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Yesterday, when the day was fast disappearing, wakanomori and I went walking down past Gate 5 at the Quabbin Reservoir. The road goes down and vanishes into the depths of the water. Going on down to some town that's not there any more. Along the road were plenty of acorns--must gather these and try acorn flour! (This is at least the second time in LJ that I've made that note to self.)

The Quabbin looks so clear and inviting. But! you're not allowed to swim in it. And there's an observation tower, where surely the Quabbin patrol scans the horizon to look for people taking an illegal dip. Then they send a squad car round to pick you up. Then Wakanomori gets deported, being Foreign. So we have to be careful. Each bend we rounded, I'd look up, and each time, there was the observation tower. I could almost see Sauron's lidless eye up there, crackling and hissing and glancing round.

There was just one place, around a curve, where the water looked not only clear but green (because it was reflecting trees instead of sky), where we couldn't see Barad-dur. We didn't swim, but one day we should. We should go on a rainy day. That way, when we come walking back out with wet hair, we can blame the rain. And we should go at this time of year--a no-longer-thinking-of-swimming time. Both the rain and the season will mean we're less likely to run into other illegal swimmers.

(i) My surreal plant got accepted! Yay! It will be the first time I have ever been paid for writing fiction. Five dollars, so I won't go quitting my day job just yet, but it's still exciting. And it's all thanks to amberdine Thank you, Amberdine!!

(ro) I cut down my towering mugwort weed yesterday. It smelled so lovely. Now the environs of my wanderer's hut look almost civilized. Mugwort is Artemisia vulgaris. Guess what its cousin is? Wormwood, which you get absinthe from. Wormwood is Artemisia absinthium. Here is some mugwort, courtesy of Google and a Belgian photographer:

(ha) I remembered the name of the girl who I worked with, during the summer in high school, at the library. We were co-assistants to the children's librarian, and we got to travel in the library van (she drove) to the various elementary schools and do story hours for the kids who went there for summer programs. She was an art major at SUNY Geneseo and had taken a course in fabric design. The first year we worked together, the theme for the summer reading program was Jack and the Beanstalk, and she created a giant beanstalk. She made me notice the tendrils in bean plants and pea plants. I couldn't remember her name for most of this morning, but then it hit me: Cathy Syler. Or Seiler? I can't remember how it was spelled.

(ni) I made squash soup out of this amazing butternut squash. "My vegetable love shall grow/vaster than empires...?"


(ho) Having said to whiskeredsadie that I had never seen whorled wood aster around here, I did see it--in the woods by the Quabbin. Quebec seems a lot closer because of that :-)

Here is whorled wood aster, a picture I took myself (but the pic is from Quebec, not here):


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 5th, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
i ro ha ni ho? いろはにほ? No, don't get it.

But my, that's a... Er... Big squash. With a quote, even. Indeed.
Sep. 5th, 2006 05:53 am (UTC)

Sep. 5th, 2006 10:34 am (UTC)
Sorry for deleting that comment! It was to doubt72's post.

Thank you thank you! You know, I think this makes you like.... AN AGENT!
Sep. 5th, 2006 09:21 pm (UTC)

*demands 15%*
Sep. 5th, 2006 09:35 pm (UTC)
And where shall I mail that check for 75 cents?
Sep. 5th, 2006 10:33 am (UTC)
You got it--it's い ろ は に ほ。。。

Those are the first syllables in an old Japanese poem that used every kana in the Japanese syllabary (like using every letter in the alphabet), and it's used to list things--like going (a) (b) (c)...

Yeah, a squash you can't help grinning when you see.
Sep. 5th, 2006 03:18 pm (UTC)
What's the poem?
Sep. 5th, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC)
this wikipedia entry gives the poem, an explanation, and a translation. As you can see from the last lines, it has my username in it.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 5th, 2006 10:40 am (UTC)
We were speculating. One or two or even ten or twenty people swimming wouldn't be a big deal. They purify the water before people drink it, after all. But it's a huge reservoir, and if they once opened it up to swimming, you'd probably have thousands of people swimming in it over the course of the summer--and maybe they think the amount of purifying that would require (... ) makes something they can't permit.

Weirdly, you're allowed to take a BOAT on it and FISH. Like a boat with an engine isn't going to pollute it. Though maybe they only allow boats without engines; I'm not sure.

People have a love-hate relationship w/the Quabbin. It's pretty and people like walking by it and fishing on it, but there are still people alive today who were displaced from the original four towns that they drowned to make the reservoir. Plus, all the water goes to Boston; no one around here is allowed to drink it. Though one time when we were walking along it, we all took drinks just for the heck of it.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 6th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC)
it was good :-D
Sep. 5th, 2006 10:45 am (UTC)
It's the water supply for another town, either Springfield or Boston, I don't remember. BUT- even in 1992, before September 11th you were not allowed to swim in it. They don't want you to "contaminate" the drinking supply with diseases or dump something in it to be a terrorist and kill those people drinking said water in whichever town it goes to. See the website here-
Some nice old pictures here and some history....
Hope all that helps....
Sep. 5th, 2006 02:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, go on a rainy day and enjoy yourselves....the watchman would probably be tucked inside watching tv.
Sep. 6th, 2006 05:30 am (UTC)
Today was 80 percent chance of rain, but no rain--and now it's tomorrow (1 in the morning), and a sweet sweet rain is falling... made me think of you as I was listening to it...
Sep. 6th, 2006 04:19 pm (UTC)
I recon you should jump in, it would give the security something to do. It was what he is there for.
You sound like you live in Twin Peaks. Did you ever see that show? How good was that?
P.S - Is it me or does that squash look like a tool for evening fun?
Sep. 6th, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
I loved Twin Peaks--love that Kyle McLaughlin. Yeah, it's kind of Twin Peaks-ish here, now that you mention it!

Oh, you're so right about the squash. When I first saw it I thought, is this even legal?! I just had to buy it. I'm sure eating it um, gives you super prowess powers.
Sep. 6th, 2006 06:24 pm (UTC)
Is it me or does that squash look like a tool for evening fun?


*runs to the grocery*
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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