Member Blogs > ten pound island book companyTrumpets of Death

  • Mon, 19 Aug 2013 08:54:49    Permalink
    A patch of clethra or "sweet pepper" along the pathThis is one of my favorite seasons in the woods.
    Ill be walking along, listening to the crickets tuning up for their summers end symphony, watching the baby hoppy-toads tumble comically across my path, sniffing forest aromas of pine or leaf mold and mushrooms, when suddenly Ill catch an intoxicating whiff of perfume. The effect is always surprising. The woods hardly seem to be a place for such delicate fragrance. Then Ill see a patch of clethra, or sweet pepper as they are commonly called, ahead of me on the path. And boy, are they sweet! They prefer moist ground and seem to grow in clusters. Bees are very fond of their fragrant white blossoms, so I always get a little buzz to accompany the perfume.
    Its also the right time of year for mushrooms, if the weather will cooperate. We need humidity and warmth, then a good soaking rain. A couple of days later the forest floor will be covered with mushrooms of every kind. Unfortunately the weather hasnt been playing along of late too dry. So I was lucky, on my walk the other day, to find enough black chanterelles for an omelet.
    These babies are called trumpets of death, and I love scaring unsuspecting friends with that name. They do have a scary look to them - like something Darth Vader might have for lunch. In fact, they are delicious, with chewy texture, and a classic mushroom flavor leavened with a hint of apricot. Fried in butter and mixed with a little cheese, they make a superb omelet filling. They are supposed to be rarer than their cousins, the golden chanterelle, but so far this year all Ive been able to find are the black ones. They always come back in the same places, and the location of a patch is a closely guarded woodsy secret.
    Meanwhile, back at the office, weve finally gotten Maritime List 218 off to the printer. If all goes well, youll be seeing it right after labor day.
    As for me, a couple of days worth of chores at home, then I'm off to Philly to look at a collection on Wednesday, down to Baltimore to shop the big antique show there on Thursday, then up to Hartford, Connecticut to set up for the Summer Papermania show Saturday and Sunday. Hope you'll stop by and say hello!
    Here, by way of a preview of our forthcoming catalog, are a couple of minor but interesting selections.
    Ephemera. ILLUSTRATED LECTURES ON ARCTIC PERILS AND PICTURES OF SEVEN VOYAGES... WILL BE GIVEN BY WM. BRADFORD. 12mo. 4 pp. With special reference to the gallant DeLong and the Jeannette. Text on the inside and back pages of this flyer give topics of the first and second lectures, finely illustrated by views direct from nature, twenty feet in length. (I assume these were projected lantern slides.) Bradford relied increasingly upon lectures for income. Mention of DeLong and the Jeannette place this lecture toward the end of Bradfords career. Old horizontal fold mark, else very good condition. Folded flyer measures 5 x 6 inches. $250

    Malloy, Mary. DEVIL ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA. THE NOTORIOUS CAREER OF CAPTAIN SAMUEL HILL OF BOSTON.   Jersey Shore, PA.  2006.  Color plates. 314 pp. Malloy is a terrific researcher and story teller. Her subject in this book is an extraordingary psychopath who, she says, was almost Forrest-Gump-like in his peripheral appearance at important historical events at the turn of the nineteenth century. Among his other accomplishments, this madman is the person referred to in the folkloric interrogatory, What in the Sam Hill? Nathaniel Philbrick called this book a tour de force, and it is. Paperback, fine condition, signed by author. $25 (Contact us for multiple copies and wholesale prices.)

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