Himalayan Morchella


Very cool discoveries in nature by Baadaal Hillboy Explores. Some of you know I love mushrooms.

baadal_hillboy_explores

Known as thunthu in our local language, Morchella is a species of fungus which grow during the start of the spring season in some high altitude areas.

Morchella has a honeycomb like structure and they can grow up to 15cm in length. They grow in the moist environment and most probably after the rains. One can find them under the hedges, rotten leaves and in grass.

Morchella has a high medicinal value and hence have a high demand in the market. Collecting them serve as a source of income to some poor families in the villages. But things doesn’t always go right. Last year a young girl had an encounter with the bear in the wild while she was collecting thunthu and she lost her life.

Morchella are edible too and they taste like mushrooms but it is not easy to find so many of them for a good dinner.

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Montreal Insectarium


Inspired by the insect world – Citizen Sketcher.

Citizen Sketcher

We need only look at nature to be inspired by its infinite variety.

I love to paint creatures, big or small.

You have to know, you can’t really beat the universe at its own game. Just look at this!

Still, it’s fun to try 🙂 And you learn something from every attempt.

These sketches are making me say this – I think you don’t need an art school or a teacher. You just need to get out and experience what life has to show you. Look at how far I’ve come in eight years since sketching the Insectarium.

The doing is more important than the having done, and the journey is the goal itself.

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How conservation is embedded in the Kampalap culture of Siassi | By Brendon Zebedee


I love to read stories about our people (in Papua New Guinea) continuing to preserve their culture. I am especially proud because the Siassi is in my province and I have family there. Thank you Brendon Zebedee and Scott Waide for bringing us this cultural heritage story.

siassiPic: Siassi Island Cruz

For  the Kampalap people of Siassi, Morobe province,  hunting is one of the survival skills that is passed on from generation to generation in which they used it to search for wild meat to feed their families and relatives.

There is a traditional hunting season called Titava.  Titava in the  Kaimanga language of Kampalap people which means searching for wild pigs with a traditional net made of a special tree called kaivus barks.

The hunting seasons begins when the local people in the village want to celebrate a traditional feast called mailang. It is usually celebrated in the Christmas period where children especially boys ranging from 3 years old to 14 years old will be circumcised which signifies that this boy is from the Kampalap society.

When the time comes for their traditional occasions, especially in the Christmas period, all the elderly men and young boys…

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Anointed – Poem by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner


A heart-wrenching poem about radioactive racism and the long quest for peace and justice, written and spoken by ICAN campaigner Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner of the Marshall Islands, where the United States conducted 67 nuclear test explosions. Produced by PREL, written by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (www.facebook.com/kathyjetnilkijiner) and directed by Dan Lin (www.facebook.com/danlinphotography)

I honour and respect the work of Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, especially in her campaigns for justice in the Pacific Islands. This is a powerful message that needs to be shared. Please share.

Tania Nugent writes about the Enga salt ponds, a fascinating place


Salt Ponds in Papua New Guinea brought to us by Tania Nugent through Scott Waide’s blog.

tania Tania at the salt ponds 

An awesome adventure to the Laigam Salt Ponds in Enga Province, where for hundreds and hundreds of years the people traded salt from here all across the Highlands and down to the coast in exchange for things like crude oil from Kutubu, sago and kina shells from Gulf and even modern iron axes, which arrived up here long before the white man came.

The stakes in the pond delineate the space that belongs to different clans, They have been there so long they have crystalised into stone.

The traditional method of extracting salt from this water is still practiced but it is quite a long and labour intensive process. So this man known as Mr Salt uses modern copper bowls over a fire to evaporate the water and leave the salt. He sells the salt for K4 a packet. We sampled it later when the…

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The Strange Tales Hour Is Here for Author Pamela Jeffs


Red Hour and Other Strange Tales – Pamela Jeffs

Tomorrow afternoon in Brisbane, Australia, my friend Pamela Jeffs will launch her new book, Red Hour and Other Strange Tales. A first for Pam, Red Hour and Other Strange Tales is a speculative fiction anthology that explores the transformation theme. Brisbane based Jeffs is an award-winning speculative fiction author who has had numerous short fiction works published in both national and international anthologies and magazines.

