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rainy sunday

After a busy Saturday, we all went out to play in the rain on Sunday--to unwind. wakanomori, the healing angel, and I went to a colorfully named place--Rattlesnake Gutter! (The other forest creatures were having an adventure in the abandoned village.)

There's a huge ravine, where giants long ago threw down boulders and giant, six-sided and cubic dice. These still lie piled on top of one another at odd angles, so sometimes you can peer down through them quite a distance to the river-stream below.

Now many of them have moss growing on them. Some even have small trees growing on them.

Moss was bordering the stream, vivid green. The stream was being fed by many extra tributaries--or as Wakanomori said, contributories--this rainy week; there were little cataracts everywhere.

A catalogue of the plants: just coming up--sarsaparilla. in bloom--trillium and wood anemone and some kind of elder. On the rocks, rock tripe, which in Japanese they call いわたけ = iwatake, the mushroom/fungus of the crags. A story about rock tripe is under this first

Rock tripe, which is a lichen, is edible. The Encyclopedia Britannica website says that it has more calories than equivalent amounts of honey or cornflakes, and that George Washington ate it at Valley Forge. Ernest Seton Thompson (helped found the Boy Scouts of America, which doesn't particularly recommend him to me, but he was also excellent at woodcraft, which does) tells how to cook it:

"First gather and wash it as clear as possible of sand and grit, washing it again and again, snipping off the gritty parts of the roots where it held onto the mother rock. Then roast it slowly in a pan till dry and crisp. Next boil it for one hour and serve it either hot or cold. It looks like thick gumbo soup with short, thick pieces of black and green leaves in it. It tastes a little like tapioca with a slight flavoring of licorice." (that quote comes from here: http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/skills/seton/edible_plants.htm).

So... I tried this--because I gathered some of that rock tripe while we were out--and it's true! I am so happy to have eaten something that grows on bare rock.

Here's a picture from Google of rock tripe:



There was a mysterious bird there, whose call sounded **even more beautiful than the wood thrush** (to hear the wood thrush, go here). It was not a veery; I know what that sounds like, and it wasn't a hermit thrush, that sounds like a combination of a veery and a wood thrush. Maybe it was a swainson's thrush. It was so, so beautiful.

We did a little scrambling over rocks, but no parkour-ish, as it was too wet and slippery. We got quite soaked.

I'd like to come back there a thousand times. The healing angel said it was his best day ever. There are some photos of Wakanomori's under this second







On our way home, we saw spirits of the rain ascending back up into the clouds.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
babydriver
May. 15th, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC)
You always have the most beautiful photos! I save them all for my desktop rotation! Keep 'em coming :D
miafedup
May. 16th, 2006 01:43 am (UTC)
How absolutely breathtaking, wow. Such lush greenery! The stream is my favorite.

suzan_s
May. 16th, 2006 08:48 am (UTC)
OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHH I love these photos....a magical place indeed.
ex_stdymphna813
May. 17th, 2006 12:54 am (UTC)
very magical and beautiful and i love your journal.
herdialectic
May. 17th, 2006 06:06 am (UTC)
I like hearing about the different plants you see. Rattle snake Gutter is beautiful indeed. I have a sudden urge to go and find some edible plants in my vicinity.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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