Solbit Takes a Stand on Amanita muscaria

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

What do you think?  Does my orange complexion and red head go with this red and white mushroom or not?

Ulva Island

I kind of like the combination. I feel like I fit right into this forest.

When we got back from our walk in the woods (they say, “the bush” here in New Zealand), I asked Papa to look up “red mushroom” on google.  He found a wikipedia article, and it said that this cool looking mushroom is “Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita.” So, I took a stand on Amanita muscaria.  How many of us can say we’ve done that? DON’T EAT IT. NOT GOOD FOR YOU!

We saw this fly agaric mushroom in a lot of places as we walked through the woods, especially near pine trees.  Hey, wanna see me walking in the woods, I mean in the bush?

Ulva Island

Guess what?  When we first approached these red and white mushrooms, they were so bright and shiny that Papa said, “Look, some kid left toy mushrooms by the tree.”  Nona corrected him, “Papa, those really are mushrooms.  Solbit, check them out and tell Papa they’re real.” So, I did.

Ulva Island

“Hey, Papa, come take a closer look.  They’re real!” I said.  He did.  Then, he exclaimed, “Well, I’ll be …!” I can’t write that last word he used.  Nona says it’s a swear word, and we don’t use swear words.  Hint:  the word Papa used starts with the letter “d.”  He’s not supposed to use that word, but I hear him say it often, especially when he drops something.  Seems to do that a lot.

Everywhere we go, there’s something that Nona does a lot too, but it’s not swearing.  What she does a lot is take photos, especially of me.  I think, maybe, I’m her favorite subject!

Ulva Island

You might say I’m her model, because she puts me in different situations and says, “Now, Solbit, look here.  Smile.”  Then she presses the camera shutter.  We go home, load all the day’s photos into her MacBook Air laptop, and we look at all the things we did that day.  It’s like having a second hike in the woods — I mean, bush — all over again.

Nona has today’s photos uploaded to her laptop now, so I’ve gotta go look at them.  Bye!  I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

January 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit says, “Wow! I gotta have them?”

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Hey, Ainsley’s glasses look terrific!  Wow!  Your email with this photo found us in Hobart, Tasmania.

AsNwGlses

I heard Nona say, “Wow, Papa, Ainsley has new glasses.  You’ve got to see this photo.”  Then, Papa said, “Wow, Solbit, Ainsley has new glasses. You’ve got to see this photo.”  They held me up to the computer screen. I looked at Ainsley’s new eyeglasses.  Then, I said, “Wow, Nona and Papa, I’ve got to have them!”

Nona got quiet, looked at Papa, and said, “Papa, you handle this.”

So, Papa sat down with me. He said, “Solbit, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but nobody makes eye glasses for dinosaurs, and especially not plastic Jurassics.  It’s just a hard fact of life that you’re going to have to get used to.  I know that, if you had tear ducts in those plastic eyes of yours, you’d be crying by now, and all I can say is that I’m sorry.”

Girl, did I feel bad.  You know what I mean.  Just then, though, Nona had a wonderful idea.  “Solbit, I’ll make some pretend eyeglasses for you, and they’ll look real, and you can pretend to use them anytime you want.  OK?”

Seyeglasses

I said, “Nona, you’re the greatest! Now, I can look like Ainsley!”  Papa chimed in, “Solbit, you may look like you’re wearing eyeglasses, but, take my word for it, Dear, you’re never gonna look like Ainsley.”  I said, “I know Papa, ‘cause she’s a blond and I’m a red head, right?”

But, Nicalai, you know what? I wish I could look like Ainsley, and I do think my pretend glasses get me part of the way there.  Don’t you?

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

April 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Has Tea with An Artist

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Well, Reina and I hit it off.  She invited me to tea at her home.  Remember I told you that Nona and Papa’s friends Jamie, Wuna, and their daughter Reina took us to the Art Gallery of New South Wales (“Solbit Sees Thunder Spirits”)? Here we are in Reina’s room:

DSC04654 S & R

I knew that Reina enjoyed art, but I didn’t know that she is an artist too.  Yeah, she does all different kinds of art.  Here’s a section of one of her cartoons. (I hope she doesn’t mind my using it here.)

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For someone 11 years old, I’d say that’s good!  Papa said, “Solbit, I’m 69 years old and that cartoon would be good for me, but I can’t draw like that now.  It’s a gift!”  I saw a framed award on Reina’s wall for a self-portrait that she painted called “A Bad Day.”  How bad could it have been if she got an award for painting it?

Of course, Nona and Papa had to bring me over to Reina’s home, so Jamie, Wuna, and Reina’s grandmom, Nini, made supper for us, a mostly Chinese meal.  Look at these dishes!

DSC04659 food

We had cabbage, pumpkin, egg and tomato, grilled fish, tofu and mushrooms, a traditional herbed pork in vegetable sauce, and a sweet sticky rice with plums and apricot.  Sooo Good!  I could see that Nona and Papa couldn’t stop eating.  I tried to signal them to slow down, but they just kept shoveling it in.  Embarrassing!

After supper, Reina invited me to her room for tea.  This is her tea set.

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You just sit, chat, and sip little cups of tea.  Every once in a while, more hot water is added to the tea pot, so you can sip more tea.  Nona came in and, as she always does, took a photo of us.

IMG_0778 R,S,B

Then Papa took a photo of Nona taking a photo of us.  Fortunately, Jamie, Wuna, and Nini didn’t get out their cameras, or we would have been there all night posing for them.  Oh well, I shouldn’t complain about Nona taking photos, because I like using pictures in my blog.  I think pictures help me to tell the story, don’t you?

