Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yin Yang Moment(s)

    There are two paths through the field to the geese and chickens.  One is more roundabout with less high grass and the one usually taken.    The other more direct route follows the fence line, but the grass is high and usually wet with morning dew.

   What draws someone break from a habit?  Is there some unconscious pull that draws one to do the unusual?
   Usually the roundabout trip draws one's eyes to the sky, trees, flowers and the cats when they follow. It lends itself to a fairly dreamy trip that the mind can wander along. The fence line route is a more intense let's get the job done walk.  It is necessary to look down to avoid overgrown clumps of dewy wet grass and lest one steps in a big old pile of horse droppings.

    The hour was late and the inner clocks of the animals were ticking as they waited impatiently for room service. The fence line route was the choice.  Suddenly an ordinary trip to the chickens became both fearsome and fascinating - a huge snapping turtle.

Something wicked?
     The first thought was, "Something wicked this way comes." (Shakespeare. Macbeth)  The fears of this creature latching on to a finger or any body part and refusing to let go were forefront in thoughts.  Truly a case of opposing forces - fear and fascination.  Then came the hey wait a minute  realization that, after all, it is a turtle on land and will not spring up as a snake or other wild furry four footed animal might; it is a good time to get up close (within reason) and personal.

"All creatures great and small. . .
The Lord God made the all"
(Mrs) Cecil F. Alexander, 1848
     A snapping turtle is positively prehistoric looking.  It has a mean looking beak with a hiss to match and triangular points on the back of its shell.  And, it is fairly huge as wild turtles go.
     Now it is said that every pond has its snapping turtle, but in forty years not a one was seen here. The absence lent one to be complacent and think that yes, putting your fingers or toe in the pond would not lead to a crunch down on bone and skin because a snapping turtle's space had been invaded. Time to rethink that idea.
    Touch? Don't touch?  How about a hand over the top to show the size? Wiser thoughts prevailed. Just place the five gallon bucket alongside. The only interference was to carefully turn this determined creature, both great and small, around to head back to the streams in the woods and hopefully not find a hole in the fence that would lead to the pond.
    One can only hope.  Note to self - be cautious about what could be below the water's surface. Warn the geese to be careful with their toes!

A recipe to use those summer tomatoes before they are gone.  
                  Linguine with Tomatoes, Basil, and Brie
 5 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2" pieces
 1 lb Brie, rind removed, torn into small irregular pieces
 1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    several pinches of crushed red pepper
 ½ tsp salt
 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
 1 ½ lbs linguine.
Step one needs to set at room temperature for 2 hours.
1. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a serving bowl large enough to hold
the cooked pasta and sauce. Stir gently to combine.  

2. Cook linguine in salted water until al dente. Drain. Add to
the tomato mixture. Toss gently. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Silver Palate Cookbook


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