|Stone cairns that mark the trail up Arabia Mountain
I have piled stones
on top of one another
for years now
stones of habit
stones of comfort
stones of refuge
stones to settle my heart
stones to mark the days of my journey…
It’s not uncommon to find stone cairns used as trail markers. These piles of stone help us find our way. They lead us somewhere and provide a tangible space to pause and recall. They offer a moment to get our bearings and seek direction. They hint for us to stop and listen for the whispering wind.
We may stand at a cairn and remember. We might dream or hope. Maybe we turn within to figure out the meaning behind this pile of stones. What does this place mean? What are its secrets? What are we meant to find here?
|Today’s science experiment
Something about baking, as opposed to cooking, makes it much less intimidating to me. And making cupcakes, well… they’re just plain fun!
While out and about yesterday (truthfully, I was lost at the time) I stumbled across a little bake shop that had tres leches (Spanish for three milk) cupcakes as their special of the day. I’d always wanted to try this Latin American specialty, so I forked over the $5.00 for two of them.
They were yummy enough (addictive, honestly) that I decided to try making them myself today. I followed the recipe I found here and… oh my goodness, these are so delicious! According to my taste tester, they’re even better than the ones I bought yesterday!
Tres leches is traditionally a cake, but it’s so super rich that I almost think it’s better suited to cupcake form… you know, just a couple bites. These aren’t your traditional cupcakes, either, because if they’re made right and drenched in milk, you’ll want a spoon for all the sweet goodness at the bottom.
I know you’re thinking, “Oh my God! What IS that? It’s red!”
If so, you may be a plant geek like me.
I had the very same reaction when I saw photos of it in my copy of Favorite Wildflower Walks in Georgia after it was gifted to me on my very first weekend here. I couldn’t wait to see this unique little plant in person.
Elf Orpine or Small’s Stonecrop (Diamorpha smallii) is a succulent that grows on granite outcrops in the Southeastern US.
We first went looking for it back in late September… it’s a winter annual, so it was still dormant on that first try. The cool and moist weather of the Georgia “winter” allow it to germinate when conditions are most favorable for the seeds to survive.
The plants are getting ready, now, to shoot up and flower in the early Spring.
(I’m not too sure, yet, when Spring hits here, but I’m guessing they’ll flower in mid-March.)
I can only imagine how hot the rock on Arabia Mountain must get in summertime. It makes sense for these plants to sprout, grow, flower and set seed before the summer furnace comes on, I’d guess.
Elf Orpine grows here in shallow depressions in the granite, in very little soil. It’s part of a small community of specially adapted plants that grow in the hollows, in something like dish gardens on the rock surface. Fascinating and pretty spectacular to see when blooming, I bet.