Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 9, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 9, 2019 

177 East Colorado Boulevard, Suite 550, Pasadena, California 91105 
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Investment Counsel to Financially 
Successful Families since 1915 


[Nyerges is the author of “Foraging 
California,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” 
and other books. He can be 
reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.
com for information about 
his books and classes.]

You’re walking along the 
California coast, somewhere 
where it’s still possible to see seaweeds and shells 
and sponges and anemones. You’re in the tide 
pools! These are exciting places to discover what 
lives where the ocean meets the land, and even to 
observe the effects of pollution, human intervention, 
and climate change.

The first step in your expansion of knowledge and 
insight into the flora and fauna of the diverse tidepools 
is to learn a bit about the plants and animals 
that reside there. There are many books available, 
and one of the better books I’ve recently reviewed 
is “Fylling’s Illustrated Guide to Pacific Coast Tide 
Pools,” by Marni Fylling.

It’s a slim book, 76 pages, measuring 5 by 7 inches, 
so this book fits easily into your pack or pocket. It’s 
a simple guide to everything you’ll find in the tide 
pools, with color drawings. 

After a simple introduction to how the tide pools 
work, the book shares with us how to recognize the 
common anemones, sponges, mollusks, worms, 
arthopods, sea stars and urchins, tunicates (yes, I 
never heard of those either!), fish, birds, and the 
seaweeds. It’s a delightful book, which makes the 
understanding of what lives in the tide pools easy 
and accessible. The color drawings are clear and 

If you’ve ever watched some of the many “survival” 
shows on television, you’ll see that those who 
understand the sea and shore are those who eat. 
Where there is water, there are fish, and shellfish, 
and seaweeds, and basically no excuse to go hungry. 

Kelp is common in the tidepools and along all the 
coasts, and of course, when properly prepared can 
provide you with some very flavorful soup or broth. 
Various forms of kelp are described in this book, 
including the bull kelp (the one with the long stem 
and the hollow ball at the end of the stipe), and the 
giant kelp. According to the author, the giant kelp 
put the bull kelp to shame in its speed of growth. 
Giant kelp can grow 20 inches in a day, faster than 
almost any other organism on earth. (The author 
says “almost.” I wondered, what could possibly 
grow faster than that?)

Purple laver is another 
seaweed found in 
the tide pools, growing 
on rocks. One 
type of purple laver 
that many people are 
familiar with is nori, 
which has been eaten 
since at least 500 A.D. 
(that we know about). 

I learned about tunicates 
in this book, 
also known as “sea 
squirts.” These are 
the jelly-like masses 
that you often see 
on rocks in the tide 
pools. These are quite 
unique creatures in 
the animal kingdom.

In the crab section, the author describes the diverse 
crabs to be found in the Pacific tide pools, and also 
mentions the gooseneck barnacles. Back in my 
teens, we used to collect the gooseneck barnacles 
and use them for bait. I also would take some home 
to boil and eat, and everyone laughed at me because 
they said I was “eating bait.” Still, I learned that you 
could survive on very little.

“Pacific Coast Tidepools” retails at $15 from Heyday 
books (


When I was first studying the life of the beaches, I 
used Jepson’s Manual of the Higher Plants of California, 
which is what you use in college to study 
botany. That’s a good source, obviously, but not as 
enjoyable to read as Fylling’s guide to the tide pools.

I also used Euell Gibbon’s “Stalking the Blue-Eyed 
Scallop,” which covers the edible and useful flora 
and fauna of the Pacific, Atlantic, and other coasts. 
It’s actually quite good, and though illustrated with 
simple line drawings, is perhaps one of Gibbons’ 
best works. Though many of Gibbons’ books were 
lively conversations, and sometimes lacking in science. 
“Blue-Eyed Scallop” demonstrates the true 
naturalist in Euell Gibbons, and it showed that his 
love for the sea was his first love.


In a related vein, Heyday also publishes a book from 
a Pomo perspective called “Enough For All: Foods 
of My Dry Creek Pomo and Bodega Miwuk People” 
by Kathleen Rose Smith.

Kathleen Rose Smith reveals the practices handed 
down through generations of her Bodega Miwuk 
and Pomo ancestors, and shares how these traditions 
have evolved into the contemporary ways her 
family still enjoys wild foods. Her knowledge and 
personal reflections are expressed through recipes, 
stories, and artwork, recording not only the technical 
aspects of food gathering, but also the social 
and spiritual—inextricable elements of traditional 
California Indian food preparation.

 It's a wonderful book, complete with family stories 
and photos, and also full of useful information of 
how the wild foods were once collected, and shared 
with others in a time of need.

