Posted by: ktzefr | April 14, 2021

7 Favorite Flowering Trees

“Spring rain: and as yet

the little froglets’ bellies

haven’t got wet.”

~ Buson

I don’t know if the frogs’ bellies have gotten wet, but the spring rains have brought out the dogwood and magnolia blossoms.  Here are a few of my favorite blooming trees…

The dogwood has always been a spring star for me, whether perfectly pruned throughout city neighborhoods or growing wild in the Kentucky hills.

Dogwood; Photo:KFawcett

My favorite tree of all — the Royal Poinciana or flamboyant (flame tree) of the tropics.  Although it grows in Mexico and many of the Caribbean islands, the burst of red in late spring on the lush, green hillsides of St. John in the US Virgins is stunning.  Sometimes a tree takes your breath away…

Royal Poinciana, Flamboyant tree; Photo:KFawcett

Flame Tree, St. John, USVI; Photo:KFawcett

There was a white magnolia on my college campus, a park with pink magnolias near my office in the city for years, and now pink magnolias to befriend on my morning walks.  I like the subtle connections in life, the links from one spring to the next, especially the ones that bloom.

Pink Magnolia; Photo:KFawcett

Central Mexico is one of my favorite places in the world.  I love all of the seasons in the Sierra Gorda. At higher altitudes the weather is perfect — spring-like all year long with warm days and cool nights.  And the perfect harbinger of spring is the jacaranda tree in bloom.  Bluish-purple clouds of flowers decorate cities and towns and small villages everywhere.

Jacaranda blooms; Photo:KFawcett

Jacaranda in bloom, San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

When I was growing up in Eastern Kentucky we had a snowball bush that grew alongside the chimney to the living room fireplace.  It was rather tall and slender but full of big white blooms every spring.  The snowball flowers meant the real snow was over, that spring had come, and in a few weeks time I could pull off my shoes and go barefoot until fall.  

Chinese Snowball Vibernum; Photo:KFawcett

Spring in DC is all about the cherry blossoms and that flurry of white/pink blooms can be spectacular.  But my favorite cherry is the Kwansan.  It’s not quite as fragile and the flowers last longer.  I like trees that keep their blooms for awhile.  I like to stretch out the spring season before we jump into hot, muggy summer.  

Kwansan Cherry; Photo:KFawcett

Kwansan Cherry tree; Photo:KFawcett

Years ago I used to go bike riding on a trail in the Virgin Islands National Park, and along one stretch beside the sea there was a row of Golden Chain trees (also called Golden Rain trees or Shower trees).  I would ride beneath and reach up and touch the long chains of yellow blossoms.  I didn’t realize the tree was poisonous.  That rain of beautiful flowers created a lasting image.  I didn’t find a photo from that time, but check out the link to this spectacular tree.   

Another tree that I don’t particularly like by itself but love to see growing wild along the hillsides in Kentucky is the redbud.  Spring wouldn’t be spring without it.

Redbud tree; Photo:KFawcett

What are your favorite flowering trees?

 

Posted by: ktzefr | March 19, 2021

Rum Vats to Lily Ponds

Time to plant…almost.  This Saturday, March 20, is the spring equinox.  When the “sun crosses the equator” you can start thinking about planting a garden.  I heard this every spring when I was growing up in Kentucky.  We always had a big vegetable garden and the porch was full of my mom’s petunias and geraniums in pots and planters.  Old car tires painted and cut to resemble flower pots became fashionable one year and we had a tire in the front yard full of blooms.

One of the reasons I love the tropics is the year-round blooms in a multitude of colors and heady scents.  In Mexico flowers fill pretty talavera planters in the shapes of frogs and chickens and donkeys.  In Costa Rica old tires are carved and painted like the wild red macaws with those long tail feathers, and the  bird planters are hung from posts.    

Blue Horizons Gardens, Grenada; Photo:KFawcett

Last winter on the island of Grenada I was puzzled by some of the huge planters I saw scattered about the gardens.  What were those big bowls?  Turns out they were old metal vats that were used in the rum-making process at the local distillaries.  They make fantastic lily ponds and succulent gardens.

Blue Horizons Gardens, Grenada; Photo:KFawcett

One thing becomes another.  There’s no end to the possibilities.  I’ve recycled jelly jars and Ball jars as vases for cut flowers and poked holes in the bottom of coffee cans for outdoor blooms.  My mom had a green thumb and could stick a rooted leaf or half-dead twig in the dirt and it would produce flowers in no time whether planted in a real pot or a recycled can or plastic container.

