Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Saying Farewell to a Blogger

Bloggers come and go, but when I read the last post on Monday from Daphne's Dandelions, long time host of Harvest Mondays, I was truly surprised that she would be one.  She is calling it quits.  She will be missed and the Harvest Monday meme will be missed unless someone steps up to take it on.

Daphne joins a long list of bloggers who have disappeared.  Most give you no warning. 

 Some you half expect when their posts get so infrequent.  

Some had been good friends and then poof, they are gone.  

Occasionally one dies but the family lets you know.  

So here's to the bloggers I have known.  Maybe they'll return one day.





There are others whose names I can no longer recollect.  They no longer appear in my bookmarks.  I cleaned them out years ago.

And here's to the bloggers who have passed on of which I only know of Granny of

So if you are calling it quits from blogging do a favor for those that read your posts, follow Daphne's example and let us know.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What to Do with All the Peppers


Yesterday I picked a basket of peppers.  Most of them a a mild jalapeño.  This morning I realized that the cheese stuffed ones we had last night would work frozen so I went to work.

Cutting off the tops and digging out the seeds.


Here are the ones seeded awaiting cheese.


Stuffed them with Pepper Jack cheese.




A tray full ready to be frozen.


Next batch awaiting seeding and stuffing.


Come winter I'll pop some in the oven at 400º and roast them.
They will be delightful!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Pick a Peck

How does that tongue twister go?

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?

Well, mine weren't pickled but there sure were a lot.


Tonight we had 4 stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño and one sliced in our salad.  Many more to be eaten.

Joining Harvest Monday

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ukrainian Church in Baltimore


The gold domes really stand out.  They caught my eye as I walked along the Baltimore Harbor.  I had to google gold domes in Baltimore to discover the name of the church: St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  The founding of the church dates to the 19th century but this building was built at the end of the last century.

Note: people in row houses in Baltimore like to build decks on their rooftops to enjoy the view of the harbor.  There are several in this photo.


Friday, September 25, 2015

What's This? (8)


Captured in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore last Saturday when we had a walk along the harbor from Canton to Fells Point.  At first sighting I thought it was a bar on wheels.  Then realized it was a large pedicab where the passengers do the pedaling.



But can you imagine pedaling over these cobblestones?  Ouch!


We stopped in the visitor center in Fells Point, used the facilities, admired the exhibits, and on our way back to Canton the "pedal mill" was still there with no takers.




Thursday, September 24, 2015

D.P.P. Update with a Mystery

If you've been reading my blog for some time you know of my battles with deer.  This year I implemented my Deer Protection Plan (D.P.P. described here) and have had remarkable success.  Read that as still having leaves on my hosta at this date.

Today I noticed one hosta had been munched.



So I looked closely and could see that the fishing line was dangling between two trees. 


No other hosta had damage.



 I thought maybe the deer reached its neck over the brush fence to chomp this one hosta.


The rest of the fishing line seems to be in place.


But there's a mystery. At the other end of the yard in the perennial garden 




the clematis which has been blooming so lovely shows chomping. 
 

There's even a petal on the ground.  


Hmm.  Deer?  Ground hog?  If it was the latter it wouldn't have stopped with so little eaten.  But if it was a deer why didn't it eat the Autumn Joy 

in the same garden 


or any of the hosta on the way over to the clematis?
  


And how did it remove itself from the backyard with all my fencing and fishing line?

It's a mystery that will unlikely be solved.

UPDATE: Friday morning

Well, it's definitely the deer because hosta that were fine yesterday are leafless with only stalks showing.  The deer have made it through my defenses BUT it took them this long to do so.  In all that time I had the enjoyment of my plantings.  These hosta would be disappearing shortly any way.


This is the hosta to the left of the swing in the photo above.













Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rare Bird Sighting in Baltimore

We took a walk along the harbor in Baltimore on Saturday morning courtesy of our friend, Lois.  


