Proceed with extreme caution. There is some serious slime ahead.
Go back before it's too late! Once seen, it cannot be unseen!
Do not proceed without donning proper protective clothing and helmets.
Ready? Here it comes.........
Last night, Mike was outdoors grilling some steaks when he called to me to come with my camera and a flash. He didn't tell me to hurry, and so I imagined that he'd seen an immovable object that I would enjoy as a photography subject. Imagine my gack factor when he directed me to the largest slug I've ever seen in my entire life.
Those are no small feet you're looking at there, so believe me, this was a monster. Our slugs in the Pacific Northwest are legion. Entire books have been written about them, as I've told you before on this blog. As I wrote this post, I found an entire gallery devoted to slug art from our neighbors down in Eugene. (Although we avoid talking about Eugene here in Beaver Believer country. Eugene is the home of our nemesis, The University of Oregon.)
In any case, this was a slug on a mission, traveling from one edge of the narrow sidewalk to the other in approximately twenty minutes flat. We considered salting him (you know, so that he would taste better!), but then didn't want his slime all over the sidewalk right next to our hot tub. Gick.
I'd say this is a face only a mother could love; but then, I'm a mother, and even I don't love it. So, never mind.
On a less disgusting note, Mike and I made our way around town yesterday looking for hiking poles. We swore we wouldn't go to REI, but that is where we ended up eventually. I have nothing against REI, and in fact, trust them implicitly for all things outdoors. They just tend to be on the spendy side, and I really didn't want to spend a lot on these hiking poles. Mike remembered that he had an unspent dividend with them, however, and bonus! They had a big sale going on. So we walked out of the store with these babies.
And let me just set the record straight by saying that these are "trekking poles," not "hiking poles", despite their having the word "hiker" right on the shaft. Show a little class, will you?
Smitty was impressed. [Excuse me, Little Man. You seem to be in an area designated as No Cats Land. Please remove thyself from the table, if you don't mind.]
Sometimes he forgets his manners. Plus, he wanted to see the trekking poles.
So I liked these for several reasons: They are light weight, and check this out:
The top piece in the image above comes off to reveal the camera mount in the image below.
Cool, huh? Or...if you don't want the camera mount, just leave that piece on and use it as a pretend microphone for singing karaoke! My favorite karaoke song is Hit Me With Your Best Shot. [Pausing to belt out a verse.] But I digress.
So another thing I liked about them is that they have an easy twist adjustment mechanism that I could operate after having Mike show me just one time! I always consider it a bonus when I don't need to take classes to operate a new tool.
They have strong steel spiky tips for grabbing the terrain. Mike advised me not to use these on our wood floors. Good safety tip, Mike. Thanks.
And they have this basket at the end for hiking in sand...like my knee can take that, but whatever.
Made in Austria. I figure they know something about trekking in Austria. Lots of mountains there.
Here's what the REI website has to say about them:
This telescoping, super-lightweight aluminum hiking staff features internal springs to absorb shock and protect your joints. Antishock springs can be turned on and off with a twist of the pole-use the extra cushion for going downhill; set it rigid for support uphill. Shocklight springs are located inside the inner shaft; thus, are quieter and smoother than other pole springs. Foam grip and wide, padded wrist loop ensure a comfortable and secure hold; cork knob unscrews to create a monopod camera mount. Small-diameter trekking basket keeps the durable carbide tip from sinking into soft dirt and sand, yet resists catching in underbrush. The three-section shaft compacts small enough to strap to a daypack. Measures 51 inches open and 28.5 inches closed; grip length is 8 inches. Sells as a single staff.
They accurately note that these sell as a single staff, but we bought two of them. They were regularly $59.50 each, but we got them for $48.50 each on sale yesterday. With Mike's $17 dividend, it brought the price down considerably. And I'll just say that there were other trekking poles available that sold for three times as much. Honestly, I don't get it; but then, I'm kind of low tech that way. I'm happy with these. Now I'm ready to hit the dusty trail...even if it turns out to be sandy!
Today, I'm going to be making pasta sauce. It's a big job, and I can't say it's one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. Once I get the sauce boiling in the pot, it's not so bad. Then it just takes time. Peeling and chopping the tomatoes gets to be a chore though. Nevertheless, it is so worth it for the pasta sauce. When the rain has been falling for months, opening up a jar of pasta sauce made from tomatoes I grew myself is like opening a jar into summer. The sauce tastes so bright and lively. Okay, I'm getting hungry now, so I'd better stop.
Enjoy your Sunday!