Blue Horizons Gardens, Grenada; Photo:KFawcett

I have 23 peat pots that have shown signs of life in the last couple of weeks.  Mostly marigolds and basil.  I carry my “garden” with me on an old cookie sheet from one room to the next following the sun.  It’s a lot different from planting corn and potatoes and beans in long, never-ending rows in the heat.  But it’s still pretty much about getting my hands in the dirt and anxiously waiting for sprouts.

*****

Posted by: ktzefr | March 12, 2021

Lasagna in Yucatan…an unexpected treat

Lasagna; Photo:KFawcett

The best lasagna I’ve ever eaten was in Mexico.  Surprised?  No, my experience with lasagna is not limited.  I even ate the green noodle variety, before it became popular, in the 70s in some Italian city though I can’t recall where – Venice or Rome, Florence or Rapallo.  I’ve had lasagna at good, bad, and mediocre Italian restaurants in DC and Virginia and New York.  I have a number of different lasagna recipes and they’re all good.  The varieties I’ve tried at the homes of Italian friends are excellent, too.  Still, the best lasagna I’ve ever eaten was in Mexico.

Surprisingly, it was not at an Italian restaurant, but rather a four-hundred-year-old hacienda in Yucatan.  Centuries ago it was a cattle ranch and then a sisal plantation and then a research station for archaeologists who came to study the Mayan ruins.  It is surrounded by ancient trees and organic gardens filled with papaya and mango and banana trees and a variety of vegetables and herbs. Dinner on the back terrace amongst the majestic palms and bougainvillea, the birds and butterflies, and the trova music of a local trio is like stepping into a fairytale. 

One would expect, however, that a special dinner in Yucatan might include cochinita pibil or poc chuc or panuchos.  And it’s all good eating.  But lasagna?  It was truly an unexpected treat.

At some restaurants lasagna is served in a microwave dish that has gone from freezer to oven or from a huge casserole where every serving is the same size and shape.  But the lasagna in Yucatan was first class.  Each dish was individual, with the fresh pasta and filling assembled and then dressed with two sauces — a thick béchamel on one side and a fresh tomato sauce on the other.  Fresh tomatoes, as in just-gathered from the organic gardens. 

I failed to get the recipe that first visit and, on return trips over the years, it was impossible as the chef had gone.  They no longer served the same lasagna.  I tried to duplicate it.  I sometimes use just vegetables, as Chef Josue did, but sometimes I add chorizo because I love chorizo.  It’s not quite the same.  Or, perhaps, making lasagna on a cold day with the trees bare and the flowers dead makes a difference.  I can’t duplicate that fairytale-ish atmosphere, but the lasagna is tasty.

Here then is lasagna that tries to imitate the best I’ve ever eaten.  It’s a bit different each time because I don’t really measure anything, so these are approximate amounts — be creative!

A Really Confusing Lasagna Recipe

The filling: 2 large carrots, 1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, 2 or 3 chorizos (all chopped small).  2 cups fresh spinach and a small bunch of cilantro, chopped.  Olive oil.

Saute minced vegetables and chorizo in olive oil for a few minutes on medium heat to soften; add spinach and cilantro and turn off the heat.

The tomato sauce: chopped fresh tomatoes (from the garden or on the vine variety or cherry tomatoes), sundried tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, oregano (fresh is best, but dried will do), salt, pepper, pinch to a tablespoon of sugar.

Mix all ingredients in a pan and heat.  (Use lots of fresh tomatoes, a few sundried tomatoes sliced in strips as any leftover sauce can be used for other dishes). Cook on medium heat until the sauce cooks down but does not go dry.   You can also use a little Rao’s Marinara Sauce if you need more sauce. 

The béchamel: 4 tablespoons sweet butter, 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, 2 cups of milk (I use 1 ½ cup milk and ½ cup heavy cream), salt, pepper, nutmeg, a handful of Manchego cheese shredded.

Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add the flour and cook gently and stir constantly.  Don’t let the flour and butter turn brown!  In another pan, bring the milk and cream to a boil.  Pour the boiling milk into the butter/flour mixture.  Beat it continuously with a wire whisk. Stir for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.  Add the shredded Manchego cheese and stir continuously as it melts.  This is about 2 cups of sauce.

The pasta:  Fresh lasagna pasta is best, but the dried variety will do.

