Mar
20

Springing ahead

By

Although we certainly can’t complain about the winter we haven’t had — all the cold and snow were re-routed to other parts of the world — spring is still exerting the old rousing-the-bear-from-hibernation force around the neighborhood.

So I festivate the equinox with a string of springy pictures, in no particular order, because I have the sensation that everything is happening pretty much in unison, like the Rockettes.  This wonderful, too-brief phase comes down to essentially two things: Fish and flowers.

The past few days have seen the slaughter of the seppie -- anybody with a boat and some free time seems have gone out to snag as much as they can of what the tide was bringing in.  Our neighbor came home one day with 25 kilos (55 pounds) of the little monsters.  He gave us some, which were better than anything we could have bought.

The past few days have seen the slaughter of the seppie — anybody with a boat and some free time seems have gone out to snag as much as they can of what the tide was bringing in. Our neighbor came home one day with 25 kilos (55 pounds) of the little monsters. He gave us some, which were better than anything we could have bought.

But you don't have to have a boat in order to do major damage to the incoming horde of tentacled delicacies.  There's a veritable perp walk of fishermen along the fondamenta.

But you don’t have to have a boat in order to do major damage to the incoming horde of tentacled delicacies. There’s quite a detachment of fishermen strung along the fondamenta.

Which is not to say that what's been on sale in the fish market has been anything less than top-notoch. Or as this vendor's sign expressed it: "Marvelous."  With a marvelous low price to match.  If you see seppie like this

In the past few days, the seppie in the fish market have rarely been anything less than top-notch. Or as this vendor’s sign expressed it: “Marvelous.” With a marvelous low price to match. If you see seppie like this, it’s a venial sin not to buy them. If they don’t look like this, you should skip them and buy something else. Note the lack of black ink smeared all over them.  The makeup is applied when the seppie aren’t as beautiful — I mean fresh — as this.

These are go', a type of goby that makes a fantastic risotto.  Actually, we may be among the few people left who use them for that purpose; they're never on any menu that I'm acquainted with. "Quando la rosa mette spin', xe bon el go' e el passarin."  When the rose begins to bloom (i.e., put out its thorns -- just go with it), the go' and the passarini, or turbot, are good."  Lino has taken more passarini out of the lagoon than you could believe, but they're hardly ever in the fish market anymore.  People like sole and salmon from exotic faraway places.

These are go’, a type of goby that makes a fantastic risotto. Actually, we may be among the few people left who use them for that purpose; they’re never on any menu that I’m acquainted with. “Quando la rosa mete spin’, xe bon el go’ e el passarin.” When the rose begins to bloom (i.e., put out its thorns — just go with it), the go’ and the passarini are good. Lino has taken more passarini, or European flounder (Platichthys flesus), out of the lagoon than you could ever count, but they’re hardly ever in the fish market anymore. People like things like sole and salmon from exotic faraway places.

Let's talk clams.  You can certainly go clamming in the depth of winter, but your fingrs freeze so you can't even feel the clams anymore.  But on a day like this, the sun, the water, the world all seem to conspire to make a few hours on the falling, then rising, tide, just the perfect thing to do. Note Lino's net bag -- it's an excellent tool for rinsing the muddy little bivalves.

Let’s talk clams. You can certainly go clamming in the depth of winter, but your fingers freeze so you can’t even feel the clams anymore. But on a day like this the sun, the water, the world all seem to conspire to make a few hours clamming during the falling, then rising, tide, just the perfect thing to do.

Note Lino's net bag -- the perfect tool for rinsing the muddy little bivalves. A bucket also works, but this is better.

Note Lino’s net bag — the perfect tool for rinsing the muddy little bivalves. He puts them in a bucket full of lagoon water later to make them finish expelling their internal grit.

Lino takes them the old-fashioned way -- one at a time.

Lino takes them the old-fashioned way — one at a time.

There were a few people out who had the same idea.  Good thing they kept their distance -- clammers are like any other fishermen. They hate to have other fishermen climbing over them.

There were a few people out who had the same idea. Good thing they kept their distance. Clammers are like any other fishermen — they hate to have other fishermen climbing over them.

The plant life was looking fine, too.  These trees have leaves that are practically singing.

The plant life was looking fine, too. These trees have leaves that are practically singing.

The vegetable boat people planted a tiny peach tree in a pot on their prow, and it has begun to put forth tiny peach blossoms.  If they ever harvest tiny peaches, I'll let you know -- otherwise, the memory of these little blooms will be enough for me.

The vegetable-boat people planted a tiny peach tree in a pot on their prow, and it has begun to put forth tiny peach blossoms. If they ever harvest tiny peaches, I’ll let you know — otherwise, the memory of these little blooms will be enough for me.

Forsythia, in some hardy gardener's hardy garden.

Forsythia, in some hardy gardener’s hardy garden.

A plum tree, slightly  behind some of the others I've seen, probably because the sun doesn't shine very much on this part of the street.

A plum tree, slightly behind some of the others I’ve seen, probably because the sun doesn’t shine very much on this part of the street.

Wisteria getting ready to burst.

Wisteria getting ready to burst.

Cabbages also have to flower.

Cabbages also have to flower.

I don't know what they are, but that's not stopping them.

I don’t know what they are, but that’s not stopping them.

Green leaves like this are no less lovely than the flowers.  In fact, I'm not sure these leaves know they're not flowers.

Leaves that are this green are no less lovely than the flowers. In fact, I’m not sure these leaves know they’re not flowers.

Toward 5:00 PM the light begins to warm up in a particularly spring-like way.

Toward 5:00 PM the light begins to warm up in a particularly spring-like way. If there’s any moment lovelier than the dawn, it would be this interlude on the verge of sunset.

 

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Categories : Nature

Comments

  1. Gi says:

    Lovely!
    Today I noticed how the flowers are everywhere, in the fields, in the gardens, and crossing over.
    Gi recently posted..Uma espécie de jogo

  2. Andrew says:

    Very pretty It easy to forget that there are supposed to be 4 seasons living in Australia

  3. Erla…lovely view of Venezia in the spring!! It’s weeks away for us….we may have a big winter storm on Tues…..just waiting to see the path it will take.
    Thanks for your great post!!!
    Linda Bailey Zimmerman recently posted..Venice January 2014

    • Erla Zwingle says:

      I’m really sorry for all of you and all the snow. We’ve had the most boring winter ever out here in the most beautiful city, etc. They’ve gotten pounded by snow in the mountains, but that’s another story.

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