Work Outs: November 1 – 7, 2020 (My Garden of Nurgle)

I was hacking away in one corner of our property this past Monday, clearing out some of the blackberry bushes and the like, which will most certainly take over if you left them. Once I had things pruned back pretty well who did I see but my old friend, Shelf Fungus.

“My how you’ve grown!” I exclaimed and ran in the house to get a tape measure. Turns out Shelf Fungus had gone from being about the size of my hand to about a foot-and-a-half across!

I thought that was pretty neat. Then I went on with my life and soon forgot about poor Shelf Fungus again until Subedai made a “Garden of Nurgle” comment about The Fence Made out of Branches. At that moment I knew what my ancillary theme for this week’s workout report would be.

Sun, November 1st

  • Afternoon Training
    • Captains of Crush Gripper (T):
      • (Set 1): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 16mm x 5 reps
      • (Set 2): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 16mm x 4 + 1 reps
      • (Set 3): Right = 6mm x 3 + 2 reps, Left = 16mm x 5 reps
      • (Set 4): Right = 6mm x 4 + 1 reps, Left = 16mm x 8 + 1 reps
      • (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 1 + 4 reps, Left = 14mm x 1 + 4 reps
  • Leg Complex: FOUR SETS {Full Squats x 15 x 17 x 19 x 21 reps, Romanian Dead Lifts (10 lb. db’s) x 12 reps, Walking Lunges (2-ct): 6 reps, Side-Kick Stretch (2-ct): 12}
  • Exercise Complex: Standing Calf Raises x 20 reps, Front Kick Stretch (2-ct) x 12 reps, Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps, Single Leg Standing Calf Raises (each leg): 6 reps, Internal and External Shoulder Rotation (black band, each arm) x 12 reps
  • Did a little stretching to end the session.

Calories: 1984, Protein 59 g.

No Garden of Nurgle would be complete without some wildlife and I think this scorpion I found under our trashcans is a particularly nice, little sprite. To my uneducated eye, the body shape suggests the California Forest Scorpion while the coloration looks more like the California Common Scorpion.

Apparently these beasties can live up to ten years, so they could make good pets. I kept a damaged scorpion for two years, which I found in a mud impression made by a Jeep tire tread. (It has been several decades and my memory might be faulty, but looking at pictures now I’d say it was a Striped Rock Scorpion.) It had lost two legs on one side and didn’t get around so well. I kept it in a little terrarium and fed it all sorts of different things, which weren’t too hard to find in central Texas.

The First Sergeant let me keep it and said, “Release it when its legs grow back.” Well, neither of us knew this at the time, but apparently their legs don’t grow back when they molt, especially if they are already adults when they lose them. Eventually Mr. Claws became part of the landscape and even that one roommate (there were usually four of us to a room) who hated him got used to him after awhile.

When I mustered out, I took Mr. Claws with me to Austin, Texas, when I lived there for a few months. I guess he didn’t like the move because he died not too long after that. I was very sad. Looking back, the death of Mr. Claws closed out a chapter in my life because I moved back to Maine and began college very soon after Le Morte d’Claws.

Mon, November 2nd

  • Morning Walk: 3.10 miles. Also did about 2.5 hours of yard work.
  • Afternoon Walk: 3.99 miles. Total mileage for the day was 7.09 miles.

Calories: 2067, Protein: 110 g.

Here are some closer pictures of my friend, Shelf Fungus. You can click on them to make them larger if you have a sudden, burning desire to see close-ups. I know I would!

I did a little poking around and I think it might be a Ganoderma brownii, which Wikipedia reports if very common where I live. The stump is a California bay laurel and the branches, which are still growing out of what is left of the tree, have some very pleasant leaves that remind one of cinnamon. (I’m sorry that the people who previously owned our house had to chop it down.) The fungus is very commonly found on this species of tree and has a preference for hardwoods in general, so this lends some weight to my supposition. Once things open back up again, I might make contact with the local mushroom experts and see if they give me a more definitive identification.

So far the fungus has confined itself to this stump and hasn’t gone after the nearby redwoods. I’m not surprised because, frankly, redwoods seem to be hardy in the extreme, which you would expect from plants that can live for thousands of years. Furthermore, and probably more importantly, I had a serious heart to heart with the fungus and told it if it starts messing with them I’d bust out my pruning saw and have it off the stump quicker than you could say “parasite!”

