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Showing posts with the label natural delights

Unbelievable, but Very True

"Come upstairs with me," said the Husband when he came back from a trip to the gas station. "You've got to see something."

"Is it snow?" I asked. I was in the kitchen prepping garlic for lumpia filling.

"You'll see."


Snow!

This is the first of the season. No wonder it was cold this morning. Well worth it.

I'm heading over to ABC Wednesday. Come join me, if you like. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Friends!



Fun in the Kitchen and Other Things

I baked a lemon bundt cake this morning for my county fair entry, which I hope shall reach a mellow, not so loud, lemon tart flavor when the judges taste it this Wednesday afternoon. This cake has several firsts for me. It's the first time I've entered a cake in the fair, I tried a new recipe, and I experimented with the recipe twice (I wrote about the first attempt last month). I added a lot more lemon zest and a heaping measurement of sour cream to the recipe for more lemon flavor and less dryness. And, yes, I used a bundt pan this time.

Thank goodness that the Husband hung out in the kitchen while I was working on the cake.  He looked up things on Google: How many tablespoons equal 1/4 cup? How do I make lemon syrup? When do I douse the cake with lemon syrup? Which end of the bundt cake do I display (the Husband had it right—the bundt ridges must show)? and  How do I store the cake if I'm not serving it right away?

Sorry, no photo. The cake is nothing truly exciting …

Lots of Fruit

A whispering of leaves. . .

Plop!

Sometimes, after the sound of trembling leaves, goes a ping! against a ladder, a bench, a table, or the shed, followed by a thud.

Rustle . . . ping! . . . plop!

I wonder how many times Molly the Cat has had a near miss with a fallen lemon or apple or avocado or apricot or Asian pear.


The Husband says that Missy Girl knows precisely where to lay herself down in the backyard.

He's right, Missus Lady.  Purrrrrrrrrrrr. 

This has been a good year for Mama's fruit trees because of the winter and spring rains.  All the trees have been continually aborting themselves of immature seeds and fruits so that the fittest may live to full development. Plop! The lemon tree is a different story. We can't reach the top branches, thus when the fruit ripens, plop!


The two apricot trees had branches heavily laden with fruit that they snapped. Giving baskets and box lids full of apricots to several friends didn't make a dent to the tree. Plop, plop, plop.…

Snip. Glub. Click. Chirp.

Snip, snip, snip.

The past two mornings I've been trimming the daisy bushes in the front yard. A lot of daisies to be deadheaded. I chose to wait for the California poppies to go to seed before starting the task, so I reasoned.

Snip, snip, snip.


Glub, glub, glub.

A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird has been Molly the Cat's and my companion these past mornings. She, the hummingbird, loves drinking the flowers of the Hot Lips Littleleaf Sage by the driveway. Cool name, Hot Lips. Remember Major Hot Lips Houlihan?


Click, click, click.

"Want to see a hummingbird's nest?" I asked, as I plucked the camera out of the bowl in the hallway.

The Husband got up from the breakfast table and followed me out the door. I discovered the nest minutes before in the tree in the front yard. That's an upside to deadheading daisies.


I think the hummingbird was used to my presence because she didn't seem to mind that I was standing nearby.

Click, click, click.

The nest is tiny an…

Molly's #20 Post

Miao, miao. How is everyone?

It has been raining. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The sun pops up now and then. When it does, Missus Lady and I go outside or she leaves the back door open so I can slip out if I am so inclined. Nice human, she is.

On Saturday morning, Missus Lady got it into her head to put some of her toys in the puddle that likes to grow on the patio whenever it rains. Silly human, she is.


I heard her and Hero Man talking about putting some thing on the patio so she can put up dioramas that wouldn't be in anyone's way. If the thing had drawers, they could be pulled out and converted into planters, suggested Hero Man. Whatever it is, Missus Lady said, it would need to be stained so it can withstand the weather for a couple of years. Whatever it is, I hope I can climb up on it and take a snooze. Miao.


Miao, miao. Missus Lady reminded me to tell everyone, "Hello, hello!" She apologizes for having not responded to comments on the last post. She shall over the next …

Untitled Four

The caterpillar does all work but the butterfly gets all the publicity. ~ George Carlin

First Time Ever!

That tall tree next to the side fence is an avocado tree. It started from a seed the Mama planted. 

Until last year, it was hidden by a red shed, which has me now thinking that Mama planted the seed after the shed was built in 1989, thereabouts. That makes the tree about 29 years old.

Yesterday morning a branch grazed the top of my head, so I got the pruning shears to trim it as it would get in the Husband's way.

Lo and behold! I saw an avocado, the size of my tiny finger, hanging from beneath leaves on that low branch. I looked and looked. Yup, avocados. A whole lot of tiny avocados growing! This is the first time that avocado tree is bearing fruit. Wowza!

Although Mama is physically gone, the Spirit of Mama continues to whisper to her plants.


Gardenias, Mmmmmmmm

Last week, we took a tour of a greenhouse that included gardenias, mmmmmmmm. Their scent, mmmmmmmm. The tour guide said that gardenias are coming back into popularity. I was surprised the flower ever went out of favor.




Rainbow in a Cloud

"So don't you give up now, ooh, ooh
So easy to find
Just look to your soul
And open your mind
Crystal blue persuasion, mmm, mmm"
~ Eddie Morley Gray, Mike Vale, and Tommy James I saw my first rainbow in a cloud last week.  The Husband gave me a scientific explanation for it. Something about ice crystals in the air. From my reading on the Internet, generally in terms of spiritually, a rainbow in a cloud symbolizes hope, promise, serenity, and peace among other positive ideas. I like that. It got me humming "Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Tommy James & the Shondells. 

