Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fishin' on Newnan's Lake

It is definitely spring. It's very warm and there is pollen everywhere. Last weekend was a great time to go fishing.


I went out to Newnan's Lake with my friend Brandon, who has a canoe. I have never met anyone who likes to fish as much as Brandon. Here is his "I am so happy I am fishing" face.



I really like to fish, and I love canoeing, so I was stoked.


It was pretty much a perfect day, warm and breezy.




We saw and heard tons of birds -- it was actually pretty cacophonous! In the water, there were ducks, herons, and egrets (small and large). We heard a barred owl hunting in the woods. Fishing from high above the water were a bald eagle and a pair of osprey.

We fished for a while near the ospreys' nest. See it? It's on the left, and one of the ospreys is watching over it while the other hunts.


I zoomed in a bit. The nest is in the dead center of the photo, and the osprey is perched on a branch just above it and to the right.


That was a fantastic day.


Oh, Brandon caught a catfish (for a change!), which he threw back, and I didn't catch a thang.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Christmas Cactus

I bought a Christmas cactus at my department's student club annual holiday plant sale a couple of years ago. When I got it, it had multiple gorgeous fuschia blooms. Then it entered my house and slowly lost them all.

Christmas cacti are trained when to bloom by growers. They need to have light only during the day for something like six weeks before they bloom. Well, mine's in my kitchen, and I definitely don't make sure it's in the dark all night. So it hasn't bloomed since I got it.


Until now! For the past month or so, I've been getting one beautiful bloom at a time. When one dies, another opens up. It's nice to stare at while I do dishes (the plant is above my sink).

Kitties and Puppies

So it doesn't fit in with my blog's mission at all, but who can resist kitties and puppies? Everyone loves them, right?

I recently got a cat. His name is Mr. Cheeks. He is very soft and cuddly and he sounds like a pigeon (seriously).


My friend Mary recently got two of the sweetest kittens I have ever met.



Emily's son got a puppy for Christmas. He's a lab, so he's already ginormous, but that doesn't mean he's any less puppy-acting. For example, somehow he got ahold of a fish head and carried it proudly around the yard while we were gardening the other day. (They always have weird crap lying around.)


And my parents got a new puppy!!!! Her name is Lucy and she's a mastiff.


Cutest. Dog. Ever.


Roast chicken pose.


She's very curious and affectionate. If you think these are traits common to all dogs, you haven't met my parents' last two dogs. They're both Bouviers de Flandres; the Bouvier is a Belgian cattle herding breed. My parents' dogs are infuriatingly aloof and indifferent -- well, the one that's still alive is, anyway. The other one was. But he recently went to the Great Dog in the Sky.


So it's kind of nice to have a friendly dog around for a change.

video

If you watch that video, the banging sound is my mother chopping vegetables.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vegetable Gardening!

I have not really grown vegetables in the past year or so. Well, I've sort of tried ... but only in containers ... and then I don't water enough, and the plants are too far away from my hose ... it's just too complicated to grow things in containers.

I've been wanting to grow some veggies in the ground, but I rent, and don't want to tear up all the grass, and I also don't think my landlady would like it. Plus it's kind of expensive to build beds and stuff. (Excuse excuse excuse excuse is what Tom would say but we can't all have neon-green thumbs. Hmph.)

Anyway, I was explaining all this to Emily (my boss), who told me I should just garden with her this spring. Eureka! Emily lives on a farm and has beds already built. We both have plenty of seeds, and gardening is more fun with someone else (in my opinion).

So about a week ago I drove out to Wacahoota Road and weeded and sweated and planted seeds. Here's what we're growing (we tend to over-do things when we get together):

Tomato seedlings in a grow box


Tomatoes from seed


Hot peppers and marigolds


Zinnias and basil


Eventually we will plant all those seedlings in Em's raised beds. These are the two we weeded that weekend.


We also planted some seeds directly in the raised beds: okra, four different kinds of sunflowers (I love sunflowers!), and some other stuff.


We are also going to buy some veggie and herb seedlings this week and plant some more stuff in Em's rows.

Our garden is going to be awesome!!!

The Big Apple

I went to NYC a couple of weeks ago to take a test (long story). I had a fantastic time with my friend Joel and his girlfriend, Susan. We ate lots of delicious food and I was able to enjoy many of the perks of a big city, which I have been missing, without the hassle, which I have not.

Some of the highlights:

Farmer's market in Brooklyn


At the farmer's market, locally produced jams and honeys and breads ... yum...


Great restaurants. At this restaurant I ordered this tea flower. The tea came wrapped in a little bundle that looked like tobacco. As the hot water seeped into it, it slowly unfurled like a flower. I think it was jasmine.


What I love about traveling is that there are so many new things to try. I miss that when I live in Gainesville.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Regret

I've neglected you, blog, and I am sorry. I've got some ideas about things to post but am just running behind. Will try to get to them tomorrow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Notable Happenings

I was out of town for a bit again. Here's the latest news:

1) My car's odometer has reached 177,777 miles! I was going to take a photo when it got to 7/10ths of a mile, so that it would read 177,777.7, but then I forgot and now it's way past. I have had my car almost twelve years.

2) Between the drought and the constantly see-sawing temperature, I have killed almost all of my plants.

I haven't done anything nature-y lately and need to get on that. Maybe this weekend.