The stories, although strange in nature, are set against familiar backgrounds of Australia and her surrounding oceans.

“Each character is intended as a study into the emotional significance of change, be it mental, physical or spiritual”, Jeffs said.

Jeffs grew up in rural Australia, and her storytelling inspiration is drawn from the natural world. I first met Pam in the Kenmore Creative Writing Workshop (Brisbane) about three years ago.  I was drawn into the stories she told by her details of characters and scenes and interesting plot twists. Before I met Pam, my stories were all based on real events and true stories. I had never imagined I could craft a whole story purely out of my imagination until I listened to her stories. You can read one of her short stories, “Greysin’s March” at the end of this post.

Please find below the details of the author’s contact and the book if you want to purchase. The author would appreciate any feedback on the stories. 

Author: Pamela Jeffs
Book Title: Red Hour and Other Strange Tales
This collection features a mix of stories in the following genres: Dark Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror and Paranormal Fiction.
My websitewww.pamelajeffs.com
Facebook link – @pamelajeffsauthor
Twitter link – @Pamela_Jeffs
Story links / other stories to purchase – 
https://www.antisf.com/the-stories/hell-is-a-witch (current free online publication)

————————————————————————–

Greysin’s March by Pam Jeffs

The coarse volcanic ash caught in the wisped snarls of Greysin’s dreadlocks and in the back of his throat. He coughed, but it didn’t help. It never helped. Ever since the eruption, the air had been tainted. Greysin reached back for his threadbare scarf. Twisting it, he secured the scrap over his nose and mouth. He lowered his chin and resumed his march through the dead city.

Ash-coated facades of abandoned buildings filed by him like pale ghosts. He felt as if the empty windows stamped into the walls were watching him. In some ways he wished they were. It would mean another sign of life.

But Greysin knew he was alone.

For days after it happened, he had searched the city but found no other survivors. He only kept going, kept searching, because it was either that or die, and he wasn’t ready to give up. So he walked on, watching the ground and counting out each footstep as it was etched into the inches of ash that covered everything.

He let all else pass by in a blur. The charred trees that lined the roadways, the dead cars crumpled against shattered gutters and the ash-covered corpses of citizens still sitting within them. Sometimes he thought he could hear the people calling to him, begging, pleading. Or perhaps it was his own ghosts that haunted him. He wasn’t certain anymore.

Greysin halted. He lifted his head. He could hear the music again: his daughter’s violin. The sound was coming from ahead. But he could see nothing through the curtain of falling ash. He rubbed his eyes, dislodging ash from his eyelashes. Still nothing.

He stopped himself from breaking into a run. He had been disappointed so many times before. But he was definitely hearing music; what if he wasn’t going mad like he thought? What if this time it was real?

The song was faint, a thin melody. Greysin heard silent words floating in each note. He heard his daughter calling to him in the cadence of the tune, felt the strains of her music push past the boundaries of his grief and instil within him hope.

‘Daddy?’ Her voice was barely a sigh against the silence of the city.

‘I’m coming, sweetheart,’ he whispered, the words cracking over his tongue.

The music faded briefly, but then surged, louder. Greysin broke into a tired run. She was waiting. He must find her. Would the others be with her?

An intersection materialised from the ash and volcanic darkness. The music stopped. The crossroad was empty, no footprint marring the ashy surface. Just like every other time he had followed the music, there was no one waiting for him.

Greysin glanced up at the streetlights that stood like sentinels at each junction. North. South, east and west. Four lights. Four compass points, one for each of the lives lost because his strength had failed him: his wife, his two sons and his daughter.

