Sunday, August 30, 2020


 This time of year is always busy.  I'm harvesting herbs, vegetables, sweet grass, and seeds.  

I went a little overboard with the basil.  I planted sweet basil, lemon basil, lime basil, licorice basil.  I also had rosemary, chives, parsley, and oregano.  Right now they are drying.  

I took my vegetables cut them up, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic granuals, salt, pepper, onion powder, and (of course) chopped basil.

I got 13 sweetgrass braids this year.  They smell so fresh.  Already I have two in our bedroom window.  I also gathered seeds from my cosmos, calendula, marigolds, petunias, delphiniums, gaillardia, black-eyed Susans, and bellflowers.
This is my Mexican sour gerkin cucumbers and Minnesota midget melon.  They said the melon was one serving.  I guess so.

I couldn't get enough of the bees in the hollyhocks.  Sorry if I went overboard.  I just couldn't help myself.

This is the very last of my peaches and cream hollyhock.  It bloomed fabulously right up to the bitter end.

If you remember we had a ton of tadpoles in our pond.  Well, now we have frogs everywhere.  Luckily we haven't had to mow.  I don't know how we could miss them all.  The one above is a normal frog and the one below is a tree frog.  I was trying to get a picture of them together, but that wasn't going to happen.  If you have ever herded frogs, you know what I'm talking about.

A plethora of activities this week and more to come.  Archery deer season begins on Tuesday.  A majority of my tomatoes are on the brink of ripening.  

What are you harvesting?  Seeds? Vegetables? Herbs?  What do you look forward to harvesting the most?

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Sweet grass time...

We haven't had any rain for weeks and don't foresee any in the future.  The few flowers that are blooming are holding tough.

My vegetable garden is doing pretty good.  We've enjoyed asparagus, carrots, green beans, garlic, and a tiny little broccoli.  I'm looking forward to sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and maybe even some okra.

I went down to our pond to harvest the sweet grass.  Lo and behold.  I had some chokecherries.  That never happens.  Usually the birds enjoy them long before I have a chance to pick them.  I was happy with 13 sweet grass braids.  I don't think anything smells more like summer.
 It was a busy week.  I picked grapes with my friend, Michelle.  My husband's place of work honored his retirement with a nice get together.  I also spend a lot of time watering plants.

Are you getting any rain?  My heart goes out to It's all About Purple and a quiet life...  Fire has not been your friend.  Mother Nature is neither fair nor kind.  I wish everyone a cooler and wetter week.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Summer flowers and giant carrots...

My flowers are somewhat sporadic.  Some are blooming here and some there.  I am pretty happy with my hollyhocks by the windmill.

I'm super excited about this orange gladiolas.  The bees are sure busy.  I've been trying to get a photo of the hummingbird moth. After Ella tried to eat it, the moth has been a has been a bit skittish.
My husband asked me to grab some carrots from the garden today.  Look at this behemoth.  I have never grown such a big carrot.  We were afraid it wouldn't taste good, but it was perfectly delicious.
 Other than giant carrots and a quick trip home not much is going on.  I traded motorcycles for horses this weekend and watched my nieces at the 4-H Rodeo Finals.  I'm super proud of them. They are good hands, making it in roping, poles, barrels, and team roping.    It was great seeing my parents and my sister's family.  It is amazing how much you can fit in during a couple of days.  Did you have a busy weekend?  Is there anything in your garden that is doing fabulously?

Sunday, August 9, 2020

What do I know...

All week that Cedar Waxwing has been sitting in the top of a tree calling and calling.  I told my husband on Wednesday there was no way that Waxwing was going to find another Waxwing just sitting in the same tree calling every day.  An hour later, I noticed there seemed to be more calls than normal.  I grabbed the binoculars and what do I know.  There sat two Waxwings calling to the world.  I guess it is true there is somebody out there for everyone if you wait long enough.  

