Saturday, June 30, 2012

Survival Strategies


When dawn looks like this, you can be pretty sure it's going to be hot and dry.
  And the only way to deal with outside chores is to get going early.

I was watering the garden as the sun rose. 

I love taking pictures at sunup -- oh my, another day lily. . .

As the sun  poured into our cove, I kept watering and taking pictures . . .

See how this wild daisy lights up. . .

The sunlight creeps across the basil and rosemary . . .

Watering done, I snap a few more pictures and head for the house. 
It's starting to heat up out here.

I stop to pick some mint for the next step in my survival strategies. 
This clump planted in the damp spot under the hose is nice and handy.

Brew the tea. 
Some teabags, the mint and a very little sugar -- 
not enough to taste but enough to mellow the flavor.
 I'll add a kettle of boiling water, cover the pitcher, and let it sit about five minutes. 
 Then I'll remove the teabags and let the tea cool. We'll drink iced tea all day long.  

Important -- close most of the windows. They were open all night, letting in cool air. But the air is hot now so, counter-intuitive though it may seem, we shut most of the windows during the day. Not the upstairs windows --  they let the heat out, with the help of a fan.

Make more juice to fill the humming bird feeders -- they can empty a feeder in a day or less. 
Lots of good folks put out pans of water for birds and other critters during hot dry weather but our branches (creeks) are still running and our little fish pond is full.

Water all those plants in pots -- they dry out alarmingly fast.

Hang out the wash to dry -- this weather's good for that, at least. 
And good for a quiet day of working at the laptop, moving as little as possible...
 
Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 29, 2012

And Now for Something Cool . . .


A hot day is forecast and even hotter on the weekend...

I thought it might be nice to remember . . .

Seasons change. . .

Water freezes, flows, dries up, and flows again . . .

Thus, too shall pass. . .

I feel cooler already . . .
 
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Daylilies, Other Blooms, and "The Little Shop of Horrors"


Okay, I am just a tad obsessed with taking pictures of day lilies. 

But when I go out to fill the bird feeder first thing in the morning and the early sun hits this pale beauty by the steps, I think, well, just a few pictures... 

I can quit any time . . .

This one has a lovely, lemony fragrance that keeps me hanging around, snapping yet another picture as the sun illuminates her curves.

And then I go to the garden, to do a little weeding and mulching before the day heats up, and there's this exuberant clump, demanding to have their pictures taken too.

I don't keep records of what I plant ( well, I used to but I misplaced them) but if memory serves, I think this beauty is "Dolly Parton." 
A perfect name for this lovely, cheerful, slightly over-the-top flower!

I can be captivated by other things ... the shadow  the geranium casts on the wall . . .

Petals unfolding on an early Black-Eyed Susan . . .

The bright surprise of the first sunflower and its exquisitely hairy stem ...

The flowering of an echeveria . . .

Tiny little pink and yellow faces that put me in mind of Audrey Jr. in  'The Little Shop  of Horrors.'

(John  and I saw the original  in the early Sixties- long before it attained cult status-- as the second half of a double feature at the drive in. It was, I think, a defining moment in our lives.)
 
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Good Excuse for Potato Chips . . .


Shrimp salad was a summertime staple when I was growing up (along with chicken salad and tuna salad.) A cool lunch or supper on a hot day, it can be prepared in the early morning before the day heats up, leaving the cook nothing to do later but assemble the plate. My tomatoes aren't ripe yet but a roadside stand supplied some local, dead-ripe beauties. And then there are the chips...

Chips (crisps to you Brit-types) are a special treat in our house.  When the boys were little, if they spied a bag of chips coming in with the groceries, they immediately asked who was coming for dinner.

But chips were always served with those shrimp/tuna/chicken salads of my youth and who am I to turn my back on such a fine tradition?

Shrimp salad is so easy to make. Boil up your shrimp with some Old Bay Seasoning, a lemon cut in half, some onion and garlic. DO NOT OVERCOOK! As soon as the shrimps are pink, remove from heat, drain, and let cool. 

(In the interest of time and economy, I use the already peeled frozen, farm-raised shrimp. Of course, wild-caught Carolina shrimp in their shells would be much tastier, and if Sam of Carolina Kitchen ever comes to supper, that's what I'll use.)

Mix the cooled shrimp with chopped hard-cooked eggs, diced celery and red onion, and a good amount of fresh dill weed, then bind together with mayonnaise (my own homemade mayo is part of the magic, as are the bright yolks of the eggs from our chickens. But store bought mayo and eggs will certainly do.)

Just don't forget the chips.
 
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 25, 2012