Archive for January 25th, 2011

I had a grand walk with Ruby and my camera on Sunday.  Of course, if you ask Ruby it would be better if I didn’t take the camera, because when I have it I tend to get up close and personal with things that aren’t all that interesting if you are a dog.  And I take way too long about it, too.

The snow was melting gently, revealing wood and moss in a nifty way.

There was a rock with moss and lichen and crystals reflecting the sun, which I tried and tried to “get” an image of.  (This was one point where Ruby got extremely bored.)  Successful depiction of crystal glitter requires video, I think.

Despite the cold, there are fungus growing.  The biggest one here is about 2 cm across.

The river oats were looking lovely.

The zoom feature of the camera allowed me to capture this pair of tufted titmice as they foraged on one of the big white oaks.

Out on the pond there are several places that look like this . . .

I suspect someone is buried in the mud below the surface here, slowly respiring and waiting for spring.   Every clear patch of ice has a similar collection of bubbles.

I saw a bright spot in the woods as I climbed out of the sink hole where I had been looking for subjects.  I was pretty sure it wasn’t a flower.  It turned out to be an errant wrapper for ramen noodle soup.

How does something like this get into the woods, anyway?   And after reading the list of ingredients I am wondering why anyone ever eats this stuff?   The “soup base ingredients” are what really give me pause.   First salt, then monosodium glutamate, then sugar.    I have grave doubts about things that require sugar, but when they require MORE MSG than sugar they really make me ponder.  I also find it interesting that “powdered cooked chicken” is almost last on the ingredient list, right before cabbage extract.   I suppose they couldn’t label the stuff “Salt and MSG flavored”, it most likely wouldn’t sell well.

Of course, the wrapper is now in my garbage.   An inspection of my trash would make a person think that I was a heavy smoker with no brand loyalty and a complete hypocrite, since it often contains things like the ramen wrapper, soda cans, and candy wrappers.

I just collect the trash, I don’t actually consume those things.

I had to go buy thistle seed for the finch feeder, and was moved to muse about the proprietors of our feed store.   They always label this black oil seed as “Nyjer,” which struck me as excessive in its political correctness, especially since we are now awaiting with bated breath the properly politically correct version of Huck Finn.

Imagine my surprise when I read this this morning (italics added by me):

To differentiate between the imported niger oilseed used to feed wild birds and thistle – as well as to eliminate any possibility of offensively mispronouncing the word “niger” – the Wild Bird Feeding Industry trademarked the name Nyjer in 1998. Unfortunately, Nyjer seed is still referred to by many people who feed wild birds as well as by some in the industry who package and sell wild bird food and as both niger and thistle.

So, our feed store is merely following the dictates of the Wild Bird Feeding Industry.  I should have known better than to think that they were worried about being PC, good rednecks that they are; just as I should have known better than to suppose that they had any such creativity in their heads just in case they were concerned about being PC.

I’m wondering why the WBFI  thinks changing the spelling of a perfectly good word is doing anything other than perpetuating ignorance of the proper pronunciation of words.   I’m also wondering why we haven’t changed the spelling of the Niger River and the nation of Nigeria.

Just a few thoughts for today.

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