Monday, May 19, 2008

Glimpsing Scarlet Tanagers,Making rhubarb pie, Planting potatoes & Making room for sunflowers


I made J a rhubarb pie for his birthday at his request.  I followed a suggestion found on an Internet recipe site, that suggested dividing the flour and sugar into two layers, one covering the bottom of the crust, and the other sprinkled on top of the cut up rhubarb, that said the mix would filter down through the fruit during baking.Ha! The pie looked pretty, and tasted fine, except for huge lumps of solid, pink, hard sugar candy which R and young J relished but were shoved politely to plate's edge by the rest of us.  Next time, I'll follow the tried and true method of coating the cut rhubarb with the sugar mixture! Anyway, we were congregated on the porch after we all got home from school and town, and noticed the flash of brilliant,red feathers of a pair of scarlet tanagers high overhead in the side yard maples.  What a nice way to celebrate J's birthday!  D and I noticed scarlet tanagers for the first time in the week following J's birth 25 years ago, when we were exultant in the thrill of being part of the creation of new life, and attune to every little nuance of beauty nature offered to share with us- it's out there at all times just like the stars and moon overhead, but often taken for granted when the grind and monotony of day to day living takes precedence.

Picking rhubarb for pie


Last week, I helped my Dad plant 5 pounds of red norland potatoes in a small patch of ground D opened up behind the barn.. I felt like I was at the feet of a master gardener as dad instructed me in his quiet, methodical, matter-of-fact way how to hoe open three rows, scatter fertilizer, place the potatoes (GIVE THEM ENOUGH SPACE TO GROW!), cover them and hope for good growing conditions.  Years ago when Dad had a much bigger plot between Route 7 and the RR tracks, I helped him weed and hill potatoes, and later hand pick pale, plump, potato bugs off the leaves into a tin can.  Anyway,I can still remember my awe when he leaned over and plucked an arrowhead from the damp soil  and handed it to me.  I carried it in my pocket, fingering it at random during the next year or so until I realized too late that it must've fallen onto the floor of a dressing room of a one- price clothing shop in Northgate Plaza, a lucky find for someone!

Dad's potato patch

Saturday, I planted some sunflower seeds between rows of sweet corn I planted a couple weeks ago. I still have a half pound of sunflowers to plant somewhere, but have run out of open room, so started expanding the borders of my backyard poppy, hyacinth, gladiolas, bee balm garden. So(w) many seeds, so(w) little room!

Extending borders

Poppy bud
Behold, blueberry blossoms, beaded by the rain.

Blueberry blossoms

My porch garden grows as I pot more pansies and pretty plants to the steps. 

Happiness is...

Last week, I drove to Norwich to pick up my new pair of glasses and stopped along the way to capture these cows enjoying a mild afternoon, pondside.  Another group of frisky heifers looked like they were having a grand time outdoors running pell mell down a slope, maybe a bovine version of tag or follow the leader? By the way, my new glasses seem miraculous; looking through the scratched old ones was like trying to see through waxed paper. 

Cow pond

And look at these tulips glowing like ruby embers in late afternoon sunshine!


I enjoyed attending the last bluegrass concert of this season at the Bainbridge Town Hall, the Bristol Mountain Bluegrass Band. Wonderful!

Bristol Mountain Band

1 comment:

me and my camera said...

I like your porch pots. We are doing some renovations this spring and putting plants in pot would help keep some pretty touches around. My mother used to buy old metal tea pots and paint them black and plant flowers in them. Your pictures brought back those memories. The pie looks very yummy!