Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mange Tout

Was it the Latin Pisum which then became the Old English Pise and finally Pease?  This one is a French Mange tout which means you eat the whole pea, pod and all, as sweet and juicy as can be, and need I say super healthy?  It is actually not a true snow pea   This one is a flat snow pea type, and therefore, the peas inside do not get large.

The season is so preciously short for these nutritional and delicious vegetables that by the time days linger in the 80's C, the plant stops producing and the remaining peas become starchy and tough.  Therefore, it gets planted as one of the very first plants in spring, before the last frost and as soon as the ground can be worked.  According to my Internet research more than 1,000 species of this treasure exist today.

The collection in the strainer above of both edible podded peas and snow peas was stir fried every so lightly in butter and olive oil, salt and lemon zest, and an herb or two and then tossed with freshly picked crab.  OMG!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tough Choice

So now begins the season of heavy decisions! 
Butterflies or homemade Green Goddess Parsley Dressing? 
Tough choice and probably, most likely,... maybe (?)  I cannot have both.

(Post Script:  I was wrong.  The caterpillars are gone.  ?)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Perfect Moment

I look at you
and I remember 16.
I remember a raspberry kiss
and the sun on my shoulders
and the smell of cinnamon gum.
I remember long walks
down uneven small-town sidewalks
with stops on Main Street
for root beer floats.
I remember bare dusty feet
and shiny toe nail polish 
and everything being perfect.

I remember when everything new
was exciting.
Everything was pregnant with potential.
Every beginning was freshest spring air.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bring It Baby!

Everything new is always old again.  While visiting a small farm of a friend I became a groupie stalking this crested hen with my camera casually stepping past the piles of chicken and goat poo in my dedication.  I was a paparazzi.  Everybody, I say now, everybody, wants at some time in their life to be a rock star.  Admit it.  You have daydreamed about it a time or two.  All those groupies screaming at how cool you are and wanting just to touch you. The way this gal strutted and tossed her mop top (almost as if hiding the fact that she was on that springtime drug) with determined style, she reminded me of an overdressed very cool, gay, rock star.  I had fun editing the photo below for the cover of a virtual Rolling Stone.

Lets get this party goin'.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Eyeball to eyeball.

Flamingos are such stunning, elegant, and unusual birds.  I have seen them at zoos and in the wild and am fascinated by their exotic beauty and stunning colors, orange feathers and clashing pink feet, as if they had been dressed by Queer Eye for the Gay Guy.

It wasn't until recently during our last trip to Florida that I realized that full grown flamingos are actually quite large. They are as tall as me and I stand 5'5"!  If they come up close to you, as this one did, they can look you right in the eye.  I was standing on the sidewalk and this fellow below came up behind me and as I turned instinctively, I saw a determined prance as he continued to walk right up to me, face to face, expecting a handout of food.  He clearly had been panhandling a long time and was not shy.  This was somewhat intimidating to me even though they are gentle old souls when they caress your palm with their bill and they seem to have that exotic Avatar eye thing going on.  Click on the photo if you are brave enough and pass me that bag of bird food.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Food for the Soul

The passage of time has revealed that the fruit on this ornamental strawberry is  nothing to write home about.  Like the roses they now breed for beauty instead of fragrance and for size instead of hardiness, this plant is mostly show.  The flowers which continue to bloom are stunning in color, though.  They glow like red jewels in the corner of my flower bed.  If you click on the photo you will see little disks like tambourines just waiting to be struck to ring out the jazz pizazz.  The runners for new plants are also prolific.  So, I guess, if you are not hungry, it doesn't make any difference, does it?

Above are some REAL strawberries from my garden.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I Kid You Not.


You can't have spring
without babies,

fragile and awkward,
tiny and soft,
trusting and fearful.
This one
only two days old
seems surprised to be 
in this bright new world.
Where are you?

Among the new ones,
there is always
an adventurer,
a troublemaker,
an explorer
wanting to be
out of the stable
beyond the fence
King of the Mountain.
(On a friends farm)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Happy M.D.!

These roses in my garden today as I write this are for all the mothers who tried hard to get it right and somehow feel they failed.  These roses are for all the children of mothers who never understood the old gal, but tried to love her anyway.  This is for all those who know how complicated being a mother can be and gave up on perfection a long time ago and now concentrate on forgiveness and patience.  And for all the rest of you who have perfect relationships with your children and mother...Happy Mother's Day!  Please pass it on to those who need this message.  I love roses and I rarely ever got them for Mother's Day, so now I grow my own and cannot blame anyone but me if I don't get any!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Days of Potential Blue

The breeze across my yard the day I am writing this post is a cool blue giving me goosebumps on my bare arms.  I wander peaking at each and every plant trying to decode its message long before the blue blossoms open wide blowing me away with their shades of azure, teal, cobalt, grape, gentian...  Blue is peace and sighs.  Blue is new beginnings and freshness.  Blue is the color where the ocean meets the blue of the horizon and where the sky kisses the ocean's surface and promises the potential of new vistas and new days and new growth.

Even the pretty bluebirds have potential new blue color to add to the garden this summer.  They picked the most practical birdhouse this year.  (Last year there was some discussion about where they would take up residence, if you recall.)  No blue roof or twining flowers to draw curious predators this time.  Just the bigger house facing away from the prevailing winds.  I am excited to greet them and welcome their blueness.

Blue usually means sadness or coldness, but in my yard it means potential for wowness!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly

On a past canoe ride off Long Boat Key in Florida my husband and I re-established a long ago pattern of behavior that we established in our early married years when we reached a remote beach (after we did the other things that newlyweds do on remote beaches ;-)).  

I am the poker and prodder and explorer and he is the fisherman.  Therefore, we found a small mangrove island with a tiny beach and he promptly off-loaded me with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and camera and he headed out to the open water to catch fish.  Which he did.  He caught a nice sized sea-trout for our dinner that night.

Above against the far shoreline in the middle of the photo, that tiny white dot is the husband in canoe. (You can click on the photo if you do not believe me ;-).)

In the meantime I perused the graveyard of whelks that covered the nearby ocean floor.  These are so skeleton-like you need to click on the photo for a fuller experience.  I even found a few nice whelks and horseshoe crabs (dead) to bring home for a memory.

Then I saw this little bronze flower drifting along with the current and I can tell you that trying to capture the photo of a jellyfish from the top of the water looking down is most challenging.  The jellyfish pumps, the waves push and distort and the photographer tries not to step on anything sharp or fall and drop the little camera.  Although I could not identify this species, it was not one with tendrils to sting.  I certainly did not pick him up to test.

So exotic and so primitive, this life form that drifts and goes with the flow of the earth on its constant journey.  Volcanoes in Iceland and hurricanes in Florida all leave him unimpressed as he goes with the slow evolutionary flow and not against the demanding current.