After a week of many, many migrating Yellow-rumped Warblers, we seem to be in a period of large numbers of Kinglets. During our Humber Bay walk this morning, we heard almost continuously the high pitched call notes of both Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets.
Golden-crowned Kinglets measure about 4 inches in length and are slightly tinier than Ruby-crowns. The only smaller North American birds are hummingbirds.
Species list: red-necked grebe, great egret, double-crested cormorant, mute swan, Canada goose, mallard, gadwall, American wigeon, wood duck, hooded merganser, ring-billed gull, herring gull, rock pigeon, belted kingfisher, eastern phoebe, American robin, golden-crowned Kinglet, ruby-crowned kinglet, yellow-rumped warbler, house sparrow, red-winged blackbird, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, white-throated sparrow, song sparrow. (25 species)
Work has begun here to provide some more natural wetlands and the ponds have been fenced off while this project begins.
from Eugene Knapik; a frequent contributor on mushrooms to this blog.
Some mythology around the Amanita muscaria. I can’t say if there is any truth to this story, only that there are academics out there studying it. To Siberian tribespeople, this mushroom had spiritual significance and was eaten traditionally. Apparently they found an unusual way to get rid of the sickening agents from the mushroom without losing the spiritual/psychodelic ingredients. They fed the mushrooms to reindeer which they kept in a pen. As the story goes, these tribespeople extracted the urine of the reindeer after the reindeer ate the mushrooms. The user consumed this and then flew with the jaguars or whatever. The shaman who gathered the mushrooms and looked after the processing and delivery to the community dressed in red with white trim. So we have a jolly old man dressed in red, who has a herd of reindeer, can “fly”, and brings gifts and great joy to the community. Sound familiar? Have a look at some Victorian Christmas cards. Many depict the iconic red and white Amanita muscaria, associating it with Christmas.
A song like the chiming of silver
Bells which the breezes play,
Seeming to float for ever
Towards an unseen day. – John Gould Fletcher (1886–1950)