Artist Marjolein Bastin
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I used to think that pumpkins could only be orange. That was before the Cucurbita family (pumpkins, squashes and gourds) became quite popular.Now there are many varieties and even more colors! Every year you see new varieties, always larger than before or smaller than before. And I’m also seeing more and more recipes for cooking them, not just pumpkin soup! (I’ve enjoyed some delicious pumpkin soup from a hollowed-out pumpkin at my daughter Sanna’s and son-in-law Dino’s house.) You can make pumpkin fries, mashed pumpkins, stir fried pumpkin, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cookies and I have even seen pumpkin jam! And of course you can collect the most interesting looking pumpkins for a nice display on the table or outside. So it goes with new things…I remember how nervous my mother was when she used a red pepper for the first time. That was exciting! Isn’t that hard to imagine?
• The House sparrow, Passer domesticus, is truly a citizen of the world; there isn’t a more widely distributed species around. Even though it is so widespread, its numbers are declining in some parts of the world, including the Netherlands.
• The European robin, Erishacus rubecula, looks very different from the American robin, which is a member of the thrush family and measures approximately ten inches long. The European robin, being a member of the flycatcher family, is normally around five inches long.