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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Caretaker's Concern for 9/8/10

TCC for 9/8/10:

A bit of wind this morning, the Caretaker will not likely get in a row for exercise. Quite a bit of thunder and lightening last night at around midnight. He thought about bringing out his camera but upon going outside and realizing that the storm was all around the Island with both individual bolts and flashes that filled the sky entirely he instead decided he would be better off in bed.

This morning at sunrise:

The wild grapes here on the Island have begun to ripen to the point where you can eat them, another sign of the early stages of Autumn here on the Lake.
Grapes this morning:

Wild Island Grapes after an Ice Storm:

The wild grapes here are certainly an acquired taste, these grapes won't be getting much bigger than what's shown here in the above photos and they usually have four seeds per grape so there isn't much flesh to the grape. The taste? Is very much like sour gummy candy, a mix of sour and sweet, some more sour than sweet and vice versa. There is no popping a bunch in the mouth and just chomping and swallowing away, these require a bit of your attention in order to separate the flesh from the seeds with your tongue and teeth. Is it worth the effort? If you've acquired a taste for them it certainly is, if not, you'll have to go elsewhere for wild grapes. Interestingly enough just yesterday while over on the mainland the Caretaker found a new source for wild grapes. He has no photos of these because he didn't bring his camera but he will do his best to describe them. But before that here are some staged photos from the archive, sculptures and still-life's of sorts:

"Pack Basket and Stump"

A few photos from the series "Rise & Fall of Rings"

The Caretaker's Rock Collection on a Stump:

A still-life, "Believing vs. Knowing"

The archive photos for tomorrow's post will be some of the Caretaker's hammock photos, two of which often garner many comments, the third is a sunset shot, the fourth not too many have seen. The Caretaker forgot he had the photo, he came across it in his archive just yesterday, going through his archive lately, he has come across many photos that he forgot he had taken. The two photos often prompt people to feel relaxed, or desirous of leaving where they are and coming to the Island to read a book while in the pictured hammock or nap with a significant other. The other two hammock photo's will provide a contrast to the other two because they are much darker. And lastly, there will be a collection of words that rhyme in an odd fashion focusing on a hammock trip.

And now for the wild grapes on the mainland, the Caretaker had to go over to Warrensburg yesterday to run a few errands, one of which was to stop in at the grocery store to buy some concord grapes and a few other bits and pieces. Whenever the Caretaker parks his car in the Summer months he always looks for a spot in the shade so his vehicle doesn't get too hot--hot seat! No fun.

On the North end of the parking lot there are some trees that provide shade during the latter parts of the day, the Caretaker pulled in and parked, then went to close the sunroof when he noticed wild grapes on a vine from a tree hanging over his vehicle. He closed the sunroof and made a note to himself to be sure to try one of these wild grapes upon his return. The grapes were considerably larger than the grapes on the Island, roughly three times as large. The Caretaker goes inside the grocery store and shops about for what he needs, and a thing or two that he doesn't.

Ramen noodles in a bowl the size of a small tub of movie popcorn? Well, no reason not to try that. Other than that it is actually two servings per container but pretty much everyone will eat it as though it is one serving thus calories, sodium, etc. has to be doubled to know what you're consuming, and that it has more chemicals, preservatives, processing agents, food additives and flavorings than actual food, but hey, who cares? As a practice the Caretaker steers clear of processed prepackaged food for the above reasons but every once in a while he'll get suckered by something he hasn't seen before which for the mosts part is a good strategy for staying away from most processed foods because every time he has something like "Popcorn Tub of Ramen" he is reminded why it is better to cook from scratch. However, there is one particular type of shelf-stable prepackaged food that he does eat when he doesn't have time to cook--Indian food. This is a recent discovery of his from a few months ago, he'd always seen it on the shelves in the "ethnic" isle of supermarkets but always felt that there was no way it could possibly be good. One day, after having had lunch at a bar and a couple of drinks he was in the supermarket to pick up some things he needed when he came upon the prepackaged Indian food section. Being a little loose he decided he would pull a package off the shelf and at least read the ingredients.

Hey! There's nothing but food in here. No preservatives, no flavorings, no artificial anything.

