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Tulula's Blog
Sunday, October 15, 2006
New Blog Site

Due to the many popup adds on this site, I'm moving to Blogspot.  Hope to meet ya there!


Posted by Tulula at 7:22 PM EDT
Saturday, October 14, 2006
New Guys on the 'Sill

 

Wow -- these are spectacular!  It's fun to get a plant and be surprised by what its flowers look like.  Thanks to J & B out west!

 

 


Posted by Tulula at 5:14 PM EDT
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Canoe Camping

Una nota breve para recordar este fin de semana:  Era maravilloso.  Era un fin de semana lleno de "10" momentos.   Altamente recomiendo que vayan de camping con canoa algun dia en su vida. 

Fuimos al Rio Saco, en el estado de Maine.  Alquilamos una canoa y un kayac de Northern Extremes en North Conway, New Hampshire.  Remamos por tres o cuatro horas, entonces montamos el tienda.  Al acabar de montar el tienda, una gigantesca nube negra vino hacia nosotros muy rapidamente.  Deprisa pusimos todos nuestros equipos en la tienda.  Tuvimos suerte. 

Algunos "10" momentos: 

-- Escuchando al trueno y la violenta tormenta en la comodidad de nuestra tienda. 

-- Cocinando pasta debajo de un cobijo improvisado en la lluvia.

-- Remando por el rio tranquilo, oyendo la musica de flautas dulces tocadas por otros campistas, con una libelula aterrizada en la punta delantera de la canoa.

-- Mirando los halcones volando por lo alto.


 

A short note to remember this weekend:  It was wonderful.  It was a weekend full of "10" moments.  I highly recommend that you go canoe camping someday in your life.

We went to the Saco River in the state of Maine.  We rented a canoe and kayak from Northern Extremes in North Conway, New Hampshire.  We paddled for three or four hours, then set up the tent.  When we just finished setting up the tent, a gigantic black cloud came towards us very rapidly.  We put our gear in the tent in a hurry.  We were lucky.

Some "10" moments:

-- Listening to the thunder and violent storm in the comfort of our tent.

-- Cooking pasta under a makeshift shelter in the rain.

-- Rowing down the tranquil river, listening to the music of recorders played by other campers, with a dragonfly alighted on the front tip of the canoe.

-- Watching falcons flying overhead.

 


Posted by Tulula at 10:50 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 15, 2006 7:19 PM EDT
Sunday, September 3, 2006
New England Candlepin Bowling

El pasado fin de semana, descubri "pino de vela" bolos (?).  Tipicamente, no disfruto bolos mucho, porque mi bola siempre va en la alcantarilla y no es divertido.  Pero con "pino de vela" bolos, a veces incluso cuando la bola vaya en la alcantarilla, todavia es posible ganar puntos. 

 Las diferencias: 

 En bolos regulares, la bola es grande y tiene tres agujeros en que se inserta sus dedos.  En "pino de vela" bolos, la bola es del tamano de la palma, y no hay agujeros.  Pienso que es mas facil dirigir la bola pequena, porque los agujeros en la bola grande desequilibran el angulo de la muneca. 

En bolos regulares,  los bolos tienen una forma como un reloj de arena.  En "pino de vela" bolos, los bolos tienen una casi uniforme anchura.

 

La mejor parte de "pino de vela" bolos es que despues de cada tiro, la maquina no elimina los bolos derribados, pero los deja en la posicion supina.  Si un bolo derribado esta obstruyendo la alcantarilla, una bola alli puede derribar otros bolos.  Es mucho mas gratificante que bolos regulares para individuos (como yo) que no sean habiles en los bolos.

Si ustedes visitan a Boston y tienen un carro, recomiendo que vayan a Helado y Bolos de Vigesimo Siglo de Ron en Hyde Park.  Los helados son caseros y deliciosos, y el lugar tiene un ambiente anticuado y autentico. 

 Last weekend, I discovered candlepin bowling.  Typically, I don't enjoy bowling much, because my ball always goes into the gutter and it's no fun.  But with candlepin bowling, sometimes even when the ball goes into the gutter, it is still possible to win points.

