Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yellow-rumped Warbler at Rest

A Yellow-rumped Warbler carrion at my youngest son's preschool. The beauty of something so delicate and your hands. An exquisite experience. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tomato Starts in My Kitchen

I have aspirations to grow great tomatoes, thick heirloom slicers and rich San Marzanos for canning. To date, my greatest success has been the small cherry tomatoes, sadly, not a favorite of my home-sharing posse. Thanks to a gift subscription to Mother Earth News from my mother-in-law, I read a great article in the January 2013 issue, "Best Tips for Starting Seeds Indoors" and put the tips to the test. The result is a lovely crop of tomato starts: San Marzanos; the heirlooms: Persimmon, deep orange and reportedly sweet; Black Krim, a "black" tomato from the Russian Black Sea area; & Costoluto, a traditional red slicer from Italy. I will transplant these into larger containers, let them recuperate, then harden them off before planting them outside.

Glancing at my notebook, I found this passage written on 1.19.13, when I first planted the seeds, a collection from Renee's Seeds called Heirloom Summer Feast:
I love the description Heirloom Summer Feast. I imagine a deliciously hot summer, the heat breaking in the early evening, perhaps salty skin recently returned home from the beach. Smiles. Lethargic limbs happily made tired from an ocean swim. A pitcher of lemonade, ice clanking on the sides, fresh mint swirling. A plate of tomatoes, the orange persimmons, the beefy red of the Costoluto and the dark purple of the Black Krim, sliced evenly on a plate, a drizzle of olive oil, crunchy salt flakes and a bit of pepper.
Please grow.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tree House Humble Beginnings

Eric took boys, wood, screws and nails and constructed this tree platform in our pepper tree. The boys have a special password, whoever gets there first is the keeper of the gate.

A simple place. Simply wonderful.

Other updates. Lots of gardening. This is an active time for the Southern Californian gardener. I sowed some Eschscholzia californica aka California poppy anticipating tomorrow's rain. And finally got a succulent garden planted. To date, I've gardened most of my succulents in pots. I look forward to watching the growth. In the tree house. In the ground.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Back in Beesness!

Thanks to a wonderful friend and a recent swarm at her home, we are back in bees! The swarm was captured by Steve of Bee Catchers and delivered to our door. I was with the dog at the vet. Eric took the bees and dumped them into our hive. He poured them a plateful of honey in the top feeder instead of using sugar water. After almost a week, I'm happy to say the bees are still here. I was watching them leave and return with legs packed with pollen.

I'm still on the look out for another swarm. I would like to capture it myself. We'd like to have two hives to insure ourselves from being beeless in the future.

Thanks so much to Jackie for the swarm and Steve for the hive capture and delivery. We are so grateful & very happy to be back in bees.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Desert Celebration

My good friend celebrated her birthday with a party in the desert. The rendez vous location: 29 Palms Inn. A flourless chocolate cake and pavlova were in order.

Add candles, creosote, desert night, the smell of it all. Everyone together cycling around the sun, filling our lives with experiences that we share together. Moments apart. In retrospect, these experiences become stories. The stories of our lives. Epic. Mundane. Pieces that fit together. Sliced apart. Compiled together. All complete.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Promise of Lemons to Come

The delicate blossom bears the promise of future fruit. Our little lemon tree returns to its former glory.