Monday, June 04, 2012

I think I've mentioned before that I enjoy making my own liqueurs. That might sound a little more fancy than it is; basically you soak the flavoring agent of your choice (cranberries, chocolate, lavender...) in the hard liquor of your choice and add as much sugar as you'd like, maybe some water too. Last year I tried out some of the cherries from ornamental cherry trees in a base of gin and a little cinnamon. The fruit aren't exactly yummy on their own - generally strong cherry taste with a fiercely bitter/tannic aftertaste - but make a great sweet/bitter drink (and would probably make great jam too) in the spirit of sloe berries that make sloe gin. This year I'm trying out a more neutral base...

But I digress. Magnolia and I wandered West Philly picking a couple quarts of really small cherries (takes a long time), and in the process we saw some critters.

We strolled (get it? she was in the stroller!) by the ponds along Belmont Avenue in Fairmount Park, where we saw a jillion bull frogs (Lithobates catesbeiana) and a mystery turtle that I assume is a red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta).

Then we cruised by where Jen has been working on the way home, where she has been working on a garden along with the patients. My eyes of course wandered to snakey-looking cover objects. Dig the pile of black roofing material at the base of the wall.

And now dig one of the brown snakes (Storeria dekayi) under it!

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