 The differences: 

In regular bowling, the ball is big and has three holes into which you insert your fingers.  With candlepin bowling, the ball is the size of the palm, and there are no holes.  I think it is easier to aim the small ball, because the holes of the big ball throw off the angle of the wrist.

 En regular bowling, the pins have the shape of an hourglass.  In candlepin bowling, the pins have an almost uniform width.

 The best part of candlepin bowling is that after each shot, the machine does not remove the knocked-over pins, but leaves them in a supine position.  If a knocked-over pin is blocking the gutter, a ball there can knock over other pins.  It is much more gratifying than regular bowling for individuals (like me) who are not good at bowling.

If you visit Boston and have a car, I recommend that you go to Ron's Ice Cream and Twentieth Century Bowling in Hyde Park.  The ice creams are homemade and delicious, and the place has an old-fashioned and authentic feel. 


Posted by Tulula at 11:26 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Mi Comida Favorita
Recuerdo con felicidad mi viaje a Andalucia, donde comi mi comida favorita, gazpacho. Aqui en Boston, esta un poco demasiado temprano en la estacion por ese delicioso plato, porque esta lloviendo -- una gran tormenta. Deseo que pudamos enviar el extra agua de aqui a Espa?a, donde hay una sequia ahora.

Recientemente, cuando hacia mas calor, lo hice. Mezcle varias recetas juntas, y resulto bien.

Entonces, necesita dos libras de tomates frescos (tomate ciruelas), dos pepinos, un pimiento verde, una cebolla (o polvo de cebolla, si su estomago tiene problemas con cebolla cruda), un diente de ajo, un pedazo de pan duro, sal, vinagre (prefiero vinagre de vino rojo), y aceite de oliva. Remoje el pan en agua. Corte los tomates (salvo uno), un de los pepinos, mitad del pimiento, la cebolla y el diente de ajo en pedazos. Usando una batidora o batidora manual, licue la mezcla de legumbres y pan completamente. A?ada una taza de agua poco a poco; lo mezcle y probe. Pues, a?ada poco a poco unas pizcas de sal; lo mezcle y probe, y pues, dos cucharillas de vinagre. Probelo. Cuando los niveles de sal y vinagre son correctos, a?ada poco a poco cuatros cucharillas de aceite de oliva. Lo mezcle y probe. Sirvaselo frio, con una guarnicion de pedazitos de tomate, pepino y pimiento verde.



I recall with happiness my trip to Andalucia, where I ate my favorite food, gazpacho. Here in Boston, it's a bit too early in the season for this delicious dish, because it's raining -- a big storm. I wish we could send the extra water from here to Spain, where there is now a drought.

Recently, when it was warmer, I made it. I mixed several recipes together, and it turned out well.

So, you need two pounds of fresh tomatoes (plum tomatoes), two cucumbers, one green pepper, an onion (or onion powder if your stomach has problems with raw onion), a clove of garlic, a bit of stale bread, salt, vinegar (I prefer red wine vinegar) and olive oil. Soak the bread in water. Cut the tomatoes (except one), one of the cucumbers, half of the green pepper, the onion and the clove of garlic into pieces. Using a blender or hand mixer, liquefy the mixture of vegetables and the bread completely. Add a cup of water, gradually; mix and taste it. Then add some pinches of salt little by little; mix it and taste it, then two teaspoons of vinegar. Taste it. When the levels of salt and vinegar are correct, gradually add four teaspoons of olive oil. Mix it and taste it. Serve it chilled, with a garnish of pieces of tomato, cucumber and green pepper.

Posted by Tulula at 8:27 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 8, 2006 12:33 PM EDT
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
La Gran Manzana
Esta noche vi el final de la serie de los documentarios sobre La Ciudad de Nueva York por Ric Burns. El tema fue la concepcion y construccion de Las Torres Gemelas, y incluyo una historia conmovedora sobre un hombre frances que al leer sobre Las Torres en una revista, se decidio a aprender la arte del funambulo y caminar en una cuerda floja encordada entre las dos torres. A la gente que estuvieron pasado por casualidad las torres por la ma?ana del 7 de agosto 1974, la vision inesperado y espectacular les dio mucha alegria.

http://www.projectrebirth.org/img/WTC_1974.jpg

El documentario fue tambien sobre la destruccion de las torres y exhibio en nitido y traumatico detalle visual los acontecimientos del 11 de septiembre. Pero el anterior gobernador de Nueva York, Mario Cuomo, expresa unas emociones y lecciones constructivas que mucha gente comparte de esa experiencia.