Cook lasagna in boiling water according to directions.  Drain and prepare to use immediately.  You may have to add a little olive oil to the pasta to keep it from sticking together and it’s hot.  This is a task!  Cut the pasta into serving-sized squares/rectangles.  

Assemble: Layer noodle, vegetables, noodle, etc. on individual plates (at least four or five layers). Or assemble the lasagna in a traditional serving dish and cut individual servings (just the noodles and vegetable layers).  Note: the lasagna is not baked as all ingredients are already cooked and then assembled hot.

Serve by covering half the lasagna (each serving) with tomato sauce and the other half with béchamel.

This recipe makes about 4 big servings or 6 smaller servings.

The tomato sauce and the vegetable/chorizo filling can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to heat in order to make the last-minute tasks easier.

*****

Posted by: ktzefr | March 2, 2021

For the Love of Shuck Beans

Shuck beans dried and ready for the pot…

Shuck beans are dried green beans that are rehydrated and cooked.  When I was growing up in Kentucky we prepared the beans for drying at the end of summer.  With a big darning needle and a roll of twine we made strings of beans to hang in the smokehouse.  They needed to be out of the sunlight in a cool, dry place.  On a cold, winter day a pot of shuck beans with salt pork and a chunk of cornbread was a meal.

The tradition of stringing and drying green beans is believed to have originated in Germany and brought to the mountains by early settlers.   Green beans in Germany are strung on thread and dried (Getrocknete bohnen) the same way we did in Appalachia.    

When my mom was older she quit the time-consuming practice of stringing beans and spread them out on newspaper on a table in the sun or even in the back window of the car.  At Christmas time, when she came to visit us, she would bring a “mess” of shuck beans in a brown paper sack in her suitcase. 

I recall early times when it took the beans all afternoon to cook.  Then Mom got a pressure cooker that shortened the time dramatically. 

I actually prefer long cooking times, whether I’m making spaghetti sauce or soup or beans, as the old methods fill the house with good scents that last well into the next day. 

Scents are powerful.  They can bring back memories and instantly transport a person to other places and times.  I guess that’s why food smells have become popular with candlemakers.  Did you know they now have Kentucky Fried Chicken scented candles?  And bacon?  And popcorn, tomato, and doughnuts?  There are even beer and vodka candles you can smell all day and not get drunk. 

Alas, I couldn’t find any shuck bean candles.  They would have to add a hint of salt pork or ham hock, of course, but I suppose if there was no pot of beans forthcoming at the end of the day, the scent alone would just be frustrating.

**********

Posted by: ktzefr | February 23, 2021

A Dozen Orchids…

 

Orchid; Photo:KFawcett

It’s a small miracle to find an orchid growing in the wild.  Years ago we were hiking in Costa Rica, crossing a swinging bridge in the Tirimbina rainforest, when we spotted something white perched high in the canopy.  On a footbridge 115 feet above the Sarapiqui River, we stopped to stare.   

Wild orchid; Photo:MFawcett

When I was growing up in Kentucky women liked to wear orchids to church on Easter Sunday.  Some corsages had one small bloom, while others displayed a huge flower or several arranged together.  Most of the orchids were either white or some shade of purple, from the palest lavender to a rich, royal hue.  Occasionally, someone wore a bloom striped with both colors.

Orchid; Photo:KFawcett

I didn’t know orchids came in other colors back then because it seems the florists only had white and purple, the traditional Christian colors of Lent and Easter.  Purple is the liturgical color of Lent, representing pain, suffering, and penitence.  It’s also the color of royalty, of majesty. White, on the other hand, symbolizes hope, purity, and reverance.

But orchids come in many colors…

Orchid; Photo:KFawcett

After church, orchid corsages could be stored in the refrigerator and the blooms lasted for days.  But I don’t recall ever seeing anyone wear the corsage after Easter.  Perhaps there was some pleasure in taking it out of the refrige on occasion to look at the bloom.  

Orchid; Photo:KFawcett

I never wore corsages and I still don’t.  But I raise orchids and know how rare it is to get an orchid to bloom.  The blooms, if left to themselves, last for weeks or even a couple of months.  So I don’t think I could bring myself to clip a flower to wear for just a day.

Orchid; Photo:KFawcett

One of my favorite excursions in the past has been to the National Botanic Garden’s orchid show in late winter/early spring.  Because of covid, the conservatory is now closed.  But the website has information about prior exhibits and helpful hints about growing orchids at home.  

