Tag Archives: researching plants

#SoCS — Oc(a)

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday comes to you from the letter O and C and an idea perpetuated by Linda G Hill.  Additional support can be found at The Friday Reminder for SoCS, January 19.


Varieties of Oca from Pintrest

Oca is the “oc” first word my computer dictionary (Wordweb) gave me.  Kind of obvious, really. What wasn’t obvious was that it was a traditional Andean food, though…  when you say the word, it feels right.

What I found interesting was that Oca is a kind of wood sorrel, the same group of plants commonly sold as Shamrocks (not the same as a true shamrock, which is actually a clover).  They do have pretty flowers, though the variety we find around here are very sour to the taste (from the oxalic acid in the plant, a mildly compound that can cause damage to the kidneys in high doses).

If you’re hungry though, it’s high in vitamin C and fiber and other nutrients.  The tubers are starchy (they weren’t imported to Europe as a substitute to the potato without reason).  Another common weed, like (the very tasty tubers of) nutsedge, that I explored for “survival foods” for a time when two of my characters must journey in the wilderness for a few years.

Oca…  it’s an interesting word.  It inspired a lot more thought than the first one that came to mind: occipital

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Outdoor Dining – a WIPpet/ROW80 post

ROW80?

Another Wednesday and, as always, I’m stuck for a title for my post.  Starting out never works well for me.  (It’s the usual reason I end up being late with my posts.)  I almost always have enough inspiration to follow through on an idea, but picking one–just one–well….

So…  maybe (especially since it’ll fit into my ROW80 check-in ), I’ll begin with my morning.  I went on a field trip with my son’s school.

It’s not a big deal field trip.  His school goes on field trips every week to nature preserves.  Today we harvested black walnuts and horsetails, wild grapes…  mint and garlic mustard were plenty, but we only sampled those.

So YES!  I have kept up with my ROW80 Fitness goals.  In fact…  I’ve gone for at least a mile of walking every single day since last Friday, and most days, I’ve made it for three times that.

And all these nature walks have also helped me return somewhat to my own roots.  Back in my childhood, Grandma and Grandpa’s farm was right next to a nature center, and I spent day after day in the summer walking through the woods and learning about various nature plants via field guides.  I even went to college for a Biology and Forestry.

Acorns of Sessile Oak. The acorn, or oak nut, ...But I’m a bit rusty with my taxonomy.  And so…  RESEARCH!  Yep…  I’ve had a great time looking through info on native plants that could be used for food (there’s a story related reason for this…  in the Swan Song series, I have characters in situations where someone needs to know this sort of information).  On the Eat the Weeds site, I found a great  article on acorns, and yesterday I harvested a bunch of white oak acorns for experimenting with (that “Newtella” acorn spread looks delicious).

As for the rest of my ROW80 goals progress?  Mostly I’ve done in-depth character sketches for Swan Song.  I don’t like the idea of having eeeeevil antagonists.  The classic “bad guy” just doesn’t work for me.  I want my heroes to break up homes, my bad guys to save puppies from burning houses….  and I want everyone who reads the books to root for the protagonists and hope the antagonists “get theirs”.

I don’t ask for much, do I?

And on that note, let’s head on to the third book of the Swan Song series (I know!  I still don’t have a good name for it yet; good thing it’s the third book) for a October 16th ….

WIPpet

wippetwednesday_zps53e803c0Welcome back to Vissellii and ‘Listii’s story.  Yes, I said I would be covering Alanii’s story (Courting the Swan Song) for the time being until I finish (hopefully) by the end of  November’s NaNoWriMo.  But given that native foods seem to be part of today’s topic, I detoured for a moment to spend some time with two of my favorite characters.

I didn’t play too much with the WIPpet maths today.  Just sixteen sentences to match today’s date.

The meeting had been pleasant enough. ‘Listii had been relaxing by their small camp after a morning of hunting. He’d proven to be a very creative and skilled cook. Some of the food had been strange, the little ground nuts that he’d dug up and put into their oat mash, but those had proved delightfully tasty, adding a crunch to their porridge that she’d already acquired a craving for. His hunting skills were far beyond her own, and they had a surfeit of meat, some of which the man had taken to drying out on small wood frames, the rest of which he’d coated in rich fat to store for later.

Where had he learn all of this she’d wondered. He wasn’t giving her any answers now. After that incident last night, he’d close to, but not completely withdrawn back into himself. It was as well, since Visellii was not sure she was ready to deal with the idea that the man was …well, a man, a man in his prime and one with same urges and needs of any other man. Or that, in the heat of his dreams and need for his lost beloved, he’d mistaken her for Atara.

And though perhaps they could have moved from that awkwardness with some discussion, that he had insisted that he’d sensed his ‘tianiel was too much. He was quite mad.

Though now, she reconsidered her opinion. It was not as if she’d ever seen the young girl’s body laid in state. As far as she’d heard the girl and her mother had been attacked by Wanderers on a pilgrimage to the desert. No bodies…

As always, a ginormous “Thank You” to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for her hosting of WIPpet Wednesdays where writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date for commentary and consideration.  Feel free to visit other #WIPpeteers at the linky.  Company, comments…  even gentle (or not-so gentle) critiques are always welcome.

English: Yellow nutsedge, common North America...In case you’re curious…  those little ground nuts that ‘Listii found for their porridge are the corms of nutsedge. a generally disliked weed-grass.  It infested our yard for a while, and so I figured I’d try the nuts since they destroyed our garden.  YUMMY!

Photo credits:

  • Acorns of Sessile Oak. The acorn, or oak nut, is the nut of the oaks and their close relatives (genera Quercus and Lithocarpus, in the family Fagaceae). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • English: Yellow nutsedge, common North American lawn weed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)