Tonight I saw the final of the series of documentaries on the City of New York by Ric Burns. The theme was the conception and construction of the Twin Towers, and included a moving story about a French man who upon reading about the Towers in a magazine, made up his mind to learn the art of a tightrope walker and walk on a tightrope strung between the two towers. To the people who happened to be passing by the towers in the morning of August 7, 1974, the unexpected and spectacular vision gave much joy.

The documentary was also on the destruction of the towers, and it showed in sharp and traumatic visual detail the events of September 11th. But the former governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, expresses some of the emotions and constructive lessons that many people share from that experience.

Posted by Tulula at 12:11 PM EST
Friday, March 24, 2006
Brooklyn Follies



Anoche lei el nuevo libro “Brooklyn Follies” por Paul Auster, un autor de Nueva York. No leo ficcion con mucha frecuencia, pero me divertio este libro muchisimo. Fue tan apasionante que me costo dejar de leerlo. Entonces, segui leyendo hasta el final del libro.

En una entrevista con el periodico El Pais, el autor Paul Auster dice que su novela es “un elegia a una forma de vivir que desaperecio de un plumazo el 11 de septiembre.” La historia es bellisima, y me pone nostalgica de ese tiempo y ese lugar. La novela sigue las vidas de cuatro personajes principales, que comienzan de circunstancias bastante descontentas – relaciones fracasadas, carreras fracasadas, decisiones descaminadas – luego encuentran felicidad en reestableciendo los vinculos de familia, amistad y amor. Al encontrarse, se aguarran el uno al otro y saborean el placer del momento.

Last night I read the new book “Brooklyn Follies” by Paul Auster, a New York author. I don’t read fiction very frequently, but I enjoyed this book very much. It was so gripping that I had difficulty putting it down. So, I continued reading until the end of the book.

In an interview with the paper El Pais, the author Paul Auster says that his novel is an elegy to a form of living that disappeared at a stroke on September 11th. The story is very beautiful, and makes me nostalgic for that time and place. The novel follows the lives of four principal characters, who start from rather unhappy circumstances – failed relationships, failed careers, misguided decisions – then find happiness in reestablishing bonds of family, friendship and love. Upon finding each other, they cling to one another and savor the pleasure of the moment.

Posted by Tulula at 5:31 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 24, 2006 5:48 PM EST
Sunday, March 19, 2006
To Bil and J
Happy Spring! Here is your baby in bloom! Its sister is in the lab lunchroom and is spectacular!



Posted by Tulula at 3:08 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 19, 2006 3:44 PM EST
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Espanol
Desde hoy, voy a intentar practicar espanol en mi blog. Ahora puedo leer espanol bien, pero escuchar, hablar y escribir es mas dificil. Si encuentra errores, no dude en corregirme por favor.

Hoy voy a escribir sobre un de mis temas favoritos -- comida. Hace un mes, una amiga mexicana me introdujo al mundo maravilloso de chiles. Ella me mostro como hacer un plato delicioso usando picadillo, cebollas, papas/patatas, tomates, y chipotle. Chipotles son jalapenos ahumados y secados. Puede comprar chipotle enlatado en muchos supermercados.

"Picadillo"

Tome una mezcla de carnes molidos -- carne de res, carne de cerdo, carne de pavo -- cualquier carne molido que tiene. Fria estos carnes con cebollas cortadas in pedacitos. Si hay mucho liquido, lo drene o lo hierva hasta esta desaparecido. Despues, anada comino en polvo, sal y pimienta, y mezcle.

