Weekly Photo Challenge: A Good Match

Amanita muscaria

Location: Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
In 2015, I was hiking in the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland when I saw this red-colored beauty. I’d never seen anything like it, so I took its picture.

Amanita muscaria

Location: Elvesæter, Lom, Oppland, Norway
In 2016, I was hiking in Elvesæter in Lom, Oppland, Norway when, to my surprise, I encountered its long lost cousin. What were the odds?

After some research, I discovered that it’s called Amanita muscaria, a mushroom classified as poisonous due to its psychoactive compound called muscimol. Some cultures have learned to eat it by weakening its toxicity. This is done by putting it in boiling water until it’s partially cooked.

I also learned that it’s a very common fungus found in the Northern Hemisphere known for a variety of uses like insecticide, intoxicant, and entheogen. Perhaps the reason why I didn’t notice it before was because I wasn’t paying attention. Sometimes, I tend to look but don’t see.

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February 24, 2017 at 11:55 am 4 comments

Early Winter

For Friday Fictioneers 100-Word Challenge: 24 February 2017

Sarah Potter

Photo Credit: Sarah Potter

Samuel was sweating as he held on to his gun tightly waiting for the order to attack.

He thought of the girl that he left behind.

“Promise me, you’ll come back,” Emily said.

“I promise,” he said.

In the western front, it was the promise that kept him alive up to this moment.

“Fix bayonet,” the commander yelled.

From the muddy trenches, they climbed up to engage the enemy. One by one, they fell from machine gun fire.

Back home, winter arrived early. As Emily looked out the window, she saw the snow started to fall covering the ground below.

February 22, 2017 at 2:56 pm 34 comments

Wordless Wednesday: Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Euro

Statue of Liberty

Location: Rome, Italy

February 20, 2017 at 10:48 am 12 comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Against the Odds

Zingaro Nature Reserve

Location: Zingaro Nature Reserve, San Vito Lo Capo, Trapani, Italy
It’s a good idea to get your camera ready when you go for a walk as you don’t know what you’ll encounter along the way.

We were at the Zingaro Nature Reserve in San Vito Lo Capo, Trapani, Italy when I spotted this six-spot burnet moth on top of a weed flower. What were the odds? It was a thing of beauty. Quickly, I took its picture before it flew away.

Zingaro Nature Reserve Zingaro Nature Reserve
Zingaro Nature Reserve Zingaro Nature Reserve

Click any picture to enlarge
While at the Nature Reserve, we enjoyed the best it could offer. We visited the prehistoric Dell’Uzzo Cave where traces of human presence were found dating as far back as 10,000 years. Afterwards, some us went to the nearby beach for a swim while the others continued to explore the area on foot experiencing spectacular views of craggy cliffs and sea along rocky and uneven trails.

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February 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm 12 comments

Better Late Than Never

For Friday Fictioneers 100-Word Challenge: 17 February 2017

Liz Young

Photo Credit: Liz Young

Aelius named the stucco-coated limestone bust, Camilla, after the rich merchant’s youngest daughter who commissioned it. Almost blind due to old age, the sculptor couldn’t see the obvious little imperfections. Rejected by the merchant, Aelius knew that Camilla would stand the test of time.

Many centuries later, archaeologists digging in the ancient site of Pompeii found Camilla among the ruins. Protected from the elements under tons of volcanic ash, it was almost intact except for a broken nose.

It came a little late, but Aelius was right. Displayed prominently in the antiquity museum, Camilla finally got the recognition it deserved.

February 16, 2017 at 5:11 pm 26 comments

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