Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On a Summer's Eve

I've a basket full of limes and my spearmint patch has gone all wild from the loads of rain we've gotten lately. With good friends on the way it should be the perfect evening for fun and games: mojitos and bocce. Time to get ready.

Mojitos can be all consuming to make by the glass but with a little prep ahead of time you can mix them up by the pitcher full in no time. My favorite recipe can be found on Jeffrey Morgenthaler's blog, a craft batender and mixologist from Portland, Oregon. I transposed the ounces into cups, worked like a charm.

With the mojitos made, salmon smoked, and company here, it's on to bocce... let the good times roll.

 Time to go, good night all.

Are you having fun this summer?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Lunch with a Caterpillar

We were gifted a handful of rain free and sunny days in a row this week. Eating lunch outside on a warm summer day is a pleasure I never take for granted. I had a visitor drop in to see me yesterday while eating my salad al fresco. I don't think it was particularly interested in my meal, though it did seem curious as to what was going on at my table. I was curious, as well. Notice the pattern that runs along top of its body, looks like little penguins to me.

And look at that face, rather cute in a fuzzy hairy kind of way (sort of).

Even small company is good company on a sunny summer day.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Strawberry Moon

Did you catch a glimpse of the full moon on Wednesday? It was an eye popper, a jaw dropper and if you happened to be in your car when it came into view, as I was, a horn beeper. And did you know this was the Strawberry Moon? The Algonquin Indians named each full moon to help keep track of the seasons and since June is the season of the strawberry harvest I guess that was reason enough.

I planted my very first garden during the summer I turned 18 (almost 40 years ago), though never attempted growing strawberries until two years back. That fall my daughter Melanie brought us a bundle of strawberry plants she and her partner had rooted from runners off their own plants. Unwilling to give up an established garden bed my best friend and I spent the better part of a day hand digging and preparing the designated strawberry patch. We even went deep into the woods to rake and gather pine needles for side dressing and to help increase the acidity level in the soil. We wanted happy plants. After tucking in the new starts we mulched them heavy with straw to protect them over the long the winter. Spring arrived, the plants had wintered well and it wasn't long before they were full of flowers and what we hoped were soon to be, little red juicy, pop in your mouth bursts of flavor, berries. I believe we shared one partially eaten berry that June, just one. The birds and mice beat us to all the rest. This spring we decided to cover the plants with a fabric row cover to protect them from insects and birds. Well, guess what?

I picked over two quarts on Wednesday and will harvest another basket full tomorrow. This is the fun part of gardening. However, strawberries are not the only pretty things in my garden during the month of June. I may have suggested that every other June full moon be designated the Peony Moon.

As much as I love a juicy ripe strawberry, a peony in bloom knocks me over.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Feeling Right At Home

If you've visited this blog before you probably gather we have a darn cozy relationship with this tiny part of Vermont. How we cherish the quality of the life style we are able to sustain here and revel in the landscape, people and activities we find pleasure in. A community so worthy of calling home.

We are celebrating a very special wedding anniversary and are on an adventure exploring and playing on the island of Eleuthera, in the Bahamas. A quiet, rural, safe, friendly and simply gorgeous (sound familiar) spit of land in the Atlantic. We happened across this little jewel 15 years ago when close friends from the Valley shared their pleasures of spending time here and so we return again and again. In fun we call it our Valley in the tropics. We will be home soon and happy about that, though it does feel like coming home here to Eleuthera, too.

Good Morning Eleuthera

Catch of the day, lucky me!

Hankering for a mango.

Got a little lime? All we need is....
We seldom leave Vermont without taking a little with us: Easty's maple syrup, Red Hen's Mad River Grain bread, Butterwork's Farm oats,  Vermont Coffee Company's mild blend. I know, we're spoiled, that's what Vermont does.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Crossing Paths

With My Neighbors.

Spring and Summer mornings often begin with a walk up the hillside. We are fortunate to have back door access to a spider web network of trails that meander through hundreds of acres in a rich Northern Hardwood Forest. Walks can last moments or hours, pending time, weather, mood or energy level. Every day is unique. I am a counter and often assess my walks by the number of special and interesting sightings. My last walk was a 13 Red Eft morning, a good morning. These tiny, vibrant orange, creatures thrill me. I encourage you to get to know them, they are quite special.

And on an even better day, just moments upon returning to the back door, I add another critter to my list.

Hello, Snapping Turtle

I have perfectly lovely neighbors, how about you?