Usando un robot de cocina o una batidora manual, haga un pure de una gran lata de tomates con dos chipotles enlatados. Tenga cuidado, porque si usa demasiados chipotles, va a sufrir -- chipotles son muy picante. Ponga algo de la mezcla de tomate en la mezcla de carne.

Corte papas in pedacitos, sin o con piel, segun su preferencia. Ponga las papas/patatas en la mezcla de tomate y carne, y anada agua, si es necesario para hervir los papas/patatas. Hirva hasta que las papas/patatas estan blandas. Lo probe y salzone segun su preferencia. Sirva con tortillas o arroz.




From today, I am going to try to practice Spanish on my blog. Now I can read Spanish well, but listening, speaking and writing are more difficult. If you find errors, please do not hesitate to correct me.

Today I am going to write about one of my favorite topics -- food. About one month ago, a Mexican friend introduced me to the wonderful world of chilis. She showed me how to make a delicious dish using ground meat, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and chipotle. Chipotles are smoked and dried jalapenos. You can buy canned chipotles in many supermarkets.

Take a mixture of ground meats -- beef, pork and turkey -- whatever ground meat you have. Fry these meats with chopped onions. If there is a lot of liquid, drain it or boil it until it is gone. Then add ground cumin, salt and pepper, and mix.

Using a food processor or hand mixer, puree a large can of tomatoes with two chipotles from a can. Be careful, because if you use too many chipotles, you are going to suffer -- chipotles are very spicy. Put some of the tomato mixture in the meat mixture.

Chop potatoes, with or without peel, according to your preference. Put the potatoes in the tomato and meat mixture, and add water, if it is necessary in order to boil the potatoes. Boil until the potatoes are soft. Taste it and season according to your preference. Serve with tortillas or rice.

Enjoy!

Posted by Tulula at 1:52 PM EST
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Jared Diamond, Forward Thinking Guru



Yesterday and today, my friend and I went to see Master Diamond speak on the collapse of societies (the subject of his recent book) and thoughts he's formulated since then on avoiding collapse. Yesterday's talk was pretty much a summation of his book -- a framework of five factors that contribute to the collapse or survival of a society, applying these to Easter Island, Montana, Iceland, the Mayas and Native Americans of Arizona. These factors are environmental damage, climate change, enemies, friendly trade partners, and the ability of society to respond to its problems. He talked about how Easter Islanders over several hundreds of years shortsightedly cut down all their trees, the wood of which they used to help erect those mysterious and extremely heavy statues and to build canoes in order to hunt tuna and dolphins on the open seas.


After they cut down the last tree, they lost their ability to fish, had no friendly neighbors to whom to turn for help, had nowhere to which to escape, so they starved to near extinction. The example of Easter Island attracted the most interest, he said, for its similarities to Earth: we are isolated in this universe and have nowhere/nobody to turn to if we are careless in managing our resources and end up depleting them. He concluded by reminding us to remember above all else the number 32 -- i.e., the number of times of resources that first world nations consume over third world nations.

The topic of tonight's talk was his thoughts since writing Collapse comparing individual and society survival of crises. Drawing on his wife's clinical psychology background, he began talking about coping factors that enable crises victims to and survive. These were: the ability to fence in a problem and tackle it while preserving what's not problematic outside it, I guess, like compartmentalizing; "ego strength" or self-confidence/self-love, which he likened to cultural pride and preservation on the societal scale; flexibility/rigidity in adapting to deal with crises; exposure to of alternative models of coping or something like that; the ability to reappraise one's core values in order to cope with a crises; and a bunch of others in between that I can't remember. He interspersed societal examples rather than analyzing them systematically under these factors -- for instance, marveling at how a tribe of Papua New Guinea in first learning the existence of helicopters asked all sorts of questions about them, then quickly decided to charter their own in order to import birds of paradise from elsewhere and sell them in their own villages for a profit, yet maintaining their culture (wearing grass skirts) throughout. As for implications for our own society, he quoted Dick Cheney saying something to the effect that our core values as Americans were nonnegotiable -- implying that we ought to redress our rigidity, unwillingness/inability to adapt if we are to survive future crises.

