Macro Monday: Cycad magic

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At the place we had Mothers Day lunch at Perigian Springs I saw a cycad as I had never seen one before. There were many other cycads all looking as I had seen in the past but this one with the red ? seeds  was new to me. Perhaps it wasn’t  a cycad although it certainly looked liked one.

Cycads have been around for a long time being the most common plant in the Jurassic Period. They have undergone only minor evolutionary changes since that time. They are a class of plants called gymnosperms which means that their seeds are open to the air for pollination directly, usually by a cycad beetle. Scientists have discovered that the seeds have a neurotoxin called BMAA. It is believed that the neurotoxin may be the cause of some neurological conditions in humans as it is postulated that bats eat the seeds containing the BMAA and humans then eat the bats. Phew….. I guess that is one disorder that I’m not going to get as I don’t think I have ever seen bat served in any meal I’ve ever eaten or indeed intend to eat in the future.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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10 Responses to Macro Monday: Cycad magic

  1. Not sure I would eat a bat. They are way too important for pollination, especially now that so many are infected with the deadly white face virus. In addition, the wind farms that generate activity kills thousands of bats each year (along with birds and bald eagles, which are protected – of course the government has excused the owners).
    Very interesting post!

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    • I agree Noelle. We have had a number of deaths related to bat bites ( Lyssavirus – I don’t know whether it is the same as white face virus) so they are definitely something I wouldn’t eat. I guess in Sub-Saharan Africa it could be a different thing though. I like wind farms less now – I didn’t know that they killed birds and bats. We have a colony of flying foxes that lives fairly close to us and I love hearing their chatter as I walk nearby.

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  2. Oh goodness… the thought of eating a bat makes me sick to my stomach…

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  3. M-R says:

    Crikey, Irene ! – not only great shots, but … INCREDIBLY INTERESTING ! Done any further research yet ?

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  4. Sherri says:

    Fascinating…I’m with you Irene, never eaten bat and have no intention to do so, now or anytime in the future 😉

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