Gardening + Nature

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Oh, the variety of plants in full flower now, this almost fall final hurrah! Though I only captured one feasting bee, the garden is positively alive with them, and birds, zooming hummingbird and not so plain of every other local variety, including a Cooper’s Hawk who visits nearly on the daily, plus butterflies and regular ole flies. A garden cornucopia.

Juniper digger dog caught in the act. She has two holes she digs with abandon and our permission, this one included, and one she tries on the sly and for which is regularly scolded. A dog’s life.

Hello Neighbor, near and far! It was an exciting day at the grocery recently, with cherries on super sale! We bought two brimful bags and ate them in very short order. The height of summer pleasure, to be sure.

Our choke cherry patch is in full splendor, with the birds and squirrels positively wild for them! I contemplated picking some for jelly but watching their delight in the eating has been ample.

The orange horned poppy was battered in our late snow storm and is a bit on the small side but still blooming profusely. The word is resilience.

Matilija poppy and glimmering green sweat bee (I think). The poppy volunteered this year, and is blossoming like crazy. The bees of all stripes (literal and figurative) are zooming on it all the live long day.

The gooseberry also took a beating in our late storm while still managing a small harvest. This bush is in our Juniper-proof fenced edible garden. She’s allowed entry when we do our progress checks and watering, standing sentinel next to the bush, knowing full well I am a sucker for her charms. I take a small handful, break each open just a little and feed them to her, one by precious one. Both our hearts soar.

Stillness and Movement and Joy

Our very convoluted mattress (four compartmentalized pieces, zipped into in one heavy giant!), which is nearing the end of its useful life at nearly eight years old, was making uncomfortable bootie canyons of clutterd and fallen springs. Sad face. I got the idea that we could do some creative re-organizing, cut and flipped the affected areas, and voila! I do believe we will get at least one more year from my bit of invention. And though that looks like an awful mess at the foot now, it is entirely undetected by our wiggly feet.

When we visited New York City in 2015, I enjoyed a stellar corn soup that has never left my memory. Last week, while browsing the freezer for lunch, bags of corn and spinach called to me. I made super simple purees, lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, and tarragon, before carefully spooning them into bowls, NYC style. Greg called it crack soup, and I knew I’d lived up to that first taste. We’ve since enjoyed a second delicious batch.

And to our more mainstream Southwest style eats. Mushroom tacos on homemade corn tortillas, with a serious note of gratitude to Joanna Gaines for a recipe that is not too sticky. I can FINALLY make my own, easy breezy every single time. Good gracious, yum, yum, yum!

The late snow kept Pike’s Peak in prime prettiness for days. Another silver lining…

Our girl gets the bestest belly rubs and poses with brilliant iris blooms. She is all that and then some.

The petal parade has begun….

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary, twenty-nine years!! It is quite the number, which leaves us both pleased as punch. In celebration, we went to Dos Santos, our favorite taco joint, on Friday, and yesterday I made bouillabaisse and homemade garlic and red pepper aioli (high falutin’ word for lip-smackin’ good mayo) for the day-of celebration. It is slathered on extra crunchy French bread croutons before being delicately dipped in the broth. Every manner of happy tastebud sound follows. We enjoyed it with a bottle of wine purchased on our Missouri vacation last year – Hermanhoff White Lady. It made for one heck of a way to celebrate!

While I labored in the kitchen, the hubster labored in the garden and on our screen door. Juniper is sometimes an impatient little booger when it comes to getting in and out of the house and had made enough of a wreck of the screen that insects could get in, no problema. So we had a heavier duty one installed (by Mullet Screens – a kindly guy who comes round in a van!) and bought the “screen saver” (HA!) to keep further damage from occurring. It needed a little trim, and Greg made it so. It looks quite nice and seems built to last.

All the sprouts tended since January are snug in the ground and looking quite lovely! The stick structure in the middle is made for beans to climb and came from fallen branches in all these terrible winds we’ve been having. I am super excited to think about our summer harvest. Though I won’t be counting any beans until they’re actually off the vine. Now that snow is out of the picture, we are in prime hail season. Oh, Colorado….

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Happy 73rd Birthday to my MOM!!

Up yonder – roasted zucchini soup with toasted pepitas and a chicken thigh with smoked paprika gravy. The soup is a godsend when your giant Costco bag of zucchini gets overlooked for a few days, and the whole three pounds needs to be eaten, pronto. Just roast it under the broiler until it’s got a nice char, and whir it with a little bit of water, a can of green chiles, garlic, cumin, and salt in your Vitamix. Done and done. Here we have homemade tamarind soda, not a root beer float. I’m a big tamarind lover! Nothing tastes quite like it.

neighborhood blossoms

Our garden, complete with lovely butterfly on Thursday. I was out there soaking up the beauty and thinking what a great year it’s gonna be out here.

Then the snow started falling Friday afternoon and didn’t stop until nearly a foot fell at our house. We went out a few times to shake the heavy snow off flattened bushes and trees, which gutted me, truth be told. It’s all melted now, and does look a bit worse for wear, but most of it is better than I expected. Grandma’s rose still has tons of blooms and even more buds! There are quite a few other broken bits that I don’t think will recover, sadly.

This being me, it should come as no surprise that there is much to be happy about here. Redemption! Drought conditions and red flag wind stoked too close for comfort wildfires within minutes of our house earlier in the week. They’ll be put on the back burner for a bit, as the ground is positively saturated. So, yeah, gratitude runs the day!

Tags:

snowball
fern bush
New Mexican privet
golden currant
peony
serviceberry

Well, after much observing and trying the hubster’s on my own self, I decided the Napsack was a win for me, too. It was a cool morning when these photos were taken, and I felt none of it. Though, I believe I will be reversing it to the dusty pink side, and pronto!

The months and months-long brown out gets me down, down, but oh, how it quickly it turns when I spy the green-yellow-touch of red coming out party that is S P R I N G ! ! My grateful heart overflows.

Hope your heart is finding a reason, too, however small it may be.

p.s. May the Fourth Be With YOU!

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