Here, then, a few more favorites…

Orchid; Photo:KFawcett

Orchid; Photo:KFawcett

Orchid; Photo:KFawcett

Orchid; Photo:KFawcett

Orchid; Photo:KFawcett

Orchid; Photo:KFawcett

**********

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: ktzefr | February 19, 2021

Appalachian Greetings and Stuff…

On my morning walks I see others exercising, jogging, and leading or being led by dogs.  We keep a distance, say “good morning” and “how are you” and/or mention the weather.  Almost everyone, when asked how they are, will answer “I’m good.”

When I was growing up in Kentucky, a simple “I’m good” would never have sufficed.  It was all about the expectation of elaboration.  The story.  Details.  Though people everywhere have different ways to greet and respond, I recall one old Appalachian response to “how are you?” that all of us might agree with at the moment – “I’ve seen better days.”  

Saying “hello” or “good morning” or “how are you doing” was a way to start a conversation, not just a customary greeting.   If someone said, “I’ve seen better days,” it would have been rude not to ask what was going on.

“I’m okay, I guess” was one way to ensure another question and, perhaps, a longer conversation would follow.  “Well…all things considered” worked the same way.

One of my favorite exchanges might go like this:  “How are you today?” Response: “Not sure.  I don’t want to talk out of school, but…”  This meant, of course, that this person was about to tell you something that he/she had promised not to tell (it had nothing to do with school).

Sometimes a person would skip a greeting and go straight to a “fill-in-the-blanks” as in  “I guess you heard about what happened to  ____ (Aunt Mavey or cousin George or the man who sells peaches at the exit to the interstate).”

One typical response always started with a sigh.  “Whew…doing the best I can…”  Another sigh followed, giving the other person a pause to show concern, and then this: “under the circumstances,” in which case one must look puzzled and ask about the circumstances (even if such was widely known). 

I can’t count the number of times I heard a response begin with “To tell the truth…” (as if the speaker had, perhaps, considered saying they were fine, but decided to go into the details as to why they were not). 

While spending 99.9% of our time at home the last year, we have watched a lot of old sitcoms.  I’ve heard Joey on Friends say “how YOU doing” more times than I can count.  He never meant it.  Not once.  A lot of times real people don’t mean it either.  “I’m good.”  Everybody’s good.  Except, of course, they’re not.  Not always, anyway.

The story matters.  The details matter.  And we’ve all seen better days.  But another saying I especially like is this one:  “Tomorrow is another day.”

**********

 

Posted by: ktzefr | January 30, 2021

Caribbean Dreamin’ from Antigua to Grenada…

10 Poems, 10 Pics…

The sea in its wildness and beauty is a recurring theme in the work of Juan Ramón Jiménez, the great Spanish poet and winner of the 1956 Nobel Prize in Literature.  Though his descriptions are of images from his own childhood by the Mediterranean, Cantabrian, and Balearic Seas and the Atlantic Ocean, I think his words also express the beauty of the Caribbean.  On this cold day, an escape to warmer climes is in order…

“Hope, a seagull,

alights here and there.”

 

Antigua; Photo:KFawcett

“A sky each day,

Each night…

Concave hands that snare

an instant of faith on the sea.

But I, being small, escape, day

after day, night

after night,

like a butterfly…”

~ “Skies”

****

St. John, USVI; Photo:KFawcett

In the sweltering blue of early afternoon,

The garden blazes in the sun…

Amid still garlands of trees, the sea rocks

Sunswept waves sparkling with diamond flashes.

~“Southern Sea”

****

St. George’s, Grenada; Photo:KFawcett

“Swallows over the sea!  Dark gold

here and there, in idyllic layers of blue!

Springtime water, fabulous treasure

of color, longing, light, passion!”

~ From Africa to Andalusia

****

Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe; Photo:KFawcett

“Like starlight,

like a nameless voice

in a dream, like the hoofbeats of a distant horse

we strain to hear,

one ear pressed close to the ground,

like the sea heard over the phone…”

~ Diary of a Newlywed Poet

****

Peter Island; Photo:KFawcett

“I’ve left the sky behind

on land, with all I learned,

singing there.

 Here on this sea

I’ve emerged to another sky, emptier

and unbounded like the sea, with a different

name, one I still haven’t learned

how to say…”

~ “Sky”

****

Guana, BVI; Photo:KFawcett

“I don’t know if the sea today

— its blue adorned with

numerous foaming waves – ,

is my heart; or if my heart, today

— its crimson adorned

with countless foaming waves –,

is the sea.”

