Monday, May 19, 2008

robin, horse chestnut, clams

This is a very small and slim and, I think, very young robin. I have seen it three times in the same corner of the Grove. Its rebarbative pose comes, I think, from shyness and inexperience rather than a dislike of the paparazzi, not a characteristic of robins in general.

While hoeing the broad beans, I encounter a horse chestnut seedling sprouting from a half buried conker - a strange conjunction.

In the Pantiles farmers' market, there are clams on the fishmonger's stall. They are palourdes, he says, by way of explaining that they originate in France. Clams or cockles, palourdes, in Italy vongole, and in Spain berberecho and almeja, are all similar but distinctive crustacea. We'll make spaghetti a la vongole, we decide. They have different names and architectures, but, quickly sauteed and assisted by a little stock and white wine and perhaps some cream they taste much the same, sweet, tender and slightly salty.

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