Tues, November 3rd

  • Afternoon Training
    • Shoulder Complex: THREE SETS { [Twenty-One’s: lateral raises (12 lb. DB’s), front raises (12 lbs.), and rear delt rows (12 lbs.)] + [Arnold Presses: 20 lbs. x 2 sets x 10 reps, 25 lbs. x 6 reps + 20 lbs. 4 reps] }
    • Standing Push-ups using cellar stairs: 12 x 12 x 12 x 12 reps
    • Cable Flies: 10 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, 12.5 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Spring Bar: 5H x 3 sets, 3H + 5L
    • Super Set: Tricep Pushdowns (str. bar): 35 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, 40 lbs. x 12 reps +
      • (Set #1): Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20
      • (Set #2): Two-Handed American KB Swings: 15 lbs. x 13 reps
      • (Set #3): Crunches: 30 reps
      • (Set #4): Fitness Bag Pick up and Shoulder x 8 reps
    • Exercise Complex: Spread and Raise Hands (light orange band) x 12 reps, One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle) 10 lbs. x 12 reps, Front Squats x 20 reps, Whirling Dervishes (ea. way) 10 revolutions, Front Kick Stretch into Side Kick Stretch (ea. leg) x 10 reps, Overhead Press (rock) x 20 reps
    • Did a little stretching to end the session.

Calories: 2103, Protein: 105 g.

I don’t feel like I’d be doing my Garden of Nurgle post justice nor would it be quite complete without including with some pictures of banana slugs. These pictures have been languishing on my phone for some months now and I’ve been meaning to post them but keep forgetting. Let’s just say that “April is the month for banana slugs,” because the pictures in the little slideshow below are mostly of different slugs, despite the similar backgrounds, and not multiple pictures of the same beastie.

Wed, November 4th

  • Morning Walk: 3.24 miles.
  • Afternoon Walk: 3.24 miles. I found it interesting that the mileage was the same, down to the 100th of a mile, even though we walked a different route in the afternoon than we did in the morning. Total mileage for the day was 6.48 miles.

Calories: 1915, Protein: 103 g.

Thurs, November 5th

  • Afternoon Training:
    • Captains of Crush Gripper (T):
      • (Set 1): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 16mm x 5 reps
      • (Set 2): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 16mm x 6 reps
      • (Set 3): Right = 6mm x 5 + 1 reps, Left = 16mm x 5 + 1 reps
      • (Set 4): Right = 6mm x 5 + 1 reps, Left = 16mm x 6 + 1 reps
      • (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 2 + 4 reps, Left = 14mm x 5 + 1 reps
      • Worked in some sets with the grippers just using my thumb, which doesn’t get much direct work with this exercise, and did a few sets of opening the hands with the 8 lb. band when I was warming up my back for rows and pull downs.
    • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 60 lbs. x 2 sets x 15 reps, 65 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps
    • Cable Pull Downs (d-handles): 50 lbs. x 4 sets x 13 reps
    • Standing Bicep Curls (cat litter fitness bag) : 4 sets x 12 reps
      • This wasn’t in my list of goals, but this is the first time I’ve been able to do four high quality sets of 12 reps with the bag, so I’m pretty pleased about that.
    • Fitness Bag Cleans (alternating sets of parallel and overhand grips): 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Exercise Complex: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps, Wood Chops (ea. side): 15 lbs. x 15 reps, Full Squats: 20 reps, 2-hd American KB Swings (15 lbs.) x 12 reps
    • Farmer’s Walk (40 lb. DB’s): 100 Steps
    • Stretched a little to end the workout.

Calories: 2010, Protein: 116 g.

I’ve heard people in the area say that banana slugs don’t have any known predators because of a foul, anesthetizing slime they excrete. According to Wikipedia, though, “Racoons, garter snakes, ducks, geese and salamanders sometimes eat banana slugs; they roll the slugs in soil to bind the slime,” and young slugs are “sometimes eaten by moles and shrews.”

Apparently people eat/ate them too, including the “Yurok Indians of the North Coast” as well as “German immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries,” and there is a festival about 60 miles from San Francisco, California where they have a cooking contest. I have to admit I’m intrigued, especially by the recipes involving vinegar and cornmeal. Alas, I’ve gone soft in my old age. Now I’d much rather admire them and say, “Hail and well met, friend!” and perhaps rescue one if it was drying out on the concrete in the sun rather than rolling it in cornmeal.

