|Looks like it should crunch when you step on it, but it doesn't.|
Feel free to copy for your computer's desktop.
Here you are witnessing one of Florentina's moments of linguistic obsession, where the definition of individual words can take a thinker from one place (in this case, real and rather cold) to another (I would need a time machine to revisit the Middle Ages and those monasteries, as well as a good drag disguise.). We are able to travel through closer examination of language and in this case, one's mistaken usage of language to see how we are able to access what otherwise would be ancient and dusty. Each of us has the ability to take such a trip by looking at a good dictionary that gives information on the derivations of words.
For Florentina, this obsession has often taken place in two languages, if not more. I would often ask my parents about where certain words come from, in our dialect of Chinese spoken at home. An example: the phrase used at my parents' house for what Americans call "Swiss chard" always provokes a plea for something a little more dignified than "hog weed" or something like that. Every summer, this phrase provokes my usual questions: Where the heck did they get that? Can't we call it something nicer? Why, my mother claimed her sister in California told her that was what it was called. In fact, the vegetable gardening book I bought for my dad last year clearly indicates a more dignified name for what we call Swiss chard. It is so dignified that I can't remember how it translates.
|Swiss chard, as sold at the Crescent City Farmer's Market, |
New Orleans, LA (GoNOLA.com)
So, if the grasses and leaves aren't limned, what is it? Turns out that it's hoar frost. This kind of frost occurs when heat from living grasses, etc. meets with colder surrounding air, in a changing season. The frost crystals are rather soft, as Joey found out when he stepped on them. And today we are scheduled to get the year's first snowfall. Wish us luck for tomorrow's walk.