Whether or not Diamond's approach is novel or earth-shattering, or he is repetitive or long-winded -- some criticisms made of him -- I find his problem-solving approach systematic, useful and applicable to many areas of life. Whether or not he is unique in doing so, I like very much that he puts "us" -- Americans and humankind -- to the same analyses as to societies in history, warning us of some fairly dire implications of our attitudes and behavior now while it is not too late for us to change course and take control of our destiny. Many of us are hard-pressed to think beyond our households, let alone our lifetimes. He would make a great advisor to leaders -- enlightening and shaping our policies to strategize and plan for the long-term -- alas, if only they would listen.

Posted by Tulula at 1:42 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 6:47 PM EST
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Snowy Sunday
The snow is coming down heavily; sometimes it seems to be going sideways. This afternoon, we are going to hear a talk by the wonderfully insightful Frank Rich. Hopefully it's not cancelled due to the snowstorm. I've been craving inspiration and am often impressed with Mr. Rich's powerful summaries of social trends and politic affairs. His column usually appears in the New York Times Weekend Review on Sundays, but he's currently off for a while, writing a book.



Well, the telephone just rang -- the event is postponed. But that gives anyone who is interested here and within driving distance of Boston an opportunity to attend, as the event is being postponed. The date hasn't been set yet, but I imagine that it will be reposted here. Hope to see you there!

Posted by Tulula at 11:19 AM EST
Monday, December 19, 2005
Festive Pyromaniacs
As promised, here are some photos of the blazing rum concoction that Julia the Pyromaniacal Gourmet created at Thanksgiving.






Posted by Tulula at 12:45 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 19, 2005 12:48 PM EST
Friday, November 25, 2005
Massive Food Orgy
Yesterday we made so much food that I feel really guilty for our gluttony. From our end we had a 27 lb. turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, a bottomless pit of artichoke/spinach dip with cut vegetables, parsnip soup, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, these fried rice/cheese balls that our friend Michael helped fry, and the baked fennel. Thankfully I didn't have time to do the orange tart or mixed crostini, because it was already way too much. Our guests brought lots of sweet potatoes, apple strudel, pumpkin, pecan and sweet potato pies!

It made me think of this fable about a king (I think?) for whom the clouds were all food, and he reached up into the sky and pulled down a gigantic drumstick -- more than he or his entire kingdom could hope to finish. He was punished in some way for his gluttony, but I can't remember -- maybe he had a terrible bellyache or worse.

In order to avoid punishment, we'll have to make sure to eat turkey and other Thanksgiving leftovers for every meal for the next several months or pack it as meals for the homeless.

Posted by Tulula at 6:51 PM EST
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
La Gran Manzana
This past weekend we visited La Gran Manzana, the city of my heart and the place I consider home.

After buying a sage plant and bay bush at the Union Square green market, we stopped in The Strand, and guess who happened to be there? Fellow Seattlite and fabulous Italian chef, Mario Batali. He happened to be there, signing his new cookbook, Molto Italiano. When we had cable, I used to love to watch his show and try making some of his dishes. We got his cookbook, which he signed "Spaghetti is Truth." Just in time for Thanksgiving, we're going to try several of his recipes on our dinner guests tomorrow night -- Mixed Crostini, Fennel Gratin and Orange Tart. I'll let you know how they go!

I wanted to tell you more about my trip, but Thanksgiving duties beckon.

Posted by Tulula at 9:59 PM EST
Friday, November 18, 2005
Bread and Puppet Theater: The National Circus and Passion of the Correct Moment

Last night our friends brought us to a fantastic, thought-provoking play entitled "The National Circus and Passion of the Correct Moment" by the Bread and Puppet Theater, headed by Peter Schumann, showing at the Cambridge YMCA. Click here for more information. The performance featured larger-than-life paper mache masks and puppets in surreal "passion plays" providing commentary on ancient and recent history with beautiful, sometimes painful imagery.


I recommend that you go see it should it come your way. After the end of its run in Cambridge, MA on November 20th, the show will be heading to New York.