Fri, November 6th

  • Morning Walk: 3.27 miles.
  • Afternoon Walk: 3.25 miles. Total mileage for the day was 6.52 miles. Did 25 full squats a bit later when I had the opportunity.

Calories: 2104, Protein: 108 g.

I could easily go crazy with this whole Garden of the Grandfather thing because I have all sorts of pictures on my over-burdened phone. So I think I’ll take a middle path and conclude with the gallery below.

Come to think of it, maybe I did go a little crazy …

Sat, November 7th

Rest day. Calories: 2045, Protein: 127 g. (I lost 2 pounds for the week, so my total lost is 17.2 lbs. so far.)

20 responses to “Work Outs: November 1 – 7, 2020 (My Garden of Nurgle)”

    • Thank you, Mick. I’ve been kind of surprised at some of the critters I’ve discovered in my adopted area over the last few years. I had no idea, for example, that we had so many scorpions and the first time I saw a banana slug I thought it was some sort of strange mutant. 🙂


    • There is a surprising number of poisonous beasties where I live. As for the scorpions, I don’t see them very often but then there are probably a lot more of them than I see since they like to hide under things and blend in pretty well. The only reason I saw the one in the pictures at all was because it started waving its claws about. Otherwise I probably never would have noticed it.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. That’s a great collection of inspiring photos! I think my Beast of Nurgle will get some banana slug vibes when I finally get around to painting it. I love the story of Mr Claws, may he rest in peace.

    Our own little suburban garden doesn’t have quite such exotic animals to offer, but we are trying to keep it semi-wild and always spot a few mushrooms sprouting in the shadowy corners during autumn. As for the wild life, there’s a forgetful squirrel, an incontinent fox, a coven of cats, hairy caterpillars and the Queen of the Bumblebees reigning over our flower beds.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. I can’t wait to see your banana slug-inspired Beast of Nurgle when it is done!

      Yes, good old Mr. Claws. I loved that scorpion and he only stung me three times (ouch!) in the more than two years I owned him and never after the first three months when I learned his ways. I’m glad that I happened to spot him and was able to give him a couple of years of life he surely wouldn’t have had sans all of those legs. Wish I had a picture of him, but this was the ’80’s and it was a lot more trouble to take a picture of something than it is now. Looking back, it was awfully nice too of the First Sergeant to bend the rules about pets in the barracks for poor Mr. Claws.

      Sounds like your garden is quite lovely with the mushrooms, the incontinent fox to spice things up, and various other characters, regal and otherwise. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post on animal life there Ann, very interesting as always to Flora and Fauna from other countries, I’m one of those that fails to see the beauty in slugs and like you father spend time making there likes miserable , but in saying that I would find it hard to turn my wrath on one of your fine Banana ones. Oh and like dave2718 I to was stung by a scorpion as a lad in the bush, and yes like he said it did hurt, so I wont be putting my hand up to take in any way would scorpions like your kind self did.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re probably right about that, though I didn’t know what a Hostas was (I think they are very pretty) until you mentioned it and I looked it up, so we both learned something!

      So far as banana slugs go, I’d heard the name in passing maybe once or twice as a teenager having to do with them being the mascot of “some college in California,” and then years later I ended up moving thousands of miles west of where I grew up and less than a half an hour away from said college, lol. Funny how life does that sometimes.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The workouts seem to be on track Ann, so keep up the good work.
    Loved the pictures especially the fungi, with the size of the claws on that scorpion, I’d try not to get stung ! The rule of thumb is the smaller the claws the stronger the venom, and don’t see anything wrong with having a scorpion in a terrarium, used to have a pair of Emperor scorpion’s which actually turn emerald green when upset ! Found that out by accident when the female escaped and I had to drive it out from under the TV cabinet

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hehehe, thank you. I’m glad you liked the pictures, John, and you do have to admit I did give sort of a warning and didn’t even put it in at the very end as a footnote this time! How anyone couldn’t think that banana slugs are anything other than beautiful, little yellow sprites is beyond me but I know everyone is different. 🙂 Much prettier than the earth toned slugs that are all over the place in Maine, that my father used to wage against to protect his cucumbers.

    Liked by 2 people

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