We had a wonderful day on Sunday.  We did some prairie dog hunting and then went fishing.  I caught a bass and my husband caught some perfectly sized catfish.  Then I went and picked some wild grapes.  We came home and fried up some delicious catfish for lunch.  Life is good.
I've been busy in the garden.  The strawberry spinach is producing berries like crazy.  I am not sure what I am going to do with all the berries.  I just keep putting them in the freezer.  I've also been picking and freezing the borage flowers.  I am going to try making a wine out of them.  I have to be careful picking them.  Sooner or later I'm going to grab one that has a bee on it.  

My peaches and cream hollyhocks are blooming like crazy.  I love watching the bees wander in and out of the blooms.  I would guess it is like a flowery maze to them.  I would love to be covered in a blanket of hollyhock petals.

It has been a fabulous week.  We are hunkered down trying to pretend the Sturgis Rally isn't happening.  Unfortunately, you can hear the roar of motorcycles even up here.  I went to the grocery store and every local had a mask on.  Not one biker wore a mask.  I will admit I am hoping for rain every night.  Maybe even a little hail.  Sorry, but it is true.  

Is there some local event that puts you up a wall?  Have you ever tried strawberry spinach?  Here is a long shot.  Has anyone ever had borage wine?  If so could you send me a recipe.  Here is hoping you have a wonderful week (without motorcycles). 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Chokecherry Pie and birds on the fly...

We went out to or prairie property this weekend.  I was pleased to see the chokecherries were ready to be picked.  Yes, chokecherry pickers they could be a smidge darker, but we weren't going to be able to go out to the property again until next weekend and the birds would have them gone by then.  In fact, the birds sat in the bushes and chewed me out while I was picking.  

Most of the berries will go to wine and maybe some jam, but I have been dying to try a recipe Phyllis gave me.  Chokecherry pudding.  My husband was excited. Then we decided to make a pie of it.
Phyllis's Chokecherry Pudding
1 quart of chokecherry juice
1/2 c. of sugar (I used 3/4 c. since the berries weren't fully ripe.)
1/3 c. of cornstarch
dash of salt

I stirred in the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Then brought everything to a boil and boiled until thick.  Once I thought it was thick enough I poured it into a graham cracker crust.  It was delightful and will go in the family cookbook for sure.

The photo of the pie is a bit fuzzy because the steam from the pudding fuzzed up my camera.  Remember this is a bird, bee, and berry blog.  I am not a professional cooking blogger.  

Finally, the beans in my garden were ripe enough to pick.  I found this recipe last year and loved it.  I made 4 slices of bacon.  Used the grease to sauté the beans, three small cloves of garlic and two slices of onion.  I sautéed for about 20 minutes.  Added the bacon and yum.

Now, technically the birds in this post aren't flying.  I just wanted the title to rhyme.  For the last week I have heard an unfamiliar bird call around the cabin.  I haven't seen the bird and couldn't identify the call.  Then yesterday I saw it way at the top of the tree.  Even with the zoom on my camera and binoculars it was difficult to tell what kind of bird it was.  Luckily, I was able to use the computer to zoom the photo.  Turns out it seems to be a Cedar Waxwing looking for more Cedar Waxwings.  A Robin and even a Grosebeak joined it in the tree to keep it company.  Even today it was flying around with it's sad lonely chirp.  It isn't going to find any other Cedar Waxwings around.  The last time we had any up here was about 10-15 years ago.

As I was typing this post, two mother Turkeys went by with their brood.  I was too busy trying to get photo to count how many they had.  There was quite a few.  Both mommas kept a sharp lookout while the little guys scampered around looking for bugs.  Living here in the woods I see so many wonderful things from our porch.  I count my blessings every day.  

As the sun sets on another week, I am amazed that I am able to find something to blog about every week.  Maybe not the most exciting stuff, but there is always something going on around here.  Either I'm making something, there is a new flower blooming in the garden, or some animal has caught my attention.  Do you find it easy to blog about things?  What are you making in the kitchen?  What are you seeing from your porch?  Do you even have a porch?  I hope all is well at your corner of the world.