Saturday, June 29, 2013

Squash Blossom

This morning when I went out to water the garden, one of two blossoms on one of the zucchini plants was fully open.

It remains to be seen if a zucchini will develop there.

Last year, we planted zucchini, but the output was not what I expected.

In the past, I had learned that I would get an overabundance — along with everyone else I knew who had zucchini in their garden, to the point where you couldn't give it away.

Instead, last year's harvest was downright pitiful.

Even where a fruit would chance to develop, it would frequently shrivel up and drop off while still a fingerling.

Only a few grew to harvestable size, and even then they were pretty small. I could tell that if I didn't pick them, they too would shrivel and die.

I hope this year is better.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Raspberry-Apple-Maple Crisp

Two weeks ago, my raspberries were just starting to ripen. Now, they are at their peak. I can pick about a cup each day.

They are very small, and it has been pretty rainy the last week or so, so they are not as firm as they might be. When I am picking, some are so full of moisture they fall apart at the slightest touch.

I like to eat them for breakfast with vanilla yogurt and granola. But I think my favorite way to have berries is in a crisp.

I usually use the recipe in my Better Crocker book, but today I wanted to find a recipe that didn't use butter and did use maple syrup. An internet search turned up this recipe.

I made a couple changes, because the berries I had on hand didn't amount to 24 ounces. So I diced a Honeycrisp apple to get close to the amount of fruit specified.

Now, if I only had some vanilla ice cream. . . . 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ocean Shores, Washington

Last week, Tim and I took a short vacation to the Washington coast. We have visited the Oregon coast a few times. I did not expect the two to be so different. I wonder what different influences have shaped the different geographies.

Where the Oregon coast has narrow beaches backed by cliffs and the distinctive sea stack rocks just offshore, the beach at Ocean Shores was broad and flat. Also, cars are allowed on the beach, which I had never encountered before. In one of the publications targeted at visitors, an article warned about getting stuck in the sand or trapped by an incoming tide, and provided the number of the local towing service.

On our first walk down to the beach, a deer was grazing just off the side of the road. When I saw it, I exclaimed "Deer!" and it raised its head and gazed inquiringly at us.

In addition to the usual gulls, we also saw a bald eagle, a lazuli bunting and an Eastern kingbird.

The latter two I identified with the help of the Birds of North America website,

The other notable wildlife siting occurred while we were driving up to the Hoh Rain Forest trail head, when a group of five Roosevelt elk decided to cross the road several dozen feet up ahead.

 Lastly, on one of our walks along the beach, we chanced on a wooden pallet that had washed up on shore. It was covered with barnacles, and even though the tide had been out for several hours, they were still out of their shells.

I think they were goose barnacles. They looked more like this, rather than this.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Carlyn's Sox

Three down, one pair to go.

These are the socks I knit for my niece Carlyn . . .

. . . and here they are, being modeled.

I think they took only about a month to make — much quicker than the pairs for her brother and sister. I'm not sure why it took less time.

The yarn was a skein I picked up in Friday Harbor last year, at Island Wools. It is a hand painted yarn made by the store's owner. This particular yarn is Bamboo Bliss, colorway Tropical Dreams which I do not see on the website.

It was fun to knit up, and to see how the stripey pattern developed.

I've begun knitting Dave's pair, but he may have to be patient. I finished the quilt top for my next Craftsy pattern, and I'm working on getting it quilted so I can publish the pattern.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Flutterbyes and Flowers and Fruit, Oh My!

 This morning when I was out watering the garden, a butterfly was flew by and landed to sun itself in the laurel hedge.

It seemed content to hang out there, so I took went inside for my camera. When I returned, it had obligingly stayed put. It took a few minutes before it opened up its wings. Not the most spectacular colors, but a nice pattern on the wings. If you look close on the right wing, you can see a ragged edge.

As long as I already had my camera, I thought I'd take some pictures of what's blooming in the yard.

The raspberries are coming along nicely. I've picked a couple, and they were quite tasty. In a week or so, there will be good picking.

Elsewhere in the backyard, there are two varieties of lavender.
This kind . . . 

And this kind . . .

Over by the fence, some poppies and pansies appeared on their own. I don't know where the pansies came from, but the some poppy seeds may have made their way over there from some I had in a pot last year.

I had never notice before, that the bloom pushes the green bud casing off the end.

Also, peonies . . .

And roses . . .

There is also this flowering shrub, but I don't know what it is.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spider Webs

This morning, I went for an early walk around Green Lake. About three-quarters of the way around, there was a line of trees on both sides of the path. Quite a few of them (25 to 30?) had one or two of these draped in their branches.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cardboard Art

It's always fun to see what the students in 3-D Design do, especially when the end-of-quarter, recycled-cardboard projects start popping up around campus.

This spring, I got to see . . .

Rapunzel's braid

Girl reading in the library

Matrushka dolls

Spawning salmon

and high-jumping bugs (I think).

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Elaine's Sox

A couple of weeks ago, I finished the pair of socks for my niece Elaine and sent them off

Last weekend, I received confirmation that they had arrived.

The next pair is knitting up very quickly. I've already finished the first one, and am about halfway through the second. A couple of nights ago I started the heel flap.