Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Front yard in May, Front yard in June

Frontyard in May
Originally uploaded by 3Birds
I've been remiss in blogging, but very busy in real life. Since I last blogged, I've done a lot of baking and gardening, been reviewed by the Baltimore City Public School System (more about that in future entries), resumed several knitting projects, rekindled my own and my children's interest in microscopy and entomology, and buried my beloved cat (more about that next update.)

Despite our best intentions, we never did get around to making doughnuts, and now that the warm weather has set it, we probably won't until next fall. I've gone from baking 3-5 days a week, to only once or twice, and Finch is a little mystified. He is accustomed to getting cookies or cake more or less on demand; when he asks and I tell him we're out, he usually says "So, bake some" with a little shrug of his shoulders, as if to ask "why do I have to tell her this?"

Of course, the strawvberries have been abundant at the market, and now the cherries are coming in, with blueberries, brambles, and apricots to follow. Not to mention the melons! My own blueberry bush (a baby) yielded one delicious blueberry several weeks ago; it's ahead of the pack, maybe because it's a lowbush blueberry. The huckleberry flowered prettily, but didn't fruit. I'm going to put in 2 more blueberries and 1 more huckleberry next year.

This year's gardening effort seems to be paying off handsomely. We've got plenty of basil, dill, rosemary, thyme, and sage. I'm getting a few cukes each week, and the first of the squash is nearly ready. The tomatoes aren't beginning to ripen yet, but they're plump and full of promise. I have a few embryonic peppers and some lately-planted bean plants beginning to flower. The 3 yr. old fig tree is, as always, amazingly prolific: over 2 dozen figs at last count. I don't know how many the squirrels will get, but I'm considering a net this year if they get too greedy. Other pests include woodchucks (in the city!), doves (they eat the sunflower shoots), and stray cats and dogs. Our insect population is pretty balanced and I haven't seen too much damage from leafminers or beetles.

Best of all, we planted a few more native perennials, and on hot afternoons my yard is beginning to smell like a meadow in midsummer. It reminds me of a field my father used to take my sister and I to on long walks. We lived near some railroad tracks, and he used to walk us along the tracks and into the woods to skip stones on a pond. Those were happy days; my father always loved being outdoors, away from houses and people, and we had grand times wandering in what is now almost entirely developed (into vast tracts of McMansions, starter homes, and strip malls.) I'm glad I had those experiences, and that my own kids get outdoors all the time.

dinner tonight: grilled chicken seasoned with my handmixed taco spice blend (which I'll share soon), served with fried tortillas, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, crema, grilled peppers and onions, and cilantro-lime rice.

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