~ Diary of a Newlywed Poet

****

Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico; Photo:KFawcett

“Memories are like golden sand dunes,

that come and go.

The wind carries them away

and wherever they are, they are…

They fill everything, a total sea

of indescribable gold,

with all the wind it holds…”

~ “Memory”

****

Cooper Island; Photo:KFawcett

“Below, everyone is asleep,

 above, alert,

the ship’s pilot and I.

He watches the compass, in charge

of our bodies,  under lock

and key.  I, with my eyes

on the infinite, steering

the open treasures of our souls.”

~ “Route”

****

Bonaire; Photo:KFawcett

“The earth guides us on earth;

but you, sea,

guide us through the sky.

With what steady silver and golden light

the stars mark out

the route! – you could almost say

that earth is the path

of the body,

that the sea is the path

of the soul –“

~ “Nocturne in a Dream”

****

Grande-Terre, Guadeloupe; Photo:KFawcett

“I have a feeling that my boat

has struck, down there in the depths,

against a great thing.

And nothing

happens! Nothing…Silence…Waves…

–Nothing happens? Or has everything happened,

and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?”

~ “Seas”

*****

***** All of the above poems are excerpts from The Poet and the Sea

Posted by: ktzefr | January 20, 2021

16 Snowy Haiku

A haiku is a snapshot.  Sir George Sansom defined haiku as “little drops of poetic essence.”  They tell a story, paint a picture, and leave it up to the reader to find meaning.  Specific words and images are revealing — the poet’s reaction to one of the senses (the sight of a butterfly or the sound of a waterfall);  the setting (a mountain stream, the seashore, a garden); and the most evocative — the time of year (leaves falling, a tree frog singing, the wisteria blooming).  

My favorite haiku are set in spring or summer.  But, since it’s winter, I decided to scour the works of some of my favorites to look for snow.  And, it seems, there’s plenty snow to be found.  

 

“Well then, let’s go —

to the place where we tumble down

looking at snow!”

~ Matsuo Basho

***

“Snow that we two

looked at together — this year

has it fallen anew?”

~ Matsuo Basho

***

“The usually hateful crow:

he, too — this morning,

on the snow!”

~Matsuo Basho

***

 

“My snow!” — when I think that,

it weighs almost nothing

on my umbrella-hat!”

~ Kikaku

***

“Mountains and plains,

all are captured by the snow —

nothing remains.”

~ Joso

***

Candles; Photo:DFawcett

“At the candle’s light

I look, and yes — there is a wind.

The snow tonight…”

~ Ryota

***

 

“The moon, the snow,

and now besides — through mist,

the morning glow!”

~ Michihiko

***

“Such a lot of snow

that to do snow-viewing

there’s no place to go.”

~ Anon

***

“Eleven of them go,

horsemen who do not turn their heads —

through the wind-blown snow.”

~ Shiki

***

“A mountain village:

under the piled-up snow

the sound of water.”

~ Shiki

***

“Despite some snow

the base of hills spreads with haze

the twilight scene”

~ Iio Sogi

***

“‘It’s my snow’

I think

And the weight on my hat lightens”

~ Takarai Kikaku

***

“Twas a snowy evening.

How many umbrellas went by?”

~Tachibana Hokushi

***

Icicles; Photo:KFawcett

“For some reason

there are long, and there are short

icicles”

~ Uejima Onitsura

***

“Snow’s falling!

I see it through a hole

in the shutter…”

~Masaoka Shiki

***

“No sky at all;

no earth at all — and still

the snowflakes fall….”

~ Hashin

***

Posted by: ktzefr | January 15, 2021

Eggs with a View

I walk to the market before breakfast to buy eggs when we’re in Mexico.  In San Miguel fresh eggs are sold by the San Juan de Dios church and each one is stamped with a tiny picture.  The eggs don’t come in Styrofoam or cardboard containers; they’re bunched together in a clear plastic bag tied at the top and stacked carefully with others in a basket or wooden barrel.  It takes some skill to get them home without breaking any.  They are never refrigerated.  My first impulse is to put them in the refrigerator when I get back to the house, but the housekeeper shakes her head.  That ruins eggs, she says.  The only way to properly eat eggs is to buy them fresh, buy them often, and keep them in a basket on the counter.  

