Articles by Colleen

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I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ask. And that in wondering ’bout the big things and asking ’bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, the more I love.

Alice Walker


Greg and I bought these summer strolling straw hats a few months back. Fine breezes filter through the weave and can be shaped, via the magic of hot water, any which way. Our only beef was a lack of personality, so I beaded hatbands, officially jazzing them up. Or maybe cowpoked up? Whatever lack I have in ranch vocabulary is made up with their style. Greg’s is the one on the left. Each probably took about 20 hours and hundreds of beads to make, so if you’d like to give it a try, get ready to invest some serious time.

The butterflies this year! Eeek….

grape & rosemary focaccia

It’s peach season, y’all! I made peach rhubarb pie and two flawless batches of jam, beautifully colored by some of the rosiest fruits I’ve ever seen. Definitely worth all the chopping and sweating over roiling pots. And a note of recommendation, my dear neighbor Barbara, who has decided her canning days are long over, gave me her steam canner. If you don’t already own one, I cannot recommend it more highly. Instead of filling a GIANT pot with water to seal your treasures, you use only a few cups! No more heavy pot hassle or jars breaking after bumping into each other. My canning world has been revolutionized.

I smoked more trout and made chowder, adding shrimp and, in one of those sneaky swaps for some of the heavy cream, a pound of cauliflower to the broth, simmering until soft then whirring into oblivion in the Vitamix before adding potatoes and the fish. So delicious!

A crazy delicious salad with lettuce, nasturtiums, and purslane grown in our own back yard. Purslane (pictured below) is considered by most to be a weed, but if you’ve got it growing around your place, give it a try! It’s kind of citrus-y and has a nice texture.

Our first kohlrabi! Such a looker, purple and alien, but so yummy! Depending on your reference, it might taste of broccoli & radish, turnip & potato. Maybe even artichoke. Whatever your tastebuds, it’s a delight to watch it grow.

Young bucks….

The front garden is in full splendor and the wildlove (mistyped wildlife but am keeping, because duh) is in heaven….


In that latitude the temperature flirted with a hundred degrees for a few of the dog days, but to a child it can hardly ever be too hot. I liked the sun licking the backs of my legs, and the sweat between my shoulder blades, and the violet evenings, with ice cream and fireflies, wherein the long day slowly cooled. I liked the ants piling up dirt like coffee grounds between the bricks of our front walk, and the milkweed spittle in the vacant lot next door. I liked the freedom of shorts, sneakers, and striped T-shirt, with freckles and a short hot-weather haircut.

We love easily in summer, perhaps, because we love our summer selves.

John Updike


First radish!
Italian pepper
lamb’s ear
Jupiter’s beard

Hey there! Welcome to Friday’s garden, before a deep, cleansing rain cascaded down, and the lightning bolted so closely as to see, hear, and feel the massive crack in the atmosphere.

A house wren has set up in our little bird house, and what an animated presence it’s been, singing and flitting about. I shall never fail to marvel at the tiny lungs’ ability to project a song so heart and joy filled. It is fifty feet from my desk seat, yet loud enough to be on a perch in the room. Sweet sigh.

The garden, these pictures are mostly from the front, is yet another marvel. With so little encouragement and equally little weeding, that we are graced with such beauty truly makes my heart sing. The untold number of flying creatures arriving for a sip of nectar or a bit of pollen, it makes me wonder why more people don’t grow gardens. I’ve talked about this before, but it really is worth mentioning again, that if you’ve been a grass waterer and mower the whole of your life, a xeriscaped garden like ours really is less work. Try a little patch and see, won’t you?


I am not normally one who likes to share our charitable giving habits, but I believe it is of the utmost imprtance during these times to support organizations that are run by and primarily benefit people of color. Since our passions lie in environmental justice, Greg and I chose to give to:

WE ACT: It is well-documented that some of the most polluted environments in America are where people of color live, work, play, and pray. WE ACT was started in 1988 when three fearless community leaders saw that environmental racism was rampant in their West Harlem neighborhood, and they demanded community-driven, political change. Today, the organization has grown to over 16 staff members and 2 locations in NYC and Washington, D.C., and is considered an active and respected participant in the national Environmental Justice Movement.

Black Family Land Trust is one of the nation’s only conservation land trust dedicated to the preservation and protection of African-American and other historically underserved landowners assets. The BFLT utilizes the core principles of land conservation and land-based community economic development to achieve our goals. We measurably improve the quality of life for landowners, by providing families with the tools necessary to make informed, proactive decisions regarding their land and its use. 

Isn’t fascinating how stripping an image of its color reveals the essence? The soul? A secret springs forth, a wrinkle, a knoll.

I read once that a person can see a dog running away for three days in New Mexico. The views are so long. Look for it now. It’s there for you to see.


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