Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

beautiful spring days

Thank god for beautiful spring days. sarah came over for coffee before we went to the market with harry. there was more of a crowd even early and everyone was loving the beautiful days. got eggs of course, the big bag of spinach, brats, goat cheese, everything else i still had from last week. sarah got flowers for amy’s bridal shower and i donated a tulip and a prettier than theirs daffodil. Sarah was impressed with how much stuff i had going when we did the grand tour.

I couldn’t turn up my proof of personal property tax so i went down town to see if i could get a copy and couldn’t. While i was downtown i grabbed some Kaldi’s beans. Got a relationship Brazilian light roast (excellent} and a sumatran. I tried the relationship Montserrat and it was good. Kaldis really knows how to roast a bean.

I also had gotten bacon at the market but it was frozen so i offered to get everyone breakfast at Midway Truckstop. Had the french toast, fair. Dad had the hamburger steak and eggs that i usually get  but wasn’t hungry enough.

After breakfast we went out to the Overton Bottoms and checked on the trees we had planted (oaks, pecans, and other hard nut trees, with the idea over the next 3 or 4oo years the trees would mature and the nuts would wash downstream to propagate along the river banks. The Bottoms are a cool area that got protected after the big flood of ’93, thank you slick willy, and are going from pasture/farm land to wooded wetland. We checked on our trees, the switch grass wasn’t out yet so we couldn’t check in on that and then looked fruitlessly for morels. the dogs enjoyed meandering around the forest. Myrtle soaked in the Big Muddy but Oni wasn’t having any of that.

Since we were shroomless we filled our bags with garlic mustard. Its a pernicious problem there and I had volunteered on a pull last year. There was less of it but the seeds take two years so it was to be expected to be back in force, and it was.

Came home and dad watched the tigers beat the indians, harry finished digging up the spring bed and planted lettuces, mesculin mix, and arugula. I mowed the front yard. Yea. The push reel works with my impaired arm. i felt like i could have mowed the back but decided to be cautious and wait until tomorrow.

Instead i painted the black stripes on the rain barrels. They are closer to being done, on two of them we are going to run the pipe straight into them. One bush will have to be trimmed. On the southwest corner we need to do a flex pipe so we don’t have to move the garden gate. Dad thinks its going to be frost free. He started cutting on the red bud stump but it was thicker than the saw and it still stands. He wants to pull it over with a chain and his truck. We swung the axe at it some. Its fun i couldn’t cut my french toast with a fork but i can swing an axe. weird.

In between those last things i cooked some supper. I cooked up a good size batch of the mustard greens with some local bacon. I fried the bacon in small pieces, threw in red onion, and then the garlic mustard in the water that clung to it when i washed it. I added malt vinegar. When i tried it it was pretty bitter so i squeezed in the juice of a key lime and added some braggs, it turned out good but i wouldn’t want a steady diet of it. Harry is going to try some with ham bone and great northern beans. I also made a pack of the brats pulled in a third of a Mickeys with the rest of the red onion and some amy’s mac & cheese with garlic powder and basil.

We’re finishing up the evening with a little 2o12. Neutrinos shaking up the earths quest. doesn’t bold well with my perennials. I do like me some apocalyptic fiction though.

“Anna’s Song”

While camping in Anza Borego after my separation I did a lot of wildlife viewing. Desert Big Horn Sheep were pretty cool, I never saw a mountain lion in spite of dawn and dusk hikes almost every day. I did see hummingbirds which i have always found pretty magical. The hum of their wings and sheer improbability make them amazing. I am also impressed with how they migrate, flying all the way up until they catch the jet stream. Very cool. In Anza Borego there are rufus and anna’s hummingbirds. The anna’s is a little smaller and a lot more colorful and inspired this little piece:

Flash of Green, pretty Metallic Green

A color I thought was invented by Chevrolet

Flash of Green, shiny Metallic Green

Aquamarine, rose and magenta

But the words that they use to sell automobiles

Won’t take you to the heart of the hummingbird.

Splash of Green, shiny Metallic Green

In the inner ring of her hazel eyes

Flash of Green, Pretty Metallic Green

I swear I see reflections of heaven’s light

But the words that they use to sell salvation

Won’t take you to the heart of another’s soul.

Categories: nature, poetry

A Happy Easter

Its rainy, here on an easter evening. My belly is full and the day was spent with family and friends in celebration of the renewal of spring as a herald of resurrection. I slept good, hard at times. Woke up sore, took 2 tramadol and went back to sleep until 10. Finally finished my coffee, the paper and a second cup and i was starting to feel restless. I’ve been lazing around too much and not feeling like doing my most needed chores, organizing my paperwork and cleaning my filthy floors so i decided to see how my impaired arm could do picking up brush. I loaded it all up except the parts that needed the chainsaw doing most of the heavy lifting with my left arm.  Even with half the muscles not working on my right arm its still mostly more useful than my left. I then raked up the twigs so i could be ready to mow if it was dry enough, and if my arm worked good enough. On the flower front the daffodils are still booming, some tulips are up and another bulb that is small and has flowers like little clusters of grapes. I fertilized all the bulbs in the front. I normally go organic but a client gave me a box of chemical fertilizer so its use it or landfill it. When Harry and I took the brush we went for a hike at Capen Park along the creek there. It was pretty in the woods and we got away from everyone and the bluffs were pretty. It felt very spiritual being in the woods. I have been very tuned into being grateful for all the gifts i’ve been given and my pinched nerve has really brought that home. You could look through the trees because they haven’t leafed up yet but it was a vibrant green because of all the buds on the trees. There were a lot of wildflowers, common violets, and several different little white ones. When we got home I put the ham in. I got the butt end of a local ham 4-5 lbs. I rubbed it with mustard, peach preserves, and stuck on cloves and whole pepper corns. I added some vernors ginger ale and popped it in at 350 for a couple of hours. While it was baking I dug out the little white sages out of the time. I put 12 of them up in containers in cotton waste compost. and will give them as gifts if they root up nice. After cleaning up a bit it was back to cooking and i made my second risotto pretty much improvising. I cooked up olive oil, local spinach and some white mushrooms for a minute or two. setting that aside i set some beef broth to warm on low and fried up a mess of green onions in more olive oil. I added 1 1/2 cups risotto rice and fried that 2 minutes and added maybe a cup of mickeys malt liquor and cooked that down and started spooning in the broth 1/2 cup until it was done. At the end mixed in a mess of fresh chives and crumbled in some local feta goat cheese. I controlled the fire so the rice was soft when the broth was gone, dad carved the ham, Harry made a nice salad with some local arugula (very mild) and Grams biscuits, and I thickened the drippings into a glaze. Very yummy meal. Eric joined us and he brought a Pear Tart Suzie made. After the meal we had a rousing game of Settlers of Kataan and Eric sneaked out a victory. It was fun.

Categories: cooking, nature