So, I dunno. I'm leaning towards the wood-grain ones (I think they may actually be plastic, since I only buy washable buttons for baby things) rather than the gold ones, but what do you think?
I'll do a drawing from everyone who expresses an opinion about these buttons by Monday afternoon 6:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time; the winner gets a copy of the first issue of Yarn Forward, a British knitting magazine. It has a lovely design in it by Ysolda Teague, among other things (remember, I recently knit a beret of her design) — but nothing that I personally plan to knit.
(I'll be passing on a few other magazines and books over the next few weeks. I'm paring down a bit to make room for the books and magazines I do use.)
One of my blogreaders asked what ethnobotany is, presumably because I list it as one of my interests. Ethnobotany is the study of food, medicinal, clothing and other plant uses by various cultures. I am in particular interested in the use of desert plants by various Native American cultures of the southwestern U.S., but I'm always on the lookout for ethnobotanical information when I'm travelling, as I find it fascinating.
For example, take the U.S.desert plant commonly known as creosote bush (Larrea tridentata). This very slow-growing plant that reproduces by cloning is responsible for the characteristic "wet pavement" smell of the desert after it rains. Over 40 chemical components have been extracted from this plant, some of which may have verifiable medical properties; it was used by the native tribes of the area for everything from glue and firewood to an analgesic, anti-cancer, antiinflammatory and antibiotic/antiviral medication. Other desert plants, like the flowers of the chuparosa and ocotillo plants, were used to make "soft drinks" and were part of the extremely varied diet (over 300 documented items) of the Cahuilla Indians.
Er... anyway, you get the idea. :-)