Cool Camouflage

The trick is to put two fake eyes and fake feelers on the top of your wings, while hiding out down below as if you were upside down. Just the fake eyes or the fake feelers would fool no one. It’s got to be the combination.P1760711

 

Western Blue Butterfly

And how do you like those snowdrifts of cat tail fluff, eh! A fine touch.

The Sun Rises in Reykjavik

This is Reykjavik. I’ve left the farm, but Tra la la, down through the heart I go. P1530262

 

The Heart’s Way

Apartment staircase in Reykjavik

… and peek out through the heart’s window …

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What Your Blood Sees

(when it flows from your head down through your neck. Neat, huh!)

… and down the street to get some groceries, la de da, not seeking wisdom, not in a hurry for getting those tomatoes, but just, looking, you know…

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Another Window in the Heart?

A little unsteadily, I dare a look …

P1530265No, Just an Artery Drained of Oxygen

Move on.

So, going along and breathing deeply and all that, in rhythm with the footsteps (walking is an excellent lung pumping system… the body is a bicycle …) Focus, Harold!

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Some streets aren’t meant for loitering and dreaming!

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They are meant for crossing. So I cross, and who do I find, as if he were waiting for me …

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Old King Gylfi of Sweden

Dressed as Odin (aka Gandalf, aka Gunnar Gunnarsson) he went East seeking wisdom, in an old grey coat, and disguised as a peasant. He’s now the champion of the Icelandic Theosophical Society, who have nicknamed their magazine, Gangleri, after him.

Talk about meeting old friends in an unexpected spot! My youth was spent with Madame Blavatsky and Gurdjieff and the whole bunch, and a fine time full of light it was, sitting under a sumac tree with a dear Buddhist and watching the stars blow over the earth like seeds cast by the hand of the wind. So, well, yes, I can see it’s time to look back and see from where one has come, eh, and what was, so to speak, blocking the path to wisdom …

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Ah, just an ancient building , updated to new design standards. Well, well, well… Let’s follow Gylfi, then, and see where he’s leading us …

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Gadzooks! More of the Old in the Process of Being Made New

Well, steel yourselves, and let’s look into the belly of the beast…

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Wow. Complicated. 

Great colour balance, though. Hats off to the art teachers of the Icelandic school system.

But, we’re Ganglers not pit diggers, so on we go, out into the street and around, before the king gets out of sight …

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Demons Hiding Behind Fences!

Sheesh. Hurry along.

Ah, now this is more like it!

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Spiritual work should be joyous, right? It’s like a big piano, and if you play leapfrog on the keys in the right order you can stay a child forever. But, no, something else is blocking the path (I do believe that sidewalks were an afterthought in these parts!)…

P1530256But, what’s that?

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But, what’s that?

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That is the sun and then the sun rising in the mind.

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Dandelions, Awake!

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce you to the neighbourhood quail doing their tra la la back in the sweet time of flowers and weeds. At night, this stretch belongs to the coyotes, owls and deer, who have their own mysterious thing going on, but right now it’s time for cooing and head bobbing and, oh, did you see that coffee growing at the side of the path?withquail

Friendly Agriculture 

Quails, dandelions, and humans sharing an ecosystem.

Back in the Second World War, the danes, being clever and thrifty, blended their coffee with dandelion and chicory to make it go further, because nothing went very far back then and ships had a habit of sinking. Well, that’s one form of agriculture. Here’s another …

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Industrial Apple Orchard in the Week of Chemicals

Those dandelions under the trees have been poisoned with an industrial brew pioneered by Monsanto, called glyphosate. I don’t recommend eating them.

Ironically, there just might be more money in those dandelions than in the royal gala apples above them, in which there really isn’t any money at all, but lots of expenses. This, for one…

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Glyphosate

Down at the molecular level, in the children’s construction toy model design often favoured by chemists. The stuff ain’t cheap.

Dandelions are cheap, though. Their leaves make salads, their flowers make wine, their tea is anti-carcinogenic, and their roots make coffee, especially in the winter, when they store their minerals for the dark and look like this…

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Dandelions Hanging Out With Their Carrot Buddies

Note to self: wash them in a bucket next time. Sheesh.