So he decided to take a few off the shelf and give it a try. The final verdict, the stuff isn't half bad, not as good as what the Caretaker makes for himself and certainly not as good as from a good Indian restaurant but close enough to be acceptable when there isn't time to cook or eat out. A bit higher on the sodium content than the Caretaker cares for but it is way better than any other prepackaged processed food and way better for you than eating fast food. There isn't always time to make up a batch of Vindaloo or Balti sauce or one of the Caretaker's favorites, Rogan Josh. It's been a while since he's cooked up some Indian dishes, he may just have to do so later today. Has the Caretaker ever told you about his scheme to get an Indian girlfriend in order to get into her mother's recipe book? Probably not but he won't bother with that now, he's already way off on a tangent as it is.

After putting groceries in the back seat he hopped in the front seat, opened the sunroof, reached up to the closest cluster of grapes and pulled a grape off. Inspected it then put it in his mouth.

WOW, these are great.

Turns out they're wild concord grapes, or the result of someone throwing some concord grapes from the grocery store into the woods at the edge of the parking lot so they would be domestic concord grapes growing in the wild. The Caretaker looked over at the edge of the parking lot to inspect the ground from which this grapevine was growing from to see if it was blatantly contaminated soil, as far as he could tell it looked well enough, aside from the possible runoff from the parking lot during a large storm but either way, the grapes were outstanding and he decided a couple of bunches for the car ride home wouldn't kill him.

The wild concord grapes were a color much like the blueish purple of the grapes on the Island but a bit more purple than blue. The skin to the touch of the hand was firm. On the lips the skin easily gave way to a soft and delicate flesh that burst with a perfectly sweet juice. The experience, very much like a kiss, when two join, the first press is firm to each, but with gentle following pressure, softness reveals a warm delicate touch. These wild concord grapes did have seeds which made the eating all the more delectable for one couldn't just chomp them down and swallow away, but rather, like a kiss best enjoyed--slowly, knowingly, exploringly. Hopefully.
Rolling the flesh around in the mouth, using tongue and teeth to separate seeds from meat, all the while more juice pours forth down the throat. Once apart, the seeds come out while the flesh of the grape softly presses between teeth, tongue and cheek. Mouth now embraced by this touch of delicate flesh soft caress, gently releasing what's left of it's sweet.

And then, then you eat another, but like a lover's kiss, you can never get enough. So you imbibe more, and eat another, and another, and another, until they're grapes no more.
By the end, at least, fingers are tinged purple if not also face and lips by the kiss of these grapes so sweet.

Sooo, they were pretty good grapes. Eventually the Caretaker made it back to the Island, he tried the concord grapes he bought, they weren't as good as the wild ones, not bad but not as good. Shortly there after while stepping outside at the North patio a bird of prey alighted from a Locust tree and flew over to a Pine tree on the North West shore. The Caretaker didn't get a good look at it but it appeared to be a hawk of a decent size.

The Caretaker is going to have to postpone the deer slay story until tomorrow, this post has gone on for far too long as it is and he has plenty of things to do around the Island, as much as he would like to sit and write all day he can't, he needs to start getting his act together so he can move off the Island come the end of October. It's nice and all but no running water in the Winter is only so charming.

One last thing, for those who are interested, the Caretaker is suggesting that rather than going to youtube for live footage of Bjorkestra he suggests you go to the Bjorkestra website for live footage instead.

Yesterday late afternoon the Caretaker got on to G.G.'s high speed internet to do some high speed internet things and figured he'd take his own advice and checkout some of the Bjorkestra videos on Youtube. Most all seem to be shot with a cell phone, the quality of video and sound is rather terrible and doesn't provide a good example of the band's work. Not to mention Bjork's fans are either nasty, stupid or a combination of both, the common thread of most of the comments was:
"Well, it's not Bjork."
And the Caretaker is softening their language considerably. Perhaps they've never heard of interpretation? Oh well.

Before there was the blog the Caretaker sent out posts via e-mail, the following is from the Caretaker's second winter on the Island:

IIR for 7/17/2007:
No shameless promotion, just photo.

--The Caretaker

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