Greysin squeezed his eyes closed, trying to shut out the memories. Their screams as they had slipped from his hands, swallowed by the mudslide; the feral desperation he had felt as he dug barehanded through the slop in a futile effort to save them.

Greysin opened his eyes. He looked down at his trembling hands. They were broad, and seemed as though they should be strong, but he knew looks were deceiving. He hunched his shoulders and pulled his worn jacket closer. Once again ghosts had led him astray.

He stepped out onto the roadway; ash shifted in eddies around his calves. He looked left and then right. Which way to go? Where could the people be? Left, he decided. He clenched his jaw. He walked on.

He almost missed the sound from behind him. It was a whisper against the profound silence that held the city. It had been so long since he had heard a real sound that it almost seemed unreal. He twisted on his heel, falling into a wary crouch. His fingers clutched at the service revolver he kept concealed at his side, the one he had carried when being a police officer mattered. He pulled it free.

A black dog stood silently in the middle of the road. Its lolling tongue was a shock of red against the impossible white of its teeth. Its eyes were pale blue. Greysin shuddered; his own eyes were that colour. Greysin waited. The dog seemed to be waiting also.

The animal was thin and starving, but Greysin saw in its bearing the mark of a survivor. Even worn so thin, the dog was no victim to its circumstance. Its life spark was vital, bright; the dog, if Greysin dared to believe it, was real.

A sudden desperation gripped him. He holstered the gun and reached into his pocket for his last precious scrap of dried meat. He held it out. The dog extended its nose and sniffed, testing the scent of Greysin’s offering on the air. One step followed another as the animal approached with caution. Greysin drank in the details: the coarseness of its fur, the sprinkling of white across its muzzle, the gold tag that hung from the faded red leather collar circling its neck.

The dog stopped a few steps away. It stretched out its neck, lips extended to snatch at the meat. The dog’s teeth caught at Greysin’s fingers and he almost laughed aloud in delight. Such close contact with another living creature was intoxicating.

With the meat secured, the dog skittered away. A snap of its jaws and the morsel was gone. The dog twisted to look back at Greysin, its long thin tail wrapped like a whip around its rear legs. Any more?

‘No more,’ whispered Greysin.

The dog stood up straight, ears pointed forward. It walked up to Greysin, eyes imploring.

‘I’m sorry. No more.’

The dog seemed to understand. It looked up the street in the direction that Greysin had been heading. It pushed its head into Greysin’s hand. Let’s go, it seemed to say.

Greysin reached down, lifted the dog’s nametag and thumbed away the ash coating it. The writing beneath was scratched, but he could make it out. ‘Your name is Delusion?’

The dog’s eyes glowed as they held Greysin’s gaze.

Greysin smiled. He let go of the collar and began to walk up the road. Around him the city was dead. Its people were dead. The land was dead. But at least he had the dog by his side. Greysin kept walking, choosing to ignore the fact that the animal left no footprints in the ash as it passed.

 

 

For tribalmysticstories: A Tribal Mystic Story; Poem For My Father


Re-blogged from a dear and special person. Sometimes the universe surprises you with synchronicity that is greater than yourself, takes you beyond your small world, and you may not understand it fully, but it is meant to be. Thank you KS.

Kurt Struble Writing

  • – Poem For My Father –

One day he took me to a copse of trees 

where we sat under a canopy of 

newly formed leaves  

above us a clear blue sky 

where he gave perspectives to me

different from anything I had 

learned.  

Thoughts from the other side of

what we think we know.

How wind and leaves 

are not separate forces rather 

part of one single entity

connected to an infinity 

of larger and larger wholeness

stretching outward from 

the air we breathe,

beyond heat and light 

from the sun then, 

further into space and time until  

I saw myself in a world 

quite different than my own,

a world I’d never seen before, 

of single limitless form.  

He drew my attention to 

the random movements of 

the leaves

rising and…

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