I mean, if queen anne’s lace can make the journey from weed to agriculture, why can’t dandelions? One way is to roast them….

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Dandelion Roots, Toasted

Note to self: a lower temperature gives a bitter coffee; a higher temperature gives a sweeter one, but don’t go too high, as high temperature toasting of any food is ill-advised.

And a little fun with the coffee grinder gives this…

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Dandelion Root Coffee, Ready to Go

Just add water, wait five minutes, and … oh, isn’t that nice.

Actually, it tastes better than coffee. Not a secret, I guess. The neighbours have been in on it for a long time …

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Beetle Waiting for a Cuppa

Why is it that humans are always the last to know?

The great thing is that you don’t have to go down to Starbucks and buying it for a kazillion kronur a pound, but can pick it up most anywhere and slip it into the oven as it cools after you’ve cooked your dinner. Why, just the other day I found some just along the side of the road …

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Oops, Not That One.

Ah, this is better…

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Oh, Shoot!

Why is it that people put cigarette butts into their cold coffee? Isn’t that, like, gross?

Ah, this is better…

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Dandelion Keeping Its Coffee All to Itself

If this plant were harvested and kept cool, it could be encouraged to produce fresh spring salad in the middle of January, when the coyotes were nipping the frost off of their feet outside and the deer were making clouds with their breath. I mean, if you don’t want coffee.

As for the danes, here’s another weed that they used to use to stretch their precious wartime coffee yet further…

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Chicory

Notice how little respect it has for the military technology of barbed wire fences.

Same as dandelions: it grows everywhere; just dig it up, roast the roots, grind, and you have food security. The alternative, of course, is this:

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University of British Columbia Okanagan Administration Building

Instead of an agricultural university, we have been gifted one on the golf course model. Note the very secure golf club carrying rack on the back of this scooting-around vehicle. Note. too, the heavily fertilized weed-free lawn in the background, just right for the 8th hole. Easy does it. No wild swinging and thrashing. You wouldn’t want to break any glass. Oh, wait. They’ve taken care of that. Notice all the nice golf ball proof brick. 

Did you notice the revolution brewing, as they always seem to do on university campuses, despite the best attempts of administration to stamp them out? Here’s a closer view:

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The Revolution Begins

Like I said, why is it that humans are always the last to know?

Beats me.

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Green Sweat Bee

Just gathering some chicory pollen at the side of the road. Twelve hours before the humans came with a mower and did what the danes knew better than to do.

Weevils Among the Flowers

‘Tis the season for flowers to go a-blooming.

Dandelion after Yesterday’s Four Inches of Snow Went Away

Oh, who’s that hiding behind the flower, being all shy, like?

When we were all about eleven years old and training ourselves never to smoke cigarettes by teaching ourselves how to smoke cigarettes by sneaking out behind the school and cutting off chunks of wild clematis with our jacknives and the matches we brought from home and smoking little pithy tubes (not one person in that class ever smoked after that, and for good reason. Smoking wild clematis is guaranteed to cure you of any desire to seem glamorous with smoke pouring out of your nostrils.), knapweed first came to the Okanagan. It got on our fingers when we were pulling out stalks of grass to suck on them and look like we were on the set of Gunsmoke, and tasted like the tar sands and the Exxon Valdez all rolled into one. Now it’s everywhere, the nasty stuff, and if you’ve ever heard cattle bawling, that’s probably why. Now, though, there’s a weapon, the knapweed root weevil, which I’ve photographed here, with hope, and here, with consternation, and now …

Knapweed Root Weevil

Hiding from Winter Behind a Dandelion

I think the whole idea of being imported to North America is awfully tough on Knapweed Root Weevils. They sure seem to like flowers a lot. Bummer. Just wait until their kids have lost the taste for perogies and vodka and the strong man strutting of Vladimir Putin, and strike out on their own. There’ll be some surprises, I suspect.