Monday, May 30, 2011

Mystery Squash...Solved

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The mystery of the volunteer squash...solved!   Now, about two or more weeks after picking it, our bets are that it's definitely a Golden Hubbard.  The colors in the pic above are really is a deep, bright orange.  Good...there are a couple more baby ones on the vine, woo!

What surprise volunteers appeared in your neck of the woods this year?

Summer's Here!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Unretouched Beach Colors

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These beach pics are taken near the lighthouse end of Gasparilla Island/Boca Grande, where the Peace River empties out from Charlotte Harbor through a narrow neck between two islands, into the Gulf of Mexico. The barely visible land mass across the water is Cayo Costa State Park.

There's no way for a camera to adequately capture the whole shebang.  The wind, the calling birds wheeling on the ocean drafts, the shore birds scuttling from surf to dune and the foam lacing the shoreline and disappearing in a fizz of withdrawn waves.

I've never thought of myself as a beach person at heart, so in love am I with the mountains and streams and lakes and backwoods ponds of the Deep South (which, ironically, is north of this state, ha).  But every place has its beauty, potentially.

A few days ago, Jack and I ventured for an afternoon together to Gasparilla Island.  With the toll bridge costing $5, and stowing our own water bottles and a few things to schlep, it was the best of cheap dates.  The weather was hot enough, and the breezes constant.

But oh, the COLORS...I wanted to jump into the water and just float miles away...the color was so jeweled and clear and...indescribable.

The photos don't do it justice, but I didn't edit any of the colors in these pics.  Thank you, God, for the impossible liquid glasslike turquoise blue and green and every hue and shade in between, there, for my mind and eyes and senses to feast on.  PERFECT.

Clear to the bottom.  So blue and green and clear, it feels like you're walking through a moving, porous spectrum.
I mean...that is BLUE, and the ibis is happily unaware of how picturesque he is...

Perfectly clear to the bottom, standing right in it.  I'll just post pics instead of blab.  Beautiful, perfect, Gasparilla Island day.

My whole body and soul was...happy.  I marvel at the Creator whose watercolors are so lavish and gleaming from vast expanse to smallest divisible particle.

When and where was your last perfect day?

Tempt Me With Tomatoes

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I planted two patio tomatoes (in a pot, yes) while I was still confidently stating that we weren't planting anything this year.   But maybe a pot of tomatoes means I'll have a few little ones to perk up our salads.

And there's nothing like a good, homegrown tomato.

No, we didn't put in a garden.  But, we did put in some plants. I suppose the difference between the two is should see the scale to which I hope to unleash my gardening mojo in the Great Hereafter We Move To a Permanent Location.  Nuff said on that.

So my birthday was in April and I succumbed momentarily to the siren song of the garden center, assuaging my (rather robustly immune) conscience by telling myself that HEIRLOOM plants were a somehow more virtuous acquisition.  And so on.  And then there were 10.  Three Black Princes, three German Johnsons, one Yellow Pear, and a yellow cherry tomato.  All but the two patio tomatoes are happily IN the ground (I want happy microbes, happy earthworms, happy pollinators and insects galore, and I planted a conglomeration of happy mixed flowers and flowering shrublets as neighbors.  And don't forget the birds, who like the cages for landing sites near the bird feeders.)

Here's hoping the blooms that are popping out make it full cycle to juicy fruits and many happy salads and tomato sandwiches to come!  We have sandy soil amended with compost here...there's no telling what the tomatoes will taste like...ah, terroir!  I remember the tomatoes we grew in the red clay when I was a kid in Mississippi tasting so tart and sweet and loaded with juice, it's hard for anything to compare.

What's your favorite tomato?  The one that grows best for you?

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out here!  It's the hardest and most rewarding job around.  I hope your day is extra special!

:)  Robbyn