Mixing Up Senses; Chocolate-Chiltepin-Tequila-Medley

Aunt Linda here on an exceptionally moist dawn in the Old Pueblo. All of us desert dwellers,  whether made of skin, feather, fur, or scale,  are feeling our sensory pores wide open.   The “normal” dry, desert, air simply does not hold smells or sounds the way a post monsoon moist morning does. Even the bird calls resonate differently.


Inspired by an Article, Sounds of the Hive, in this month’s American Bee Journal (September 2015, Volume 155, NO. 9), I found myself thinking about Senses. And about how other creatures sense and navigate the earth, air, and water in different ways than humans do.

So I pose a question to ponder:  Do bees have ears? Can they hear?

For years it was thought that honeybees were deaf. Quoting briefly  M.E.A. McNeil from the article cited above, (which I HIGHLY encourage you to read), “Evidence for the notion that bees are deaf was partly based on the observation that they have no ears. But, in fact they do; they just aren’t called ears and don’t quite look like ours. While a human detects sound through movement of the ear drum, a honey bee has a collection of sensory cells in the antennae ….” (p987)  These sensory cells are found in the second segment of the antennae … it gets technical and fascinating, but basically they “convert mechanical vibrations into nerve impulses” which are then “relayed to the brain.”

No ears, as we think of ears,  needed.  I expanded my musings beyond bees …. how do other life forms sense the world?

In keeping with hearing: Frogs have eardrums – or tympanic membranes – but on the OUTSIDE of the body, behind their eye.

What about taste? Bees and butterflies have chemoreceptors (or taste receptors) on their on their feet; earthworms have them on their entire body.   And octopus: have chemoreceptors on the suckers of their tentacles. They “taste” with their tentacles.

How about sight?  A buteo Hawk has 1 million photo receptors per millimeter in it’s retina; flies have 3,000 lenses in each eye, penguins have flat cornea that allows them to see clearly even while under water. They also can see into the untraviolet range. Honeybees see polarized light.  If you had asked me, before today,  if a scallop could see, I would have flat out assumed NO. In fact, they have 100 eyes around the edges of their shells, enabling them to detect shadows of predators.  Bats and dolphins navigate so skillfully, not using their eyes, but Echolocation.

Mixing Up the Senses Chocolate-Chiltepin Tequila Medley


I can’t guarantee you that this medley will help you hear with your antennae, but metaphorically, it just might.

(Warning, if you make it too strong, you may need to learn how to use echolocation to find your way home)

Basic Recipe: 


1-1/2 oz of your favorite (mixing) tequila.

1-1/2 oz Chocolate Liqueur (I used “Meletti, Cioccolato”)

Add chocolate nibs and one crushed chiltepin to top of drink.

Ice cubes or crushed ice as desired.


IMG_0430 (1) IMG_0382

Dessert Version: (photo below) Add  4 oz of Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk to the recipe above. It softens the drink, and smooths it our somehow.  This was my favorite version. It is chocolaty, sweet, and spicy – all at once.  Plus, it is fun to crunch the nibs and chiltepin in your mouth while the sweet, almost desert-like chocolate plays on your tongue.


And for a Very Spicy Concoction Option: substitute 1 1/2 oz of Patron’s XO Café INCENDIO for the chocolate liqueur.

Photo (below) of what Incendio looks like. This version has quite a kick to it, and is not for everyone.


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