Posted by Tulula at 2:56 PM EST
Updated: Friday, November 18, 2005 3:03 PM EST
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Iberian Adventures cont'd
It's been a while since I've written, and although much has happened in between, the sights, sounds and spirit of Andalusia are still seared onto my mind's eye, ears and soul. How I long to return to Cordoba!

Here are additional photographs of La Mezquita of Cordoba:








Later that day, my travel companions and I took a walk through the gardens of El Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos. The gardens had beautiful pools, flower beds and shrubs grown in interesting patterns.


Most impressive perhaps were the gigantic and dense cedar columns surrounding the gardens. Here they are pictured with statues of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella receiving Christopher Columbus on the eve of his departure for the New World.




What made our stay extra special was our late night walk through Cordoba's narrow, winding streets and happening upon a moderate-sized square, filled with people -- a free flamenco concert was taking place! As we grabbed seats, a male singer accompanied by a very skilled young guitar player belted out his pangs and passions, undoubtedly about his lost love. Next came a singing/dance quintet -- they clapped and stomped their feet to the sizzling music.


I was charmed by the intimacy of the event. In the back, I caught a glimpse of the fellow who was our waiter at Hostal Deanes, also enjoying the concert.

The next morning, before we left, we ate at another beautiful courtyard restaurant/guesthouse. We had a delicious breakfast of cafe con leche and toast with a meat spread that tasted very much like pureed soppressata, one of my favorite foods. One of my travel companions had a luscious apple tart that we all helped her devour.

I will never forget Cordoba, especially for the delicious gazpacho I ate there and the Andalusian cookbook that I bought! Until next time . . . I'll let your mouth water.

Posted by Tulula at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 19, 2005 9:32 PM EDT
Monday, August 8, 2005
Iberian Adventures
Just back from some very different and wonderful worlds -- Portugal and the Andalusia region of Spain, I'll have to fill you in little by little, because I have a lot of obligations competing for my attention these days.

First -- Andalusia -- which I think will always hold a special place in my heart. We visited first Cordoba and then Granada. We meant to go to Seville too, but unfortunately didn't make it.

The Andalusian countryside. The area we drove through was surrounded by hills that were parched yellow, almost like a desert, but planted efficiently with rows and rows of olive trees. We also passed lots of vineyards and safflower fields. The interesting thing about these farms was that they were pretty much devoid of structures or traces of life working them, giving an eery, desolate feel. Perhaps its just too hot to be out there.

Cordoba. We stayed in the coolest place, the Hostal Deanes, which is just steps away from La Mezquita, the Great Mosque, perhaps Cordoba's most frequented monument (see a satellite view of it here). The Hostal Deanes was fabulous for the warmth of its service, its beautiful courtyard and its delicious (although slightly salty for American taste) food. The structures in Cordoba are fantastic. At the center of the hotel is a beautiful courtyard, with a fountain in the middle.




For the ceiling, we had the bright blue sky (see below), with a retractable tarp for rainy days (if there are any).




In the courtyard, they had a tapas restaurant, where I ate my first Andalusian gazpacho, perhaps my favorite food of all time. I love it so much that it deserves its own entry at a later date. Surrounding the courtyard are their very affordable and charming rooms -- all of five.

La Mezquita, the Great Mosque, began life as a Visigothic church in 780 A.D. It was then transformed into the religious center of the Moorish kingdom of El-Andalus in 987 A.D., and then was converted to a Christian church in 1253, after Cordoba fell to the Christians in 1236. There I saw for the first time the intricately designed geometric tiles of Moorish craftsmen, with some impressive, somewhat gaudy Christian craftsmanship as well.

I need to continue my tales of La Mezquita on another day, with lots of pics that I don't have the patience to upload now. Until next time . . .

Posted by Tulula at 8:31 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 10, 2005 12:52 PM EDT
Monday, June 20, 2005
Treasures at Boston's Prudential
I never thought a mall could have anything this cool, but the treasures at the Prudential are beyond anything anyone could imagine.

Walking around in my old neighborhood in Washington Heights helped train me to discover these hidden beauties: to avoid stepping in all that doggy-do, I had to constantly look down as I walked! So I looked down as I walked through the Pru -- and lo and behold! What did I see? Hundreds of ammonites staring up at me! Check 'em out the next time you're there!






