Category Archives: childhood

A change by name only

You ever think of doing something but you are unsure of how it will turn out? Well, that was me several months ago.

I thought of changing the name of my blog. This was not the easiest of decisions as I have been doing this blog since August of 2011.  So you can imagine how it would feel to make a change. Yet, finally I went ahead and did it

 

You may be wondering:  Why the change? Well, I will tell you. It’s because I like to post links to my blog and I thought it was a good idea to change to a less personal name that still fits me.

Swift110.

I came up with that handle in 1998, pretty much because I was (and still am) a fast runner. In fact, in high school I wanted to be on the track team but then changed my mind because it would have interfered with the time I spent with my aunt, uncle and cousin who I would go to see on the weekend in D.C.  I look back and I am actually quite happy with my decision.

Hindsight is really something else lol!!!

Anyway that is really all I have to say on the matter so in the mean time feel free to check out more posts as I have lots and lots of them.

 

 

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Milk is bad for me

Like most people I grew up drinking milk.  As a child I was given a cup of milk at virtually every meal by my grandmother.  She absolutely insisted on it despite the fact I was already full from the food.

Years later I was sixteen years old and I would often go to McDonalds and get the super-sized Strawberry milk shake. Who knew that very soon there wouldn’t be super-sized anything at McDonald’s besides their prices.

Thanks to people who weren’t encouraged to have self-control but we’re pandered to, knowing full well that it wasn’t really solving the problem.

It also wasn’t long afterwards that I would get terrible gas after drinking milkshakes. This i actually experienced recently while out with family. I was already having a bad day thanks to serious moron and so I went ahead and got what I thought was a smoothie but was actually a strawberry milkshake. Well, it tasted good too bad it made me feel the opposite of the popular song by James Brown.

And I feeeel bad, I knew it was bad”.

So bad in fact, for a while there I thought I was going to puke so I made a dash to the bathroom.

Thankfully, I was able to avoid that unpleasantness of puking and went back to the table. At the same time, I was unwilling to take any chances so I boxed my food up.

Needless to say, I won’t be doing that again anytime soon.

In fact, I will stick to my Cashew, Oat, Rice, Flax and may even try Sunflower seed milk soon as well. Believe me, it feels a whole lot better for me to do so.

Anthony finds more Persimmon trees

 

Yes, we’re gonna start on a bad note, like Reuben Studdard once said:

I’m Sorry!!

I am sad to report the lost of two Persimmon trees that once existed along a fence of Nicholas Orem Middle School in Hyattsville, Maryland. There was once a small playground there and the two trees were close to each other and I recall them bearing fruit during the winter. These are the two trees that I spoke of in a previous post, and going to the area years later I could see that where they were was nothing but a large expanse of mud. The small church/school that was once next door was now a large Montessori school. I used to live in the area right down the street so I would walk by them pretty often but for somehow I never thought to collect the fruit and plant the seeds, for then my project would have been in full swing a long time ago.

Although not exactly in a galaxy far, far, far, far, far away

Now that you have heard the bad news, let me share with you some good news: Not far from Prince Georges Plaza station there are six Persimmon trees with lots and lots of fruit. Its funny since I came across those trees over ten years ago before the building of a mall when that was just a large parking lot. I only remember one or two trees but once I saw them I decided to look around and to my surprise there were 4 more each appeared to be planted in twos. This made sense because the Persimmon is a tree that needs another one nearby in order to be properly pollinated.

Thankfully I was able to collect several pounds of Persimmon fruit. They are safely in my refrigerator and soon I will separate the pulp from the seeds and store them to stratify in the fridge over the winter. Once the winter is over, I will remove them and plant the seeds in some seed trays where hopefully they will germinate. In addition to the ones I sprout at home, I will be planting the seeds at a number of locations. In fact, this reminds me that I ought to label the location that I collected the Persimmons as well as time of year and pictures of the tree if possible.

I am choosing to do that with the goal of encouraging genetic diversity among the resulting seedlings. Since I have hundreds of seeds already and more to be collected over the winter there will be no shortage of Persimmon trees in the years to come. Your gonna like this project:

I guarantee it!!

Other locations where I have been pleasantly surprised to find Persimmon trees are in the Takoma neighborhood of DC, near the Takoma Aquatic Center. As well as Along Canal Rd in Northwest DC adjacent to the Palisades neighborhood. There are several persimmon trees growing along a stone wall, the best way to reach the fruit would actually involve going in the water to the narrow strip of land that is between the wall and a bike/walk trail.

One day while walking around minding my business, near 16th st. I came across a……you guessed it yet another Persimmon tree. It looked rather lonely sitting all there all by itself so I told her that you’ve got a friend in me.

Outstanding!!

Hopefully there are more trees to be found and lots more fruit to collect. So stay tuned for more updates on that as I assure you it will be something like a phenomenon.

 

Childhood memories and Persimmons in DC

persimmontagI have been interested in native edible plants ever since I came across the book “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” by Euell Gibbons.  This would have been around the year 1995 which means I would have been about eleven years old at the time. Two of the plants that I recall from that book are the Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) and the Pawpaw (Asimina triloba).

You could say this was all because of my mother, who took me to various libraries when I was a child and so  I was able to explore a world far beyond anywhere i could get to physically.  This was a time before the Internet became a ubiquitous part of everyday life and folks actually read books.  Literal books in which you actually have to literally turn the page to get to the next thought.  It was a tactile thing.  As a result from a very early age I loved to read and it was one of my favorite things to do. Those books in turn motivated me to explore the outdoors near my home and over years I have learned so much from that.  The curious child that grew into the curious adult. I have been able to learn things that the vast majority of my peers just don’t and it’s given me an appreciation for the natural world that again sadly, most people I come in contact with just don’t have so for that.

Thanks MOM!!!!

In fact, it still is although now I find myself reading from my laptop or iPad screen than an actual book.  I am always amazed at how much things change but yet they stay the same at the same time.

What a wonderful life!!!

So anyway, last week I decided to visit the National Arboretum of Washington DC.  This was a place I loved to come to years ago when I moved to N.E. DC.  I would spend hours there sometimes with friends and sometimes by myself.   I recall walking down the street to Heart Pond and looking at all the beautiful Koi that was in the water.  I also remember seeing a Northern Water Snake.  It was in one of the few tributaries of the Anacostia to survive to modern times called Hickey Run.  I promise it wasn’t a romantic walk that ended with a kiss by the way it was just me enjoying a nice long walk…..

All by myself!!!

persimmonleaves

Anyway I came across a truly magnificent Persimmon tree (diospyros virginianum).  I could easily recognize it from its rather knobby bark. Unfortunately it seemed to be leaning like the tower of Pisa which I hope doesn’t spell a quick demise for it.

That would be quite sad  😦

persimmonbark

What I saw next you’ll just have to wait and see, but it was quite surprising.