Variations in white and green

Leaf art

I am possibly too fascinated by the patterns I see in nature, especially in plants.

Magnolia bloom

First big magnolia blossom I’ve noticed this year.

White and green is not a reference to MooU. It just looks like it might be.

Basil burgeons

Basil overgrown

Inattention suited the basil lately. The tall Genovese bush is thigh high; the Thai cultivar is to the right with the purplish flower spikes.

Basil picked

I picked a good pile of the Thai basil…

Thai curry bowl

…and, with cilantro leaves, it made a terrific garnish for our Thai curry tofu. High protein version today with added edamame, peas. I think the rice has a bit of protein, too. I recently read that aging people need more protein.

Protein: check. And yummy, too!

Change is coming

Field light apple tree

Last relaxed morning. Here. For a while.

Peony end is near

The peonies are winding up. The dominant blooms on the branches with double buds have finished, and the B-team is putting on a meager, but still lovely scented, show. This is one of the largest of the final crop.

Eagles Nest south

We made a small Sunday-drive outing on this last day, up to Eagle’s Nest, or Eagles Nest, or Dad’s version: Eagle Nest. This is the pond-and-marsh to the south. I found the poofy clouds in the blue sky very compelling, with the green belt of vegetation separating the heavens from its reflection.

Vinho verde, technically

Tiny grapes

This is how far along the grapes are. These are wild grapes, I think, and the vines are quite productive this year. They have taken over the spreading juniper since The Guru had to remove one trunk of the sour cherry they used to hug. I bet the birds still get the fruit when it ripens, and we don’t snag more than two or three grapes (not bunches) per person.

Lily light

We got to dine with five lovely young women and two of our age-set tonight. We laughed, we told stories, and we learned that “vinho verde” is not pronounced with Spanish phonetics. This makes sense because it is a Portuguese wine. The correct pronunciation of the second word is along the lines of “verdj(eh),” with the “eh” at the end just a hint. We sampled two tonight; one was still and the other had teeny bubbles, technically pétillance. Note that the green in the name refers to young/new/youthful, rather than the color.

Note that the grapes above are not a variety used in vinho verde. Or in wine. So far, anyway. Maybe not even technically a variety.

Searching for wildlife

Joe pye weed

We went on the wildlife walk, and, as I expected, we saw far more plants than critters. Joe-pye weed.

Jpw variant maybe

Did not look very hard in the wildflower ID book for this one…variant joe-pye weed.


Fragrant water lilies and yellow pond lily.

Mystery blooms

Didn’t ID this; didn’t browse for long.




Then we took the wildlife drive. We still saw many more plants, but they were farther away. And the bugs were so desperate to find us the were slamming into the windows. I was glad we were inside. Painted? turtle. We saw the usual complement of mid-summer loons, swans, Canada geese, seagulls, and a few ducks. No grebes; no coots. No mammals.

Gotta go apply anti-itch cream to the bug bites I got on the wildlife walk.

Skippers everywhere (exaggeration)

Milkweed skippers

I found a milkweed just beginning to bloom, a plant in the vanguard of the blooming, and covered up with skippers.

Vetch skippers

I found this vetch with plenty of skipper-attention.

Basil skipper

Something aka some critters/insects have been eating my basil. This skipper is the only visitor I’ve spotted; however, I don’t think of skippers as basil-eaters. Mystery….

Swamp watch

Tar-gravel fixing of holes in the perpetually patched blacktop through the swamp. It’s a bumpy ride.

New vocab: frass

Morning light rug

Loving the low-angle morning light. And this rug. It’s seen better days, but we both like the color, so it stays (for now).

Flowers table

Stunning flower arrangement for the table…all from the garden and field. Great party followed!

Frass maker

Bumper crop of tent caterpillars this year. Friends are picking them off by the five-gallon bucket full. Yikes! I have heard of scat 💩; turns out that the same sort of output by insects is frass. I knew you wanted to know that.

Two and one

Daisy skippers

Two skippers; I think of them as “everyday skippers.” One daisy. Definitely an everyday daisy.

Grass detective

What grass

I spotted this super-tall grass (upwards of seven feet!) amidst the other grasses in the field and orchard the other day and I’ve been revisiting all the grass names that I remember Dad using for the ones on the place. I remember orchard grass, fescue (but maybe not here?), brome, and today I remembered reed canary. Aha, I thought. I think I know what the others look like so cross-my-fingers that this is reed canary. But, right at the moment the internet is choke-cough-cough, so I’ll have to search later.

The mystery continues.

Bit of a story-telling mode

Lake sunset

Last evening, post-posting, we drove to the other side of the lake to hear live music by AnnMarie Rowland, who has a fabulous voice that is complemented by her guitar-playing. As we listened, we watched the sun set. [Read more about Ann here.]

Between sets, she sat and talked with us. We heard about how the song “Lovely Agnes” became a pivot in her life, and how, for a guest-artist gig, she wrote eleven songs about aquifer groundwater. She did play “Lovely Agnes” last night, but none of the groundwater songs. [BTW, singer/songwriter Sally Rogers wrote “Lovely Agnes” in honor of her grandmother’s 92nd birthday.]

Local greens

Far less of a story here: parsley from the neighbors’ garden, and chives from the gone-wild zone north of the cottage. Local greens?

Camo hoptoad

We tempted fate by leaving the property this afternoon to do a few errands, without closing the windows. Fate became a low-grade downpour. Fortunately, there was almost no wind, so almost no rain/rain-spray came in.

Next chore: to plant the leggy basil plants we got in town for the greatly marked down price of $1.50 each in the now rain-moistened plot…probably set into the flank of the hillfort—where I put the basil seeds during the last trip, and some have germinated!

This hoptoad was hoping for hunting success after the rain from a well-camouflaged location by the hill fort.