Friday, January 28, 2011

Pink Catkin

Because I am working on the Walking In Love Installation I have been using my camera on my morning walks to look for whites that occur in nature. The project is executed all in white. White is obvious: rushing water, clouds. Then subtle and challenging to capture, like frost. Snow falling. Mist rising from the river.

Just because white is what I am out to find it doesn't mean that other beauties cease to exist. These catkins stopped me in my tracks, the pink so luscious in the frosty shady early morning of winter.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Oh delight of winter! Watercress pops up in the icy cold creek, a superfood with more goodies for the body than brocolli. Google it and see. Inspired by my sister Jennifer, a very creative cook, I used it to make an out of this world pesto! I am what my adopted mom Frannie would call a "willy nilly" cook. This means imprecise quantities. No matter, this is to taste so you can adjust it anyway you like.

Into a food processor with the chopping blade inserted place:
2 large handfuls of watercress
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
As many cloves of fresh garlic as you like!
About 1/4 cup or so of grated parmesan cheese
1 small handful of unsalted nuts, I use whatever  I have on hand (walnut, pecan, almond, pine)
Pinch of salt

Begin to process and add Olive oil until you have the pesto paste. That's it.

We used it on top of Gnocchi along with some tomato sauce for a gorgeous and healthy dinner.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Every Day is Different

Frosty morning once again. Thin layer of ice holds water lily captive in the upper pond. Lichens in soft sea foam green cling to oak. I notice another white lichen on the branches. Oaks are home to so many life forms. Stellar's Jays, Pileated woodpeckers, Flickers, Coots (yes!)  and more love to forage in oak trees. Now in the dormant season it is the lichen, usnea, that is the show.

The sun comes up melting all frost into a near perfect spring day for a few hours before the cold afternoon returns. The rhythm of winter is fruit tree pruning, some garden bed prep (cleaning out the goat stall to layer on top of potato beds) in the short rainless period we have. Readying the stall for the birthing of kids, goat babies due on Valentines Day, and other projects that are part of the work here. It is good work.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Morning Walk

The meadow is frosted this morning. Twinkling, sparkling mirrors wink at me as I crunch through the grasses. The sun just begins to break the ridge to the east. Glorious blue sky day following the first full moon of 2011. There are often frosts on full moons. Winter. Hard to believe when the day time temperature lets me prune fruit trees in shirt sleeves!

I walk through the ancient grape vines hanging jungle like from the tops of oak and fir. One spot has a perfect loop to sit on. The trickle of a creek is flanked by thick stands of primeval horsetail reeds. I cross the reeds on a tree fallen through the middle, ducking the grape vines on the far end. I love to wander these thickets.