Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Field and Fen Lives Up to Its Name

While all the wild antics of invalid care and house running and aide supervision and yarn making and fleece washing and drying and fending off kitties from same, and spinning and cooking -- some really good stuff lately, about which more later -- nature has been moving right along without the assistance of humans.

It's been a cool, wet, gloomy June up to now, and we are seeing some of the upside of that in the last couple of days, as you see from the series of pix.

Anyway, you will meet our new friend in the front yard, nearly got stepped on when I went out there this morning, Toadore the American Toad! beautiful, posed obligingly for long enough for me to run for my camera and get a pic before continuing on his way to our shrubbery, which is certainly wet enough even for an amphibian like Toadore. Last toad who made friends with me lived in my community garden, and would watch me closely while I hoed and weeded, looking for lunch to fly out of the undergrowth. I named him Toadore, too, seemed right, and I gave him an upturned flowerpot in the best tradition of toad lore, to hang out in. He stayed a whole season with me.

Back to the meteorological side of life: last night right before a huge rainstorm, wonderful rainbows all over the place. The white spots on the pic are raindrops on the lens as I was running for cover. These were taken from right outside the front door. You really don't need to hike to enjoy nature...

And right after the rainbows faded, fine fine skies, enough to make Constable swoon, exciting to see and the electricity in the air from the impending storm made my hair sort of move a bit! short curly hair will do that ahead of a thunderstorm.

One time many years ago, our long ago tiny house was struck by lightning, and as the lightning jagged around the living room from outlet to outlet, blowing all the electricity, tv, everything, my hair stood completely on end! distinct smell of ozone in the house, too. Not an experience you fancy repeating, especially with a three month old baby in your lap, as I had at that time.

And there's the polyphemus moth wing I found on the sidewalk as I was out earlier yesterday. I've made a picture of this -- it's the lower part of the wing -- the upper part I found years ago and have been keeping in my Little Golden Book of Butterflies, the page of which you see here, to show you the entire moth. It's named after the one-eyed mythical creature Polyphemus, Greek guy, from the round clear section on each part of the wings, which is actually like a clear window, that you can see through.

These spectacular moths are found in our kind of shrub and tree environment but alas, fall prey to rotary mowers and other landscaping crimes. So when I find one like this I preserve it in the right page of the butterfly book as a mark of respect, really.

Indoors, the food recently has been okay, since the weather's been cool enough for soup, and I've been making my kidney bean and barley with added chicken, and then a lot of added fake crab, which is surprisingly good if you just add it in the last few minutes to heat up. With garlic bread doused with turmeric, olive oil, black pepper and crushed garlic, it goes down a treat. And it's enough for two full meals at least, if not three. Very good stuff. Eat fresh fruit for dessert to allow your mouth to recover from all the spices.

These days, Handsome Son, who has been visiting on Saturdays for years to help out, has taken to arriving for lunch, which is very nice, so he can join in to the soup feasts and the crustless spinach quiche I made recently, which he was surprised to find he liked a lot. Served with chunks of roasted potato, very nice stuff.

Easy to make: usual mixture of eggs, grated cheese, thawed frozen spinach, diced onion with garlic or shallots or whatever you like as a base sauted in olive oil, spinach added briefly to cook, then the whole lot goes in a greased piedish and does for half an hour at 350. Easy, and has become a staple of la maison Adams. I put leeks instead of spinach, add peas, whatever I fancy or happens to be lying around. It's all good.

And the homespun yarn, courtesy of P. and C., is coming along at a rate of knots, no, unfortunate expression, inches and feet! and is destined for an upcoming tapestry I am just now planning on, together with cotton roving bits, courtesy of J., and various yarns donated by friends F. and EP and MA and others. I'm planning it now, so I can't talk too much about it, but the frame is marked and I'm going to warp it today, then go from there. Wheee!

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