While I was taking photos, a bird flew across the sky. I clicked but I was sure I got nothing more than his tail. So call me happily surprised when I found this among my day's clickety-click captures.


I'm hanging out at Skywatch Friday. Come join me by clicking here. Thanks, Skywatch Friday hosts!




Head Turners in the Yard!

Oh me, oh my. The sights Molly the Cat and I saw this morning in the front yard.

For one, that fly pollinating the daisies. Until a few years ago, I had no idea flies were pollinators, too.
Flower flies are what they're called in general. Some of them have torsos that resemble bees or wasps. I wonder how many times we've said, "Look a bee!" and it was really a flower fly. Experts say that flower flies don't sting. Hurrah! These flies also love to eat aphids and scales. Thank you, much.

POMPOM POPPY DANCER


Most of the pink pompom poppies have shedded their petals. I think the pods are also cool to look at and go wowza! over. While the blooms make me think of the fluffy hats that comedian Phyllis Diller wore, the poppy pods remind me of ancient Greek soldiers in their Corinthian helmets.

WILD CELERY STALK


I was hoping that the unknown thing growing at the edge of the geranium spread would be bamboo. Nope. The nearly 4-foot plant is a wild celery plant with only one…

Blue Skies

Blue skies smilin' at me
Nothin' but blue skies do I see. . .
~Irving Berlin
The fog lifted early this morning to give us gorgeous blue skies. The orange roses and pink pompom poppies say "Hullo, hullo!"
Hanging out at Skywatch Friday. Come join me by clicking here. Thanks, Skywatch Friday hosts!

Here Comes the Shade

It's beginning to get jungly in the back yard. The persimmon trees are popping out leaves, as are the apricot and apple trees.  You can't see the banana plants, but they're also shooting up leaves. When all the trees are full, this part of the yard gets quite shady. Perfect to hang out in when the temperatures soar high.

I ought to call this part of the yard the "jungle room" or maybe Room of Deep Shade. What do you think?


Singing in the Rain

Finally! The winter rain has come to our part of the world. It began last night. A steady pitter patter, pitter patter on the roof and a swoosh and splash in the streets.

Molly the Cat and I celebrated this morning by wandering around the front yard. Actually, it was more like Molly doing her best to shepherd me back into the house. At one point, Molly sat on the doorstep looking like she was sighing at my silliness of deadheading wet daisies. If she could, I'm sure she would've folded her "arms" over her chest and tapped one paw in a "come on, come inside, get out of the rain" staccato beat.

Excuse me now as I imagine Molly's tappingness turning into her tapdancing and splashing in the rain like Gene Kelly. Hmmm, Molly has a voice quite like Debbie Reynolds, "I'm singing in the rain. . . ."



Seeing Things in Things

The Husband and I see faces and shapes in rocks, trees, and other inanimate objects. How about you?

Scientists call this phenomenon of seeing things within things facial pareidolia. Some experts say that neurotic individuals are inclined to have this ability. Other experts claim that this condition is quite strong in religious people and those who believe in the supernatural. Leonardo da Vinci considered pareidolia as a tool that artists can use to visualize possible scenes to paint or draw. Carl Sagan thought that pareidolia was a form of survivor tool for individuals to recognize if approaching people are friendly or not. All interesting theories, don't you think?




I'm hooking up with Our World Tuesday. Here's the link for you to check out participants from around the world, and maybe to join up yourself. Thanks, Our World Tuesday hosts!

A Sunday Photo Session

Yesterday afternoon, while picking up pillow cushions and doing this and that to prepare the backyard for rain this week, I came across some cool things that seemed to shout, "Look at me! Look at me!"

So, of course, I went to get the camera. Click. Click. Click.




I'm linking up with All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from Jesh St.G. Click here to check out Jesh and her meme. For the participants list, click here. Thanks, Jesh!



Autumn Hasn't Left

It's winter but the ornamental pear tree on the front yard doesn't think so. For the past few weeks, it has been slowly shedding its colorful autumn leaves. I love the warm yellow and red colors on the ground. I've already raked twice. Maybe I'll rake once more just so they won't be flying over to the neighbors' yards or into the gutter and clog up the storm drain. Not thoroughly though. I think the leaves make a warm cover for the bulbs, tubers, and seeds that are in the soil beneath them. Not to say, the dried leaves will turn into lovely mulch and soil come Spring.



A Lesson from the Persimmon Tree

Hundreds of persimmon buds, then hundreds of persimmon babies fell this year that I didn't think we would have much of a crop.

I was wrong.

The persimmon tree has taught me that we never know what will be.



Viewing the Solar Eclipse

I woke up to a heavy fog cover this morning. If I didn't know better, I would've said no eclipse for us today.

I knew better.

About 15 minutes before the total eclipse, I put on my sunglasses, grabbed a stool, and went out to sit on the driveway. Molly the Cat followed me out the door but she swerved to the right to stare at the pine cone covered with spider web nudged in the fence.

The Husband came out seconds later. "You aren't going to see anything."

"Sure I will."

He went back into the house only to return with a cup of coffee for me.  Such a guy!

"Where are the cards?" I asked. He had pricked 3x5 cards for us to view the eclipse.

"You're not going to see anything."

"You don't know that."

He sighed. Still, he went inside and fetched the cards.

While he was gone, I looked up into the sky. It sure seemed like I could see the outline of the sun through the fog cover. For sure, the sky was getting darker. The Husba…