Misc Amsterdam October 2009


birds in the Beatrixpark

The Beatrixpark is a lovely little park just a few minutes' bike ride south of us. Among other things, it has this upscale duck pond.


This duck pond even has a swan, doing swan things. There's a coot in the foreground and a couple mallards in the background.


The swan in a classic pose.

world's ugliest bird

Shortly after taking this photo, the camera broke. These are my candidate for World's ugliest bird 2009. The crow in the background seems to be studiously looking the other way, refusing to admit that these wart-faced things belong to his order. The Internet seems to think they are Muscovy ducks. Apparently they eat a lot of mosquitos, which would certainly make it worth having the ugly thing around, and might explain the red lumps on its face too.

purple flower

These purple flowers were still in bloom, although fading, on the bushes at the park. They look a bit like echinacias, but these are only about 1cm wide.

purple flowers

Not sure what these are either. But apparently it's the season for purple.

purple curls

This one's apparently a throwback to the 80's.

purple flowers

The big (although still tiny) picture.

Weird things that most people would throw away, but I photograph it.

ruby wine

We drank red wine. We left the glasses out. I broke one. But in the bottom were these.

ruby wine

A closer look at some of the crystals. I'm not sure what they are crystals *of*, but they are clearly crystals (with a few fibers of some kind - maybe cat hair?)

italian dressing

This is what happens when you make Italian dressing with olive oil and red onions. I kind of like the phosphorescent pink and green, but I expect most people would find it freaky. The can in the back is a nice brand of coffee which we fondly refer to as the spousal abuse coffee. (It really looks way too much like the woman has two black eyes.)

bad tomatillos

For a few weeks before we went on vacation, I'd been finding mysterious black puddles in the kitchen. I thought it was poldergeists* but I hadn't gotten around to surfing for Dutch exorcism rituals. When we got back from vacation, the cause was clear. Note that this thing appears to have burst from *inside* the can. Luckily, I hadn't gotten around to eating the can of tomatillos (if they did this then they were not canned right to begin with!). Nor did I open the can at this time, although in hindsight I kind of wish I had.

tomatillo brain

But the the tomatillo aliens weren't done yet. This one looked pretty ordinary inside its paper wrapper, but I opened it up to find that it had grown a BRAIN. The inside looked fairly normal, though, and after carefully saving the seeds, it tasted fine.

*yes I meant to spell it this way

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