Thursday, March 21, 2013

In Pursuit of Purslane

If you are familiar with purslane, you'll know that the variety we have here is not quite like in other places, but that should not be a surprise. It is still edible and my chickens think it's the best treat in the universe. Usually, that's a good thing as a nice sized patch of it grows near the water in my yard. But with the drought (despite that lovely rain, we need more. Much more), the iguanas have also discovered it. For some reason the wild chickens leave it alone and I don't know why.

What I do know is if I take any more from my patch (I only take the leaves) they will be completely naked. However! I happen to know where a lot of it grows and occasionally take a walk to pluck a few dozen leaves. There are two varieties along the way, one smaller than what is in my yard and one much bigger. The chickens don't care, it's all manna* to them.

The green on the ground is the patch of purslane (she wrote alliteratively)
What I also know is that this is one of my favorite walks on Culebra. There's no room for more than two to walk comfortably and even that can be dicey with traffic on the curves (hear me warning you drivers who take those curves too fast and in the middle of the road?). And having headed out there early in the morning many times in a vehicle, here's a warning for walkers. Sunrise is blinding for the driver and you can barely be seen, if you are seen at all. Take note!

Here are some of the pieces and parts that wrap my heart up with invisible zip ties.

A look toward town.

Some fisherman didn't need all his bait. Why not toss it in to do some fish some good?

Splish splash

Mangroves in filtration mode. They cannot filter plastic bottles or bags though.

This rock was sitting on another rock. Thanks, whoever did that.

The one mangrove looks so snaky! The ones hanging down are not quite to the ground and were swaying in the breeze. It was a mangrove ballet.

The other night at Dinghy Dock we were trying to identify a piece of wood someone found. One person opined that it couldn't be mangrove because they didn't get that big. The rest of us all sang out in disharmonic chorus, 'Oh yes they do!' And yes. They do!
Purslane (and a bag of plastic trash, though I was far from collecting it all) stashed away, I headed home. The sun was beating down on my back and I was thinking of a friend who got sunburned the other day. I was thinking, MJ, you are an idiot, you don't have any sunscreen on and no proper shirt - yes, I had a top on - when a vehicle stopped with a friendly face behind the wheel, offering a ride. Thanks for that!

The chickens were thrilled. I am a purslane goddess. After feeding them, I was looking out in the bay and saw Samuel sailing in the briskness of the afternoon breeze.

Life is good
Dawn made a leap to an earlier hour yesterday. This morning, it was a pink red dawning, but looking at the radar I'm afraid the sailor's poem will go by the wayside. One can always hope!! Here is a wonderful explanation of that folk-loric bit, if you like knowing the backstory of certain sayings. How wonderful that people just randomly take the time to put these sorts of things out on the internet, for anyone cruising by to read.

Red sky at night, sailor's delight, red sky at morning, sailor's take warning.
*Purslane can be manna for you too. I know it's not Friday but in reading about it, I came across this recipe that sounds really good. Next time I go purslane gathering, some will be put aside for this salad. Maybe I'll have my own tomatoes by then too. Now to get some mint going...

Thanks to David and Debbie for a lovely pot of herbs to enjoy until their return next season - I'll add mint!. As much as I hate seeing our winter people return home, I'll admit that boxes of yumminess and pots of goodies they bring by make it a mini Christmas around here this time of year. I'll be celebrating until the last pinon nut is gone!

Have an (un)tarnished Thursday. Do something therapeutic.

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