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

May 2015

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Goes Face-to-Face with a Dragon

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Dear Nicalai,

I came face to face with a Dragon today.  She was about fifty — that’s 50 — times my size.  Yowee!

Here’s how it happened.  Nona and Papa took me for another one of their hikes. Notice: I restrained myself from saying, “one of their forced marches.” They had taken me to see the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.  After what seemed like — and, in fact, was — several kilometers hiking on a track (that’s what Australians call a “trail”), Nona put me on top of a stone sign post. She said, “Wait here.”  While she did more of her birdwatching, I walked around the top of this post and heard a “Psst. Psst. Hey, come over here and see me.”  I did, and this is what I saw …

trip to Blue Mountains, National Pass Hike from Wentworth Falls

I just about jumped out of my orange dino skin!  What a shock!

The dragon could see how scared I was. She said, “Don’t be frightened little iguanodon girl.  I’m big.  I’m a dragon, but I can’t move.  They’ve got me pinned to this post so you hikers can see what an Eastern Water Dragon looks like. I’m just moulded metal.  Hey, you look like you’re moulded too.”

trip to Blue Mountains, National Pass Hike from Wentworth Falls

I said, “Yes, I’m a Plastic Jurassic.  My name is Sparkle Orangie Lulu Breakit, but you can call me Solbit for short. Thanks for being so friendly! You sure scared me, and now you surprised me by knowing what kind of dinosaur I am.”

Just then Nona grabbed me and started hiking again.  I only had time to yell, “Goodbye, Ms. Dragon.”  She said something, but I couldn’t hear her.  Sounded like “Look out something slider … a way” or “look out something glider…down says.”  Didn’t make sense.  “Nona,” I asked, “What did that Dragon say?”  “I didn’t hear anything.  Dragon? What dragon?” she replied.  Not knowing what the dragon said was going to drive me crazy!

After Nona & Papa hiked another few kilometers, stopping again and again to look at the canyon and search for birds they heard but couldn’t see, Nona said, “Hey, Solbit, look at that sugar glider.  Wouldn’t you like to take a ride?”  She put me on this animal, apparently called a sugar glider, and said, “Look at the camera, Solbit, and took this photo.”

trip to Blue Mountains, National Pass Hike from Wentworth Falls

How about that? Now I think I know what Ms. Dragon said. She must have said something like, “Look for the sugar glider down the track a ways.”  Now I don’t have to go crazy.

As if seeing a dragon and a glider weren’t enough for one day, we also saw another animal with a most odd name, Cunningham’s Skink.  Here’s what it looks like.

trip to Blue Mountains, National Pass Hike from Wentworth Falls

I said, “Is that really your name, Cunningham’s Skink?” He said, “Please don’t make fun of my name.  I get teased about it all the time.”  I immediately felt sorry for him, “I’m sorry, Mr. Skink.  I won’t ever make fun of your name.  Can we be friends?  I’d love to tell my cousins that I know a skink with whom I’m good friends.  They would be amazed.”  He said, “OK, but tell your cousins to do everything they can to protect us skinks.  We need their help.”

What a day we had in the Blue Mountains on the National Pass Track!  I may yet learn to enjoy hiking.  Gotta go! We’re running for the train back to Sydney.  Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

May 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Asks Papa, “When Can We Sing and Dance?”

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Hey, Papa and I saw some posts today.  Papa says that, one day, in the very distant future, he would like to have one. So, what were they?

We had been exploring the Art Gallery of New South Wales here in Sydney, Australia.  I said, “Hey, Papa, look at those funny posts sticking up out of the floor.”  He looked and said, “Solbit, good eye.  I think you’ve found something worth a look.”

DSC04089

We stopped at the posts, found a description of them, and I learned that what looked “funny” to me was what looked “serious, important, and profound” to others.  Why?

Well, they were grave posts, not funny looking sticks.  I need to learn to be more respectful, especially when I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Yeah, I learned that the Tiwi people on Melville Island made posts like these to remember family and friends who have died. Those posts were only made of special blackwood that’s reserved for ceremonies and are called Tutuni or Pukumani graveposts.

These grave posts for exhibit at the art gallery were not made of blackwood but of ironwood.   Seventeen senior Tiwi (aboriginal) artists were invited to make 17 of these posts.  That’s the first time aboriginal art went on exhibit at an art gallery, way back in 1958.

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Aren’t they beautiful?  Papa said that these grave markers sure do look a lot better than those stone markers we usually see back home.

The sign said, “The Pukumani ceremony is unique to Tiwi. It is a ‘final goodbye’, with singing and dancing accompanying the placement of Tutuni around the gravesite. The first Pukumani ceremony was led by Tiwi ancestor Purukuparli for his baby, Jinani, who was the first person to die; as a result, today all Tiwi must follow his fate.”

Papa said, “No grave stone for me, please, Solbit; I want one of those when I die.”  I asked, “Can we sing and dance, too, Papa?”  He said, “Solbit, I would like that.”

I said, “So, Papa, when will that be?”  He asked, “When will what be?”  “You know, when will you die so we can sing and dance?”    Papa laughed and said, “I hope sometime in the very distant future, Solbit, but you never know, so live life to the fullest now.”

I said, “OK, I will.”  Actually, I think he was talking to himself and not to me, because, being a plastic Jurassic, I’m not going to die.

trip to Blue Mountains, National Pass Hike from Wentworth Falls

My color might fade a bit, but it seems like plastic is forever.  I hear that is an environmental problem.  Someone will have to solve that problem.  Maybe you will, if you become a scientist. Right?

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

 

April 2014

 

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”