Thursday, March 27, 2008

morning moon reaches out

Morning moon reaching out to black spruce. The oil from pinea mariana was once used to make spruce beer to prevent scurvy, for spruce oil is known for its beneficial vitamins and minerals. A healing cure First Nations people passed to colonial settlers and explorers. Spruce oil is medicinal, an expectorant for coughs and bronchitis. Does the moon have the flu, too? Perhaps the moon is reaching for the healing touch of spruce tips?

Here's a recipe for home-brewed spruce beer made from spruce tips:

Boil 10 gallons (45.5 liters) of water, six pounds (2.7 kilograms) of molasses, and three ounces (85 grams) of ginger for three hours; add two pounds (.9 kilograms) of spruce tips for five minutes in the boil. Strain, add milk yeast, wait two days for fermentation.

a sideways look at the railway tracks from the overpass. No, it isn't the effect of spruce beer, it was the influence of the moon.

Home for the homeless. This tent was set up on Sunday. Outdoor living in the city for 4 Anishnawbe people.

Ring-billed gulls have returned. So too American crows. The ring-billed gulls were having a morning bath and bask in the waters by the agitator at the end of Pier 3. Their Latin name, larus delawarensis means ravenous seabird. They are impressive fliers, holding their own against the strongest winds, suspended in the air almost motionless on powerful wings, like sails. The birds were wary of me, scooting out of the water to stand quietly on the ice.

As Erika Alin writes in her chapter "The Gulls of Kitchi Gammi" in her book Lake Effect, prior to the '70s ring-billed gulls were uncommon on the north shore of Lake Superior because of human encroachment onto their nesting habitat (they nest on the ground) and the popularity of their white feathers on women's hats and gowns. The birds became a protected species in 1916 and have since made a remarkable recovery. White feathery hats for women went out of style but human interference continues. I wonder how the ring-billed gulls will fare with the construction of the hotel and condominium at the waterfront?

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