Sunday, November 29, 2009

City foraging

This morning, The Man and I decided to walk to our favorite coffee place.

Along the way, we noticed pecans falling furiously from a tree in the neighborhood. Birds were busy pulling off the pecans and dropping them to the street. I looked closely to see the birds and saw a green head with a red patch of feathers appear. The tree was full of Lilac-crowned Amazon parrots! It is a well-known wild flock of parrots that lives here.

Since this is the best time of year for foraging food for our own parrots from the neighborhood, I had remembered to bring a plastic bag with me. We grabbed the pecans as the parrots were throwing them out of the trees and put them in the bag. The pecans are green and unripe, but I remember eating unripe walnuts as a kid. There used to be walnut orchards where our housing development was built, and some walnut trees remained. We would eat them green as kids. They were quite tasty. The flavor reminded me of lettuce. Since the birds were also eating them green, they must be good to eat this way.

As we walked away from the pecan tree, we noticed macadamia nuts on the ground. We grabbed a few of those, but our parrot has a hard time opening them. So do we. The only way we have found to open macadamia nuts has been with a C-clamp. And that is only marginally successful. Crows like to drop some kinds of nuts in the street and wait for cars to run them over. I'm not sure that cars are able to open macadamia nuts. Usually, the macadamia nuts lie uneaten and unbroken under the trees.

We walked to the coffee place to have breakfast and then walked home. We are both sore from a 15 mile endurance hike yesterday. On the way home, we walked along a street with a lot of magnolia trees. A few years ago I had seen crows eating the magnolia pods so I started collecting them for our parrot. She likes to eat the red seeds inside. We collected fallen magnolia pods until our bag was full.

We also noticed a wooden bookcase left discarded on the side of the street. The wood is rough and unfinished, but it looked like good wood. The Man plans to remove the rose bushes that are not doing well and put in a long, thin area for gardening. We can use the wood from the bookcase.

City foraging can be fun.

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