Squirrel update, August 20
Twine time -- squirrel update

Deer velvet -- who knew?


   I posted a photo of a white-tailed buck in the Celery Farm a while back, but failed to point out the fuzz on his antlers.

  I am told that this is called being "in velvet."

   Incredibly, a health-supplement fad seems to have sprung up around the sale of ground-up deer velvet.

   No, seriously.

   Here is a blurb from a deer-velvet supplement Web site:

   "Deer velvet was well known to the ancient Chinese. A silk scroll dated around 168 BC, found in a Chinese tomb, includes some reasons for taking deer velvet. Deer are familiar figures in Chinese mythology and often accompany the god of longevity.

   "As far back as 1596 Li Shi Zhen described deer velvet as a herb which tonified the Yang. He listed several functions including increasing vital forces, strengthening the muscles and bone and harmonising the energies within the body.

   "In modern times deer velvet is beginning to take a prominent place in the West. It is used for systemic exhaustion, improving strength and helping to maintain immune function."

   I guess if you go to some new-age health-food stores, you might be able to buy some organic deer-velvet supplements off the rack.

  That last line is what's known as a feeble attempt at humor on a dreary August Tuesday morning.

  As for magic potions, I think I'll stick to the fresh fruits and vegetables.