Archive for Michigan

Red Letter Birding Days

It’s been a slow start to spring and the garden isn’t even begun, but the yard is full of excitement nonetheless with a red-headed woodpecker visiting!

red headed woodpecker

red-headed woodpecker at the bottom of a little spruce tree in the front yard…

red headed woodpecker

and peeking around the front – here’s looking at you, kid!

snagging some corn

off to the trees with some corn to hide away…

red headed woodpecker

probably stashing that corn…

red headed woodpecker

hope he hangs around long enough for mom to see later this month!

Happy bird-watching!!

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And They’re Off!

Seedlings are popping up left and right…

seedlings

peas towering over the tomatoes and okra

onion seedlings

DG’s onion babies

tiny ground cherries

teeeny tiny Aunt Molly’s ground cherry seedlings

And while the plants are snug under the grow-lights, the birds are frolicking in the late spring snow.

ruffed grouse

secretive ruffed grouse – a treat to catch it around the feeders

redpolls, siskins and goldies

a couple of redpolls came to hang out with the siskins and goldies

nuthatch and chickadee

white-breasted nuthatch and a chickadee

male pileated woodpecker

male pileated woodpecker is stunning in the sun

sharp shinned hawk

and a wily sharp shinned hawk taking it all in ~ but he didn’t get lunch!

Waiting for the snow to melt to get those peas in the ground — happy Friday!

 

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Northern Goshawk

Check out what dear G caught on camera — high up in a tree after trying to catch its supper around the feeders! A Northern Goshawk — a large accipiter and a first for our yard. Wish I had been home but glad he managed to catch a photo — even if it is a bit far up.

goshawk in the yard!

majestic northern goshawk, high in a tree above the feeders

In other exciting news, it’s time to start sorting garden seeds. Indoor planting begins this weekend!

garden seeds galore!

treasure chest πŸ™‚

Happy Thursday!

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Christmas Cactus!

“Good things come to those who wait” — or, “patience is a virtue” — only not a virtue of mine I’m afraid! When I moved to Michigan (four years ago!??) I worked part-time at a grocery store deli. The florist there gifted me with a tiny, straggly Christmas cactus.

My mom always had a huge Christmas cactus — it lived in a giant china jug in the basement of every home I can remember from childhood on — and it was always covered in glorious pink flowers from late every autumn on into the New Year.

I can grow some veggies, but I’ve never had much luck with houseplants. Dear G, however, took the cactus into his charge, and after four years of careful attention, it’s blossoming!

Now, to find the perfect china jug for it πŸ™‚

christmas cactus blossoming

christmas cactus blossoming!

Happy Sunday!

 

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Late October at Lake Superior

the path to lake superior

view of lake superior from the overlook near deer park ~ michigan’s upper peninsula

Finally we got a chance to head ‘up north’ to the Upper Peninsula — for a very quick and very long overdue couple of days hunting for agates on Lake Superior. The foliage has been late to turn this year — rather than the drab far-past-peak colors we expected, there were surprising bits of color here and there. Sadly my camera couldn’t do it justice…

road to lake superior

color a bit lacking on this road to the lake…

splash of color in the up

this road had seen some heavy logging ~ still a splash of color to be seen

fall color in the up

another splash of color outside our little cabin ~ nestled among the tall pines where myriad nuthatches (red- and white-breasted variety) and chickadees played morning and night…

It was only 36 hours by the clock, but a welcomed eternity for the soul πŸ™‚

calm lake superior

unusual to see the big lake so calm in autumn

lake superior agates

a few of the treasures we brought back… lake superior agates and other interesting stones…

path to the lake

the path my feet will be dreaming of until spring … leading to a little piece of heaven ‘up north’

Happy Monday!

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Heat Wave ~ Late Summer in the North Woods Gardens

We thought about going to Lake Superior last weekend — then the week turned hot hot hot — far too hot to leave kitties home alone for days. Not to worry, however, because the late flush of hot temps brought the garden back to life!

We thought about going this weekend too — but more of the same, 90s for days and all of a sudden there are cukes and squash and brinjal galore. I cannot complain πŸ™‚

 

summer squash

healthy young summer squash plants at this late date!?

korean squash

korean squash ~ the gift that keeps on giving ~ there must be a dozen on now!

red pontiac potatoes

dear g dug all these beautiful potatoes this morning ~ I stuck a penny atop one to show the size ~ the largest was over a pound!

red pontiac potato

all fresh and clean and ready to cook!

san marzano tomatoes waning

most of the tomatoes are dying down ~ here are the San Marzanos ~ this late heat wave is good for ripening on the vine

healthy rogue tomatoes

the healthiest tomatoes we had all season were the rogue-volunteers!

african queen tomatoes

african queen tomatoes at various stages of ripening

cherokee purple heart tomato

cherokee purple heart tomato, perfectly ripe ~ we ate this with miss m’s amazing basil salad dressing tonight!

chard

the chard has taken off again

baby beets and gai lan

probably my fav ~ baby beets and gai lan (chinese broccoli)

I bought a small yellow mum to set near the doorstep but it sure doesn’t feel like autumn yet…

how does your garden grow?

 

 

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Fall Frenzy

Another hurricane is busy wreaking havoc — this time on Florida with other states to come — here’s hoping all in Irma’s path are safe tonight.

The week since I returned from Mass. was mostly rainy and cold — so cold we covered the beans in case of frost on Friday night — luckily that didn’t happen. This week should bring better weather. Tomatoes are still trying to ripen outdoors and the squash and cukes have taken on a second life. Peppers are coming on strong and the little chinese broccoli seedlings are growing… kohlrabi too. The lack of heat has meant fewer brinjals and no okra at all. Still there are chard and beets and so on… there’s nothing to complain about with the gardens this year!

squash and long beans

beautiful long beans, summer squash and lebanese zucchini ~ with one lonely brinjal

daisy is dreaming of agates

daisy is dreaming of catnip from the garden

lake superior waves

I am dreaming of Lake Superior …

lake superior agate

and her hidden treasures!

If this nice weather holds, we might be able to escape to the UP for a day’s agate hunting πŸ™‚

pickles and basil dressing

Meanwhile, here is Miss M’s scrumptious basil salad dressing, along with a mess of pickles we put up last night!

Miss M’s Basil Salad Dressing

I messaged Miss M to send me the recipe for the yummy basil dressing we had at her new apartment. Would you believe my baby is 25!??! She and her boyfriend made a salad of home-grown tomatoes (carried in bubble wrap all the way from Michigan!) with burrata — that creamy dreamy cousin of fresh mozzarella — with this fresh dressing drizzled on top.

Here is the recipe precisely as she told it to me πŸ™‚

“Take half a cup of olive oil, two cups packed basil, a bit of lemon juice–calls for 1/4 of a cup but I like less, and 1-2 cloves garlic. Salt and pepper to taste, blend together and enjoy!!

OH, and add three tablespoons pine nuts!!”

I used all the lemon juice and just love this dressing on any salad — but especially with burrata — check out this link!

 

Happy Monday!

 

 


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