I like huevos revueltos, scrambled eggs with peppers and onions and cheese.   A scoop of salsa.  Tocino on the side.  A bowl of just-ripe papaya or mango topped with yogurt.  Chunks of fresh, warm bread I’ve picked up at the bakery on the way home with butter and jam.  A concha roll, maybe, or cinnamon raisin rolls or a chocolate croissant.  One of the bakeries in San Miguel has the most wonderful blackberry filled turnovers; another offers orange doughnuts made fresh every morning, but they’re sold out by 10 o’clock, and another makes Bostok, buttery day-old brioche soaked in liqueur-infused almond and orange flower water.  (A mouth-watering look HERE.)

One winter morning in Merida, Yucatan in 2019 we walked several blocks in the 90+ degree heat to breakfast at the Angel House.  The Restaurant Tala in Casa San Angel is the place to be for huevos montulenos at Sunday brunch – fried eggs over refried black beans on a tortilla with salsa and fried plantains and chorizo and queso fresco.  All those flavors and scents…makes one eggstatic!  

**********

Bougainvillea; Photo:KFawcett

An egg is an egg is an egg — or not.  Last winter in Grenada we had our eggs every morning on the porch watching the sugar birds dart in and out of the neem trees and the bougainvillea.   It’s all about atmosphere…

I have a history with eggs that goes back a long way.

When I was growing up in eastern Kentucky I gathered eggs from the hen house.  The nests were recycled Pepsi and Coke and RC Cola crates.  They were made of wood with slats to keep the soda bottles separated.  We removed the slats, added straw, and voila!  Each one became a perfect laying nest to set on a shelf for chickens.  Most days I could slip my hand beneath a docile chicken and gather the warm eggs with no problem.  Occasionally, a feisty hen would make a fuss and create a ruckus in the hen house and a lot of flapping and feathers and dust would ensue.  But the eggs were always fresh, and I was on a first-name basis with the chick who laid breakfast.  Bess was one of my favorites. 

I was disappointed with the eggs I bought a few weeks ago.  They were not good.  The yellows were faded, washed-out looking.   The whites too watery.   Not the brand I ordered.  And the store sent three dozen!  After two weeks, weekend and holiday breakfasts, pancakes, and a chocolate fudge cake that required three eggs, they are finally gone. 

Breakfast on the roof in San Miguel de Allende; Photo:KFawcett

During the past several months of staying home, I’ve missed being elsewhere – in Mexico or the Caribbean or with family in Kentucky.  My world is out of kilter.  Perhaps that’s why even the eggs don’t look or taste quite right.  I like eggs mingling with other goodies and making magic.  I like eating eggs with family and friends.  I like my eggs with a view!

**********

For info on the best, most reliable transportation/tour services in San Miguel:  San Miguel ECO Touristic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: ktzefr | January 6, 2021

The 7 Colors of Blood

Butterflies have yellow blood!

Photo:KFawcett

But you knew that, right?   You’ve seen it splattered across the car windshield.  An hour-long trip down an interstate highway can yield the remnants of clear, green, or yellow blood from a variety of bugs.  The color of an animal’s blood is caused by different proteins and pigments.

Many butterflies, beetles, and other insects have almost clear blood.  Some have bright yellow blood that’s nearly white.  Have you ever stomped a cockroach?  That yucky ooze from the smashed bug is blood.   

When you squash a fly and see all the red stuff, however, that’s not blood.  That’s actually pigment from the fly’s  eyes.

Blue blood is a term used to refer to someone of noble birth.  An aristocrat.  But lowly spiders, horseshoe crabs, the Antarctic octopus and some scorpions actually have real blue blood. 

The Peanut Worm’s blood is so dark purple it’s almost black and the worm’s skin is semi-transparent so you can see the blood coursing through its’ body.

Some lizards, salamanders, skinks, and worms have green blood.   Almost all of these animals eat green vegetation.  They are what they eat.

Quite a few animals have no blood at all – jellies, corals, sponges, for example.  Jellyfish don’t have a brain either, but they function fine without it.  And they also have no heart.  There’s never a question as to whether a jelly is thinking logically or emotionally, with its brain or its heart.  It has neither.

So, if you have been known to describe a crimson-colored flower or fabric or fruit as “red as blood,” that’s ok.  But you can now add “as yellow as blood” or “as green as blood” or “as blue/purple/white/clear as blood” to your vernacular.

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