 “Enough for All” is not only the title, but the theme 
that more people should adopt in this time when 
there is so much plenty, but also so many in poverty.


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


Generally speaking, and who 
speaks generally anymore these 
days, I am not much of a holiday 
fan. There seems to be a holiday 
every day of the week. So many 
holidays that I cannot keep up and quite frankly, I do 
not have much incentive to keep up.

When I was young, I enjoyed holidays but now that I 
am a husband, a father, a grandfather, every holiday 
is billed to my account, to such an extent I cannot get 
out of it. I hold my wallet very tight, but evidently 
not tight enough. Somebody invented holidays just 
to sell greeting cards and make a ton of money. So, I 
am not a great advocate of holidays.

I fondly remember as a youngster getting up Christmas 
morning excited about what Santa had brought 
me under the Christmas tree. Little did I know that 
my father was taking care of all the cost. How was I 
to know that Christmas had a price tag to it? Nobody 
ever told me when I was young the Christmas presents 
cost anything.

When I had a family of my own, I discovered that 
Christmas is not free, at least for the parents, especially 
the father of the tribe. Of course, it was worth 
seeing the laughter and bright eyes of the children as 
they opened their Christmas gifts.

Outside of Christmas, I do not have any holidays 
that I get excited about, except one. I am from Pennsylvania 
and if you are not from that state, you will 
not understand this holiday. I know people celebrate 
Groundhog Day, but that is not my holiday. The holiday 
that I celebrate the most is Fast-nacht Day, which 
is a Pennsylvania Dutch holiday celebrated on the 
Tuesday before Ash Wednes-day.

No, it is not a religious holiday. I don’t know too 
much about the roots of Fastnacht Day. But the word 
Fastnacht means doughnuts. Therefore, in reality, it is 
the national Donut Day. What holiday could be better 
than spending the whole day eating donuts?

One time the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
challenged me about eating donuts all day, espe-
cially pristine apple fritters. I had to explain to her 
that because I am from Pennsylvania I have a solemn 
obligation to celebrate that holiday. Even though I no 
longer live in Pennsylvania, I still have a solemn responsibility 
to eat donuts all day long on Fastnacht 

I do have a small confession to make though. It was 
June and I was celebrating Fastnacht Day with apple 
fritters all day long. My wife caught me and said, 
“What are you doing?”

Very soberly I said, “Well, it’s Fastnacht Day and I am 
celebrating it by eating these apple fritters.” She gave 
me one of those stares that bores into my very soul. I 
do not get those stares often, but when I do, they are 
most alarming.

“What do you mean,” my wife asked, “today is Fastnacht 
Day?” So, I launched into my description of 
this holiday and that as a Pennsylvania born person, 
I have a solemn responsibility to honor this holiday 
every year. It is my heritage.

“Yes,” she said most sternly, “but why are you eating 
apple fritters TODAY?”

There was silence for a little bit and I did not know 
how to answer her.

“If I’m not mistaken,” she queried, “you celebrated 
Fastnacht Day back in March. Why are you celebrating 
it in June?”

I knew I was trapped and I did not know how to untrap 
myself. All I could do was say, “Oh, I for-got that 
this was June. I must be getting older and my memory 
isn’t working quite as well.”

Looking at me and not smiling, she said, “It’s not your 
memory I’m worried about.” Then she turned around 
and walked away. I have been worried ever since. I 
did not know what she meant by what she was worried 
about me for. It could be a thousand things and 
quite frankly, I do not have the nerve to ask her what 
she was most worried about me.

As I said, every holiday comes with a cost factor. Not 
all cost has to do with money.

I wanted to tell her that although Fastnacht Day 
comes in March I like to celebrate it three or four 
times during the year. Now, what’s wrong with that? 
Why is it that you have to celebrate a holiday just for 
one day? Why can it be throughout the year?

I think I know how she would have responded. 
“Okay, why don’t you celebrate my birthday every 
month?” Believe me, I’m not going to be walking on 
those troubled waters anytime soon.

Throughout the years, I have learned that everybody 
has their own way of celebrating a holiday. Personally, 
I think people are too legalistic when it comes to 
holidays. My idea is, instead of cele-brating holidays, 
why don’t we celebrate every day of the year. Every 
day has something special in it that warrants celebration. 
Celebration is remembering the right things.

David understood this when he wrote, “Remember 
not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: 
according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy 
goodness' sake, O Lord” (Psalm 25:7).

There are things in my life I do not want to celebrate 
or remember. It is the grace of God that ena-bles him 
to remember the goodness in my life and not my sins.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God 
Fellowship, and lives with the Gracious Mis-tress of 
the Parsonage in Ocala, FL. Call him at 352-687-4240 
or e-mail The church web site 

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