Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 22, Patagonia

Knowing we had another day to enjoy Patagonia was a great thought as I woke up. The evening before a big storm had loomed larged but didn't really come our way. This day, so far the sky was bright although there were some clouds hanging about the mountains.

Around Gary's place he had many beautiful cacti. Below is an agave follwed by one whose name I didn't get, but I thought the protected flower was wonderful.

Talk about being caged. The spines on this cactus were long, hard, curved and sharp. I imagine they might make a good beading needle. After his rest Ian dn aI headed down to the pond. Yo ucan see him below before he decided to strip down and plunge on it.

While we were at th epond, those looming clouds gathered together into large grey masses with thunder. We headed back up to the house and enjoyed watching the rain. I was glad for a chance to work on a porject I had set for myself. While we had been in Bend, OR I noticed a really magnificent pine cone at Anna's house. I came to find out that it was called a digger pine and it is very dense and heavy and the scales are pointed and sharp. I imagine if one landed on your head it would hurt terribly and could be really disatrous. Anyway, I collected on from the highway on our way back to Daniel's in Nevada City. He told me that the actual seeds (pine nuts) were an edible one and that if the nut meat was removed, a hole would be there. As soon as he told me that I set a project for myself to hollow them out and create a necklace.

Here is an image of the seed still intact. The dark brown outer skin rubs off easily but not necessarily all the way. I wanted to figure out a way to remove the nut meats without wasting them. First I tried just using a file and sanding down the sides but that didn't work. Then I found some large snippers and simply snipped off each rounded edge to make the nut/seed rectangularish.
Then I used a rounded metal file to push the meats out into a bowl. I didn't manage to keep the meats whole, some were pretty well ground, but after I cleaned out all of the seeds there was enough meats that we were all able to get a good taste.

Afterward I did file the edges and then I strung the seeds, put on a clasp and viola, my Digger pine seed necklace was complete.

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