Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tea, Beautiful Tea

Oh lucky me, another nice tea to chat about.  This is Adagio's Huang Jin (yellow flowers) Bolero.  This definitely calls to mind a very mixed bag of images, from the mountains of China to the heat of Spain, from the quiet of the tea fields to the opera.

The dry leaves are almost crinkled into balls and give off a gentle hayfield aroma, mixed with some floral.  The suggested brewing is for boiling water for 5 minutes.  I pretty much trust Adagio, so I do it.  It works!, even though this is a bit unusual for Oolong and not what you should do if you are going for multiple steeps.  The aroma has moved more into the often characteristic orchid smell, along with a bit of fruit. The tea is sweet and mild, with a floral/fruit taste.  There is also an unmistakable greenness to it, along with a hit of mineral.  Altogether very fine.

I finally got smart and decided to buy the squirrels peanuts.  Otherwise I would spend my life chasing them away from the bird feeders.  I put them and things for the ground feeders down near the squirrels' trees and it seems to work.  Even the turkey is happy.

We have pair of rose-breasted grosbeaks!  They are such beautiful birds.  As usual, the female is quite drab, but lovely in her own way, having a multitude of browns and speckles.  There are many sparrows and I am having a hard time distinguishing them all, as they don't sit still in good enough poses.  The fur persons seem to have given up bird chasing for mice and voles.  I am happy with that.  The little downies are beginning to look a bit raggedy.  Parenthood is a lot of work!  Sometimes they just sit on the suet, apparently having a breather.  I wonder if the male is a bit of a cross, as he seems to have a lot of touches of yellow on his head, wings, tail and body.  Hmm.  If you are interested in birds, the Cornell site  is a great one

An old coaching inn that was moved to Ballenberg museum.  The stables were in the building to the left. Ballenberg is trying to save as many historic Swiss buildings as they can.  The museum is divided into the regions of the country.  We only got to see the Bernese Alpine region, where my grandparents came from.  The house my grandfather grew up in was built in 1572, but remains in the village it was in, now converted into apartments.

1 comment:

Alex Zorach said...

That's exciting about the rose-breasted grosbeaks. This year, I saw those birds twice...I saw a small flock of them in migration, in Woodlands Cemetery in West Philly where I go birdwatching often, and I also saw one in the Pennypack preserve in Bryn Athyn, PA. Since I saw the one in Bryn Athyn later, once migration is basically over, I'm pretty sure that this means that they breed in those woods, which is exciting.

It's interesting to me, in Delaware, Rose-breasted grosbeaks migrate through, but to my knowledge, do not breed anywhere and are generally not sighted anywhere at all during June. But in Montgomery county, PA, just a hair north from DE, there are records from them all summer long, which suggests to me that they breed must be right at the edge of their range.