Summer Picnics and Planting

I hope everyone had a great long weekend and was able to do at least a little bit of relaxing! Modern Labor Day is strange to me because I don’t understand why some people have off and others who actually labor very hard, like garbage men and farmers, do not. I always feel so bad for the garbage men in my town when they are working on Labor Day, so I never put trash out–out of principle. Okay, so with my social confusion out of the way, this post is not about the inconsistencies of national holidays, it is about picnics, planting, pterapods, and finding wonder in the things around you! Let’s see what happened in the neighborhood!

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Gordon wasn’t a garbage worker or a twin, but hopefully he had the day off on Sesame Street! (credit floatingfoam.com)

This weekend I worked in the children’s garden helping to shovel and distribute part of a gigantic pile of mulch and also had a beach party picnic (but I didn’t take off Monday). There were 2 great thunderstorms, one with a stellar lightening show I wish I could have captured some shots of for you, but it was too rainy to take out my camera.

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The sky was full of these last night! (Photo by Joshua Stricklen)

Moving on to fall planting, I heard a great story from Gwen (from last week’s interviews) of how she saw my cousin Kent out sowing kale seeds in a very old-time way that made me feel so happy. He broadcast the seeds in the garden and then went and picked a branch off a tree and used the branch to rake the seeds in. Isn’t that wonderful how he continues to use the heirloom planting methods of our relatives? It is such a pretty picture in my mind. I told y’all he was the real deal! You know I’m trying out that method when I sow seeds this fall!!!

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Tiny kale seeds will rake in well. (forages.oregonstate.edu)

Continuing down to the each, over the past week there have been these little creatures in the ocean that we called pterapods that are like needly little pointy tubes that weave themselves into the fabric of your bathing suit and poke you. It’s not as bad a it sounds, it doesn’t hurt at all, and they only seem to come when it’s very warm and tropical outside so I’m not complaining! While they weren’t around during our beach picnic yesterday, this weekend I discovered a little more about them.

cyano sea butterfly

See how the tongue looks like wings

Their common name is sea butterfly. Doesn’t that conjure up a great image?! They get the name sea butterfly because they have a fluttering tongue that they use for swimming. Their scientific name is cresis acicula which roughly translates into sea butterfly. I always thought they were so strange and interesting because you can feel them against your hands like little clear sprinkles as you swim or paddle around in the ocean. The ocean never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think you know most of the life in your little area of the world–surprise!!!!!–something reveals more about itself or new shows up!

pterapod

This is exactly what I pull out of my bathing suit, but see they are only 4 mm so no biggie 

I think that is the essence of wonder–continuing to be open to and amazed by all the little things surrounding you in your natural world.

What has amazed you about your natural world this week?

Seeds to Sprout:

The scientific info on cresis acicula

The Smithsonian calls them the ocean’s canary in the coal mine! A really interesting article with FANTASTIC photos about sea butterflies and how pterapods can give clues about ocean chemistry and acidity levels as effects of climate change.

Great kale variety seeding and growing tips from Gentle World. Grow some this year!

 

pterapod insides

 

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