a park. If you have a yard, find a comfortable spot and look at the world around you. Take your time and relish the experience. The idea, here, is to discover and appreciate the natural world around us … to see what we usually miss … to marvel at earth’s inhabitants.

Apt. A comment I made on another blog during the week, that “I don’t have a smartphone, so I am always looking up and around as I walk.”

Oblivious to his surroundings

Oblivious to his surroundings

People have become so enamored with their cellphones, iPhones, Smartphones, etc that they walk around with the eyes on their little touch screens and miss the marvels that surround them.

Up, around, down; there are marvels big and small everywhere.

People have forgotten how to appreciate nature.

Not only IT appliances, but the stress of day to day living, rushing here, rushing there, panicking because the boss wants that report before lunch; directs our attention away from nature.

The praça, park outside my gate

The praça, park outside my gate

When I walk to the gate, I stop and look at my plants, check the acerola bush for any signs of blossom, any guava ready to be picked, is there a new shoot growing in the compost, how are my chillies ripening…

You see interesting things

You see interesting things

Outside the gate, I look around me, I look for possible plants growing on the roadside to take home, I see insects and birds, lizards sunbathing; sometimes I stop merely to marvel at things.

Other times, I just sit in the park across from my gate, Clorinha comes with me and romps in the bushes or sits beside me on the bench for a stroke.

We need to take time out, not only to see what’s around or above us, but to de-stress.

I spend a lot of my day sitting right here, where I am now; a ten minute sit in the park with a fresh coffee and cigarette, I return with a new vigor, inspiration, enthusiasm.

Nature is the great leveler; it brings us back to earth. It stops our egos in their tracks and puts things in perspective.

egonatureIt reminds us of our place in the scheme…

 

Make you Fink on Friday

deadbutterfly

Reblogged from: Perspectives on life, universe and everything

Funeral of the last butterfly

I was invited
to the funeral
of the last butterfly
All the birds were there
Insects made a wreath
Queen bee sung a melancholy
Grief too great to bear
Colours already left
Now the last butterfly gone
Everyone felt so lonely
Earthlings were alone
Far away in the sky
a thunder cloud
lightning strike,
a Phoenix flew in
Tears in its eyes,
sprayed on butterfly wings
Butterfly come to life
In all our hearts
Light of her soul
removed despair
Humanity wake up
When would you care
Planet is for all
We have to share
Might won’t work
win if we dare
Extinction of plants
Insects, animals all admire
Greenery in gardens
Fields and shire
Everything could go
If we don’t spare
Consume less,
Don’t scare
Nature, heavens
Water, our own air
Wind may blow
So does rain
Last butterfly
may flutter again
I wish, hope and pray

—o0o—

Satireday on Eco-Crap

progress

Nature Ramble

Last week was a disaster. PC problems and much drama. I finally took the bull by the proverbial horns and reinstalled XP totally, but in doing so I lost all my saved references/links that could be used here, and nothing has appeared in the news that is rambleworthy.

So, I am leaving you with this as food for thought…

footprints

Not a CTWW Post – 9th Jan

Of course it’s not, today is Thursday.

Yesterday just didn’t happen. Read Press the Fn Key and you’ll see why. I got some posting done, but didn’t get to all my blogs. But, I did do the dishes…

Today is a pseudo-challenge.

Most of us have gardens, except those poor souls who live in cages apartments.

Why do we have gardens? Generally, because we like nature in one of its many forms, flowers for their beauty, trees for their fruit or shade, veges for their nutrition, or even a lawn for its peace. And, animals and birds for their grace.

The challenge is do something for the wildlife in your garden.

or

If you already do, tell us about it in a post.

Simple Backyard Bird Feeder

Simple Backyard Bird Feeder

Yes, do something that attracts birds or animals to make your garden a place of peace for the New Year.

Only one more week without Small…

 

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