They are all over the place. What a jackpot quarry the Pru builders hit! And the best part is . . .

. . . they're cephalopods! They're closest living descendant is the nautilus. With their swirling shells, from the outside they resemble snails. However, unlike snail shells, inside of the ammonite consists of distinct chambers. (You can see the chambers in some of the Prudential ammonite pictures here.) All of these creatures are molluscs. Apparently, both ammonites and nautiluses regulate the air in their chambers in order to float and swim. This page by Neale Monks of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London has a wonderful wealth of information on ammonites and nautiluses.

So even upon our man-made castles, Mother Nature leaves behind her indelible imprints.

Posted by Tulula at 9:18 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 6, 2005 7:07 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
In Search of Wildlife
. . . story continued from yesterday:

So on Sunday evening, we went on the moose tour. We first passed a ski slope -- and climbing up it was a black bear!


From the bus, it looked like a little fuzzy dot making its way up the mountain. Thankfully, that was just about the right distance for my viewing comfort.

We proceeded along the highway and passed the Indian Head, New Hampshire's last remaining profile mountain after the demise of the Old Man.


We slowed down when we were approaching the various wallows by the side of the highway. Wallows are pools of mud and salt that is left over from the winter and washes to the side of the road during spring thaw. After a long, hard winter, the meese need to replenish their sodium levels and come to these mudpools to feed. It's best to look for meese at sunrise or dusk by the side of the highways.

We saw a scrawny female moose very intently licking up the salty mud at one of these pools. (She looked roughly like a donkey, similar to the one in this picture, only scrawnier).


After gazing at her for ten minutes or so, we decided to get out of the bus for a closer look. She began to leave, though very reluctantly. As soon as we made motions to board the bus, she returned to the wallow and continued to feed. After sundown, with Tony's spotlight, we managed to see a deer and a pair of other female meese.

Later we stopped at a small country store to fill up on snacks and fudge. While the door was open, in flew a cute little black bat!


The poor thing seemed kind of stressed out, frantically flapping its wings in search of the door. We left before the bat did.

That was a very exciting trip -- I hope that you will take the time someday to explore the treasures of the North Country!


Posted by Tulula at 7:42 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 10, 2005 5:42 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
My Weekend in the North Country
My friend and I had a delightful trip to New Hampshire's North Country, home to the former Old Man in the Mountain and some 6,500 moose.

Our first stop was to make reservations with Pemi Valley Excursions, a small company that provides moose tours in the area. We disclosed to Tony, the tourguide, that we were in search of waterfalls, and on his suggestion, wound up at Georgianna Falls. At the entrance to the trail, we saw a yellow warbler


(I think). The hike was beautiful and cool, although at some point the trail seemed to disappear and we found ourselves climbing up some steep and slippery rocks. It was well worth it though, because at the top we sat on a nice flat rock with a fabulous view of the waterfall. The crevices of the rock held some leftover rainwater, and bending over, you could see what looked at first like tiny little fish, only they whipped around in circles instead of swimming. After doing some internet research, it appears likely that these creatures were mosquito larvae. I'm glad we got there before they were flying around and sucking blood!

Later that afternoon we checked into a bed and breakfast, the Northern Star Inn. This place is great, because the innkeepers, Debbie and Jimmy, allow guests to use their kitchen facilities to make their own dinner. Their shelves were well-stocked with stacks of pots and pans, and although I tried, they wouldn't allow me to wash the dishes after I cooked up a storm of stuffed peppers. I highly recommend staying there. The rates are reasonable and the rooms are clean and charming. We awoke to the scent of sausage and bacon, and I even got to play their piano.

The next day, we did the two-mile circular hike at Flume Gorge.


It was fantastic, because there was this wood walkway that went alongside the waterfall and then over it. Here is a picture of Avalanche Falls:

Well I must be going to bed now. But I'll tell you more about my trip and brief encounter with New Hampshire wildlife tomorrow.

Posted by Tulula at 9:42 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 1, 2005 8:28 PM EDT

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