Despite the morning fog the day cleared off and it was quite nice to walk from Canton to Fells Point and back.






Along the way we saw several people training long lenses at something across the harbor.  Our curiosity was piqued and we asked.  Brown boobies had been sighted by a birder.  Well, the story shared was that first an unknown bird was sighted, then the captain of one of these ships, sent a message (maybe a tweet?) that brown boobies, a bird of the tropics, were hanging around the lines between the ships.

Not having a telephoto lens here are my photos.




Here's one courtesy of the Baltimore Sun.
(Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)

What a funny spot to take up residence far from their usual haunts.  Wonder what's next in store for them?


Monday, September 21, 2015

Butternut Squash Soup

We hosted a Cards & Canapés Party last night.  Everyone had a wonderful time eating and learning the card game 3-13 Rummy.  

I served canapés in courses throughout the evening beginning with butternut squash soup, meatballs warmed in grape jelly and BBQ sauce in the crock pot, and cheese dreams.  Most of the recipes I found on line and pinned on Pinterest.

The butternut squash soup is a standby for me and I've long since forgotten where I obtained the recipe.  It was perfect for the cool fall evening.  I served it in small glass punch cups balanced on oval glass plates.  Seconds and thirds were had by most folks and this one bowl shown below is all that remained.  I had it for lunch today.


The squash came from my garden.  The recipe also calls for parsnips, shallots, cumin, and ginger.  Once cooked and pureed with a stick blender, honey is stirred in and pepper added.  It's served with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.

Also on the menu:
bacon wrapped potatoes
pigs in blankets,
cucumber slices with whipped feta,
mustard-dill tortellini salad skewers,
 olive crostini.

For dessert:
cantaloupe, watermelon and pineapple chunks on skewers
carrot cake cupcakes.

Sorry I was too busy being the chef to take photos of the dishes.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Random Church


I think I took this photo somewhere in Pennsylvania.  I thought the church was interesting with the three steeples and the arched entrances.  It was a very gray day and this was a photo from the car.

Friday, September 18, 2015

What's This? (7)


The scene out the window at a restaurant we stopped at on Vancouver Island several years ago.  Nice assortment of fishing boats caught my eye but then what was that to the right? A totem? Never did find out.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Almost Fall Morning.

Fall is in the air!  
Some of the tulip poplar leaves are yellowing.  It won't be long before the trees are golden.


Not a usual fall bloomer for me.  But I'm pleased that the clematis returned after I whacked it to the ground because of the blight it had.  Now its given me some blooms.


Obedient plant is  also blooming.  Its a steadfast fall performer.


Discovered this little guy on the sedum.  I suppose it would have let me pet it but I didn't even try.






Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Animal Battles

I've written about my battles with the deer and the measures I've taken to minimize the damage from their eating habits.  I can say I have partial victory in that regard.  Only partial because my Deer Protection Plan is concentrated in the backyard and the deer still manage to browse through out front.

Look carefully at this Autumn Joy sedum in Mom's Garden out front and you'll see they've been eating the leaves and some flowers.

This silhouette shows the damage.


Fortunately they don't like the pink muhly grass.


Another animal I battle is the ground hog.  I saw yesterday that it was gathering dead leaves and taking them into its den under my porch.  Won't be long before its hibernating but in the meantime it is munching away.  Lately its been favoring some new yarrow that I planted so I had to take action to keep it out.

They (I think there is more than one) live under the porch.
Here are the two entrances.  The chicken wire did no good.




It's an easy toddle for them to the Perennial Garden.


One stop is here to eat the forget me nots.



They've been in this patch of black eyed susans.



This bed is where I planted some new perennials.  The aster has a fence of bamboo stakes around it.



The yarrow has a tomato cage with netting newly installed this morning.




When I planted these several weeks ago I thought the cone flowers would be their target plants so protected that with chicken wire.  Didn't know they liked yarrow.


Next year I will have to do better to get those ground hogs out!






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