Monday, October 14, 2013

A stumble may prevent a fall.

Bob and Sophie stand at the far gate watching pilgrims saunter by on their way to the shrine at Compostella. All pilgrims, irrespective of age or gender, are barked at. Some get the '' we're the worlds most ferocious guard dogs '' bark, others the " we're starving orphan dogs and have never, ever, been fed " yelp. How they determine who should get which form of greeting a canine mystery. 

By the gate an old cherry tree. Years ago it had a run in with a lawn tractor which removed a section of bark. In between howling at innocent passers by the PON duo lick and slurp away at the damaged tree trunk. They can do this for fifteen minutes at a time. There is something in the sap that they find completely irresistible. What can it be ?

In the early evening a trip with the grande dame of stage and screen to the local abbey for a concert of Spanish music by  Albeniz . A virtuoso performance by a heavily sequined lady castanet player brings the grande dame to her feet .  '' Wonderful, wonderful, simply wonderful ". Here's a link to the smile inducing music.


  1. Is is that some pilgrims are carrying food?

  2. We thought Bertie and Gail may have discovered the reason.

    But we think those PON faces at the gate must gladden the hearts of many a pilgrim.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  3. Hello! I was curious about the sap after reading your blog, and came across this forum, which suggests the sap is rich in cyanide. Maybe worth checking it out in case it's not good for dogs?

  4. If I were a passing pilgrim and I saw those two adorable faces peering out at me, I would definitely stop and share a piece of my snack with them.
    I agree with anonymous above, check out the tree sap. We can't have the angels being harmed. Maybe wrap the exposed bark in some kind of plastic left over from the workmen construction or some burlap to prevent them from licking it. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

  5. Castanets. The player is obviously talented. But that sound, it must be an acquired taste. It has to be.
    Glad anonymous posted about the sap. It worried me too.

  6. Xylem sap consists primarily of water, along with hormones, minerals, and nutrients. Phloem sap consists primarily of water, in addition to sugar, hormones, and mineral elements dissolved within it. Dripping sap usually comes from the phloem.

    Perform your own at-home experiment to test its edibleness:
    “Historians believe that Native Americans taught early settlers of the United States to use the residue of cherry tree sap as chewing gum. Because the sap is clear and tasteless and dries to a chewy consistency, it makes an easy, plentiful and sugar-free chewing gum. Also, using a bit of sap with cherries and sugar can help make a very powerful cherry brandy. You can take the all the ingredients, mix them together, and then let them sit for a period of time, usually longer than a month, and produce a delicious and powerful alcoholic beverage.”

  7. "An aromatic resin can be obtained by making small incisions in the trunk. This has been used as an inhalant in the treatment of persistent coughs. Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being."

    Are Bob and Sophie especially cheerful lately?

  8. Our Tucker licks the leather sofa all the time. Must be the same sort of alluring scent?