Gardening + Nature

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It snowed!! A whopping three inches in our garden and well before actual fall (two weeks ago already?!), but the timing couldn’t be better, stifling some of our wicked wildfires in the process. Small mercies. Still praying for rain, though. Boy do we ever need it in the West. Such heartbreak at all that has been lost.

Snow day cuddles with the girl. How cute it she?!

I asked Greg to take a picture of me in my new favorite dress, testing the light with a photo of him first. As ever, he had me laughing myself silly! The dress is from Duluth, and possesses a dreamy, pajama type comfort. Stretchy and flattering, with GIANT pockets. I really couldn’t ask for more.

Homemade cherry preserves and a buttered club.

I’ve been eyeing these prickly pears for a time now and decided today was the day to harvest. My first attempt was a FAIL, trying to pick them with a single garden glove. I gave up a third of the way through, with so many needles in my fingers (so aptly named!). Undeterred, I returned with rubber gloves and kitchen shears, and all was copacetic.

Jerks with their boozy habits, leaving bottles all over the town. Made for a nice picture, though. And I brought it on home to recycle.

I did some interweb reading before deciding a simple whir in the Vitamix would do the trick with the prickly pears, adding nothing. I made margaritas with the strained final product. Fresh is best, peeps. My goodness, Y E S ! !

Another oldie! I am a year and a half or so here, on the lap of my Great Uncle Chris. I associate him with Cadillacs, cigars, whiskey and a velvety bass voice. Oh, and love…

More walking, less picture taking, okay?

Backyard plums! Our first real harvest, shy of about twenty the raccoons mauled. Sharing is caring?

Eye-talian pepper, not the first nor the largest, but mighty fine!

Playing games…Seasons to be exact.

First fennel! Shaved and on pizza. Mmmm…

As is my wont when visiting my parents (last weekend – and my cousins and aunt, too!), I take pictures of pictures – mostly times long past. These are my Great-Grandparents Tillie and Howard. I love her closed eye smile, a rare moment of pure joy.

Bake early and often, peeps!

I give all credit for my love of music to my dad. He can keep the beer, however.

My cousin Angela and Grandpa Marv. She’s in her late 30s now!

My Grandma Frances, Dad, and Mom in 1972.

With my adorable cousins Stephanie and Allison, probably 1980. I am wearing one of my favorite shirts, ever!! It was so soft and had super tiny red stripes.

And to up the vintage vibe, I’ve got 1970s era Fleetwood Mac blasting on the hi-fi. Warm Ways, indeed.

First carrot!

ground cherries – small but mighty

plums

crocosmia & eager hummingbird

liatris

orange horned poppy

evening primrose

ratbida

fernbush

Choke cherry – how wild the birds are for these!

beautifully grilled salmon

mushroom + sausage + fennel

home grown (!) roasted italian pepper + langostino + olive oil

Dizzyingly good pizza and a bumpy birthday cake for my favorite person, a few days early. My frosting didn’t look quite right, but the flavor sure was.

Flowers and mountains and homegrown food – how lucky they make us and our days. The bees and butterflies and birds, everyday joys: walking, sweating, reading, a soak in the tub.

Sunrise and steam rising, last week before the heat, before, sadly, having to turn the A.C. on before lunch or risk melting into a puddle. I partially blame the hormones, though. Slick of moisture glistening on my now alien brow. It’s why they are called flashes. But then, the garden – plants and sprouts, doubling, even quadrupling in a matter of days.

High summer is what it is. And my complaint is only minor. For the starlit walks are gleeful and quiet, shirtsleeves and sandals, the whoosh and tinkle of neighborhing sprinklers. Dogs bark and headlights rush, linden flowers scent the breeze. All good, all good.

And our Fourth of July bunless burger, topped with a green chile cream cheese conconction and dashes of chipotle Tabasco. The fries, oooh, the fries! First boiled, then broiled to get that crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside texture of perfection, at least for us.

I hope you are surviving and even thriving, in the heat, in the uncertainty, in these often dishearteing times of illness and joblessness and racial inequality, with hope, always, hope, for a better future for us ALL.

First radish!
lettuce
carrot
Italian pepper
yucca
penstemon
lamb’s ear
opuntia
penstemon
milkweed
hyssop
Jupiter’s beard
thyme

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?

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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. 

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