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P1110997

P1110996Truth can be stranger than any fiction. We were reading an interesting article yesterday about parasitic flies that are eating the brains of Vermont honeybees. These flies, known as phorid flies pierce the abdomen of honeybees and deposit eggs. The fly larvae then consume the insides of the honeybees, turning them into what has been dubbed zombees. These bees exhibit extremely strange behavior such as leaving the hive in the dark and have been seen flying around outdoor lights, where they often are found dead the next day. This is strange with a capital “S” behavior.

There have been a lot of sightings of zombees on the west coast and yesterday we learned that these zombees have been found most recently in Vermont as well. There is a site called www.zombeewatch.org which is attempting to document the presence of these zombees. They are looking for zombee hunters, (a/k/a citizen scientists) so if you’re passion has been to hunt zombies, hunting zombees might be up your alley. There is a tutorial on how to become a zombee hunter on the website, which includes collecting the dead bees that you may find in certain outdoor locations into resealable plastic bags. The guide will instruct you on how to make a light trap to capture zombees and how to contain the dead bees while you wait and then watch the larvae emerge. Since I personally squirm when there are maggots in the summer garbage can, I most definitely can tell you that this is not the project for me; I am sure that those who are of much hardier stock may take some great interest in helping the folks at ZomBeewatch.org document the presence of these infected bees around the country.  I mean, how cool it is t be able to say that you are both a citizen scientist and a zombee hunter in the same breath?

English: International Criminal Court (ICC) logo

English: International Criminal Court (ICC) logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A long time ago, someone that I hold very dear to my heart, who was like a second father to me, told me that dressing up together with a respectful attitude can definitely put you in a place where you might not get otherwise. Those two things he would often say, would take you far in life.  We are, for better or worse, humans who judge on first impressions. Dressing up doesn’t mean donning a $1,500 designer suit, but rather dressing appropriately and more importantly, respectfully for the situation that you find yourself in and acting accordingly.

Today, my oldest son got a glimpse into the legal world that forms the basis of his mother’s world. We drove down to Massachusetts together to appear for a traffic ticket that he got driving home from a concert during the summer. Entering the courthouse, what I had been trying to explain to him quickly became apparent. Looking around it was easy to understand why it was so important for him to don a suit and dress appropriately for this appearance. There were folks there in sleeveless t shirts, sweatpants, some looking like they had just rolled out of bed, most very clearly not showing any respect for the court or those in it that would decide their fate, for better or worse. When addressed by court personnel, some were out and out rude, others swore and attacked the police officer who had given them their ticket, who incidentally was seated a dozen feet or so and well within earshot of their conversation. My son got to see another side of life, which I think opened his eyes to how important some of the little things are that the adults in his life have been telling him all these years. Personally, while I wouldn’t advocate running out and committing a traffic offense or criminal act, just spending a few hours in municipal or traffic court and seeing what other people go through and how good you’ve got it in a lot of respects, can give a person a great deal of perspective. It is definitely most often a long line of examples of how not to act.

Besides the attorneys and the court personnel, he was clearly the most respectfully dressed. Since I am not licensed in Massachusetts, I was only there as moral support with some legal advice thrown in for good measure. I am very proud to say that when called, he appeared alone before the magistrate and presented his side of the story. He walked out of the courtroom, with a very, very good result– a big part of which I am certain was directly attributed to his appearance, his respectful and apologetic tone and his manners. TJ referred to it as “the power of the suit”. So, bringing the story full circle, my dear mentor had he been there today, would have been very proud of my son, his demeanor and the “power of the suit”.

Today is one of those autumn days when you know that fall has reached its peak. You don’t need a weather forecaster or foliage specialist to let you know that we are on the spiral to winter.

Most of the leaves up on the hill are making their way from their home in the branches to the ground where they create a colorful fall carpet and make the wonderful rustling noises that make you unable to resist dragging your feet through the leaves as you walk along. Today it is raining, off and on, and the leaves are falling from the trees like snow. It won’t be long before the trees up here are bare.

Color is about as good as it is going to get, it is almost bursting with yellows, oranges and reds. The surrounding mountains are speckled with the colors of fall.

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Today was a peppery kind of day. I bought a bushel of sweet peppers at the farmer’s market today and combined it with some other delicious pasilla peppers from Alchemy Gardens. I added to that peppers from my CSA at Evening Song Farm and my own poblano peppers. What does one do with all those peppers?

First, I washed seeded and cut up a bunch to freeze for later in the winter, when we need some homegrown peppers. These will remind us of the warm weather when gardening is but a dream.

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Then I roasted a whole lot of the peppers. Some of them were fixed with garlic and extra virgin olive oil. We will have these with some homemade bread from the farmer’s market for dinner tonight.

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Finally, I took some of the roasted peppers and canned them for use later on, much like you would buy in the store. These will be added to pasta or soup, or some other goodies in the coming weeks.

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The other day I found this recipe for chocolate banana bread. I tried it, it was a hit at our house, even among those that didn’t like banana bread.

Personally, I think the chocolate did the trick. How can anyone not like chocolate?

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If you’re interested here is the link to the recipe, which can be found at www.cookinglight.com

Evilwife on the move

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