Monday, August 13, 2012

The Hunt for Clover and Crystals

From time to time the boys are captivated by something and hunt, seek and accumulate it with  ferocious urgency.  I think this has a neurological basis and has to do with survival.

Today, they became obsessed with yellow oxalis aka soursop (to Mum) or yellow shamrock or yellow sorrel or Oxalis Stricta in the scientific venacular.

It started on the walk from the house to the post-box when Mum mentioned that the stalks of the clover flowers were edible and tasted sour.  Wren loves to forage for plants and eats things that have not been sanctioned so he leapt upon the clover flowers and started sucking them and proclaiming on their sour squinty taste.  Frost followed.  They started competing to find 'soursop' flowers.  (I do not think these are soursop but Mum calls them that).

They wanted to climb down hills and not walk further in their increasingly urgent need to find more soursop flowers.

Frost thought they might juice them.

Mum showed them a large patch of clover near the house and they sat in it with a bucket and picked the yellow blossomed stalks.

I googled the plant and the leaves are edible with the caution not to eat too many dried as they contain lots of oxalic acid (which makes them taste sour) which can interfere with digestion.

Frost is waiting to juice the flowers in the kitchen shortly.

Mining Crystal
Another source of excitement has been Granny's pickaxe.  Since the advent of Minecraft, Frost and Wren are compelled by the idea of mining for things and when Mum came on a walk with a small pickaxe (which she uses to uproot seedlings of invasive olives and other feral plants) the boys have been keen on the idea of mining the seams of quartz (aka "CRYSTALS!") found in the banks above the road and path to the crest of the hill.

We hope to take them mining for fossils next week!

The boys chop out a chunk of crystal (quartz) in the path.

Frost helps by mining out an olive seedling with the pickaxe.
The large olive specimen behind him shows what happens if you
do not get them young.

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