Exploring

You are currently browsing the archive for the Exploring category.

In typical Colorado fashion, Wednesday was a gloriously warm 79 degrees. By bedtime, the wind was wicked with bluster, hurling leaves and branches about, disturbing my sleep the whole of the night. It was a ridiculously frigid twenty-something degrees when I darted from bed Thursday, and our girl had to wear her fleece under this huddle of blanket to keep from shivering.

But the snow came in lovely light-hearted flakes, the early best kind that squeak underfoot.

So we got out in it, of course, the delightful first of the season, enjoying snow capped blossoms, fruits, and leaves.

To warm up, and the fact the zucchini would rot soon if I didn’t, I baked bread, not-too-sweet and heady with ginger and cinnamon. Oh, happy fall!

Tags:

Hey there, happy Friday!!

A small bowl of our burgeoning orchard bounty: a perfect strawberry, two plums of a dozen on the tree, and the blackberries, so many blackberries this year! The cobbler was a fine way to snazz them up, though they are pretty magical eaten straight from the cane.

Have you ever had the pleasure of a vlaai? It’s a pie or tart of the Limburg region of the Netherlands and Belgium, though different by virtue of a slightly sweet yeasted crust. I discovered it in the fabulous Home Made series by Yvette Van Boven, of which I own three. She’s a marvelously clever cook and infuses her books with fun humor and drawings.

This was my first vlaai with the cherries I canned from my neighbor Judy’s tree. In future, I will roll the dough thinner, as it puffed much more than expected. The pie was truly delicious, however, sweet and tart, and pretty cute, too, if I do say so, the squirrel and her quarry of acorns. We enjoyed it with our neighbors, Judy, Barb, and Jack, over a splendid afternoon of tea and conversation.

These super dark rosehips (plus two from another) are from a bush my mom gave me in memory of my Grandma Tess. In spring and early summer it is covered in sweet scented white blossoms, which makes it a real year-round stunner! I tried to make a jelly with them and crab apples from down the street, but despite their beautiful pink flesh and and flavor when raw, they were utterly bland and uninspiring when cooked. It’s too bad, because the rose hips made the prettiest purple color. I’ll see what I can do with them next year.

We’ve been hiking with Jeff (geocaching action shot!) every couple of months, enjoying discovering places midway between our houses and enjoying breakfast afterwards. This time it was Pegasus in Castle Rock – get the breakfast quesadilla and be glad.

Rainbow connection…

Greg, Juniper, and I had a super time, along with thousands of others, at the Chile & Frijoles Festival in Pueblo last weekend. It was a picture perfect day, not a cloud in the sky, air redolent of roasting chiles, of course. We enjoyed fair food in the form of a smoked turkey leg, some supposedly award winning, yet awful and outrageously expensive green chile, truly yummy green chile ice cream and a jalapeno brownie (thank you Bite Me Cake Company!). I also bought the fab poster pictured above, and a half bushel of organic Pueblo chiles from the nice people at the Hobbs & Meyer farm stand. It took me the better part of a day to prep and can them, but I have three quarts and a pint now ready to roll.

In making conversation with the kindly man on the right, I realized I’ve been eating chiles my whole life.  As my Great Aunt Mary (Hello in heaven!) would say about bananas, I’ll take them any way I can get them: in chile and tamales, of course, in salad, on top of eggs, filled with cheese in a relleno, in queso, atop a burger with cheese, roasted and straight into my mouth.

It’s funny how I never really thought of it as being a “thing” until my years away from the Southwest. When I talked green chile in Portland and Pittsburgh, most people assumed it was something completely different, Texas style with ground beef and kidney beans or a truly awful concoction with, gasp, carrots and celery. How  wonderful to be among people who know, even though they might still make a total cock-up of the recipe by adding tomato or beer or other nonsense.

p.s. For some cool and muy authentic Mexican recipes, with chiles, of course, visit this sweet lady.

For two years running, we have attempted the Labor Day Lift Off Balloon Glow. And for two years running, we have missed. Last year, it was rain and lightning. This year, we made it to the park, but the wind kept the launch from happening. The saving grace, an exhibit of full fuel burns among a sea of thousands. It was really quite something to feel the temperature spike 20 degrees as every balloonist let loose.

We made up for my disappointment by watching a few tricks at the park.

I followed it with a little camera mess around on the way home. Isn’t light a marvel?

Cut to the morning, an early walk to watch the launch from afar. It was much more our speed, frankly, the three of us (and a flock of birds!) on a hill, with one hot air balloon after another rising and rising.

All you need is love…

Tags:

 

It’s State Fair season, y’all! We had a hoot and holler of a good time at our inaugural Colorado visit. It was a bit different from our years in Oregon, with much more interest in horses than the livestock we came to expect. That said, it may have been our timing, too, with the other events a bit earlier? We will see how going on the first weekend changes what we see next year.

How about that zippy pheasant in the first photo? What artistry in nature. Despite the roosters and giant turkey posing for my benefit, my favorite, no surprise, has to be the not-so-bird-brained and game for anything hubster!

This horse was a right charmer, flashing its teeth at me until I raised my camera and everything turned serious.

A first time for everything…

I have ridden a horse twice in my life, with no intention of adding to that number, but what a marvel to witness the ease and love between handler and animal.

My favorite photo of the day! A beautiful woman. A beautiful horse.

Sweet Donkey with what looked to me like a spill of fresh ink.

This miniature horse, aptly named Lucifer, was not people friendly, with posters warning of his propensity to bite!

Such interesting categories at the fair – miniature houses! The child in me squeed in excitement…

Always happy to see fine quilts on display!

The pig race emcee was a master of his craft, telling every kid-friendly swine joke and generally keeping everyone in stitches. And the pigs – adorable!

Funnel cake, because it’s not a full fair experience without some deep fried indulgence.

Until next year!

 

Tags:

Lady of the Wood

David Walker

Noor Reverie 

Rebecca Maxwell

Ornitho-Maia

(foreground)

Nadine Jaggi

The Exchange

Tatyanna & Natasha Meharry

Stories Upon Stories

Nora Naranjo Morse

Melanie Yazzie

Destruction by Fire #4: Fall From Grace

Rudy Hernandez

Emergence

Andrew Velez

Escaped the heat with a lovely visit to the Fine Arts Center, and especially enjoyed the Wearable Art Exhibition. It’s highly doubtful I would wear anything on show, but wow, what beautiful artistry and dedication to craft. Seriously. Followed our artistic reverie with happy hour at Stir – always kindly and delicious!

It’s hard to go wrong with turquoise…

The horsetail milkweed (those blossoms!!) is in full splendor, as is a lovely miniature rose. The garden gives and gives…

Speaking of gardening, when I hurt my knee on the trampoline and was relegated to the couch, I could not get enough of Garden Rescue! And, truth be told, I’m still watching. A friendly British garden competition and oh, so sweet. If you’re in need of outdoor inspiration, get cracking…

My cousin Allison’s new pup, Rookie. He and Juniper got along like a house on fire, Mutt and Jeff style.

Celebrated this sweet girl’s eighth year! She’s holding a Kate the Unicorn Squeezamal we gave her – it smells like grape bubble gum. So cute…

Driving home from the party – hard to beat the view!

« Older entries