• Outdoors,  Pennsylvania,  Travel & Places

    The Red Eft

    My first encounter with these little newts were on the Appalachian Trail. In the spring they were littering the trail and we’d have to be careful not to step on them. Sometimes you can walk absently and not notice that you were inching too close to the little creatures. These newts are in their juvenile terrestrial stage and that can last about two years. Once they reach the adult stage they will move to ponds and wet areas and live their life out there. I have only seen a few out here in PA but they are nice reminders of the AT and the fun wonders of the eastern woods!…

  • Pennsylvania,  Travel & Places

    The Northern Forest

    Since I’m spending a few weeks in northern Pennsylvania for work I will be posting a lot of photos from my work in the woods. We didn’t get to do a lot yesterday because of planning and the rain but here’s a snapshot: Apples! Growing up in the south I did not get to enjoy apples off of trees so when we found apple trees near a hunt camp we got really excited! I know, I know, I’m sure they are commonplace to those up north, but it is still exciting! Then someone pointed out the red ones and we got even more excited! It’s kind of like finding citrus…

  • Gardening


    Cotyledon noun Botany . 1. the primary or rudimentary leaf of the embryo of seed plants. It’s always amazing that these first leaves keep on dividing and turn into plants that give us wonderful food. Some of these seedlings are radishes, lettuce, kale, and beets. Getting down on the ground to inspect the tiny starts is the best way to check them out. Of course making a macro photo of it helps, too. I’ll keep you posted on their progression.

  • Gardening

    More Harvest

    Cucumbers are coming in by the handful every other day or so. I’m in love with them. They have probably upped themselves in ranking as favorite thing to grow to #2 on my list. Tomatoes are still first. The golden zucchini are showing some weird genetic patterns. We’ve got a bunch of green aphids on our cukes and I think assassin bugs. Hoping we can just ignore them and they won’t make too big of a mess of things. A photo from 2008 in Florida—our tomatoes. Miss them! I’m going to miss checking the garden out while I’m away but I’ll have Chris upload photos for me to share.

  • Gardening

    A Quiet Corner

    ‘Kohleria Bristols Possibly Bronze’ ‘Alsobia dianthiflora’ ‘Rob’s Boolaroo’ ‘Chirita Silver Surfer’ We had this bookcase from my mom which her dad had built. It’d been sitting in the garage holding other things and mom said we could take it for extra shelving. It now holds what books we have and Chris’ little collection of violets and violet allies. It’s cozy little corner and we always leave the blinds open to let some dim light in. Below, Samson will lay in his cat bed in the dim light of the window on the other wall.

  • Thoughts


    I need some slow motion…. +A weekend off. I feel like I’ve been going a million miles an hour for the last few weeks. Been very busy at work and then we had another project sprung on us at the last minute, or so it seemed, and now I am going to Pennsylvania for a month. I was thinking two weeks sounded nice but a month is pushing my limits. I’m becoming a homebody again. Apparently there’s this thing called snow that we’re racing against. +I’m starting to like not checking FB often and only being on about once a week. The only downside is that it seems the only…

  • Outdoors,  Texas

    A Central Texas Autumn

    Last weekend we went to Pedernales Falls State Park for our first camping trip of the season. It was beautiful and while the Pedernales River was not running much (hey, Texas is in a major, major drought!) it was still wonderful. It is only about three hours from our house so even though we set up the tent in the dark it still wasn’t a terrible drive from the Houston area to west of Austin. I’m always upset with people who gloss over autumn in areas that may not have major leaf shows like the northeast. Fall happens in different ways in the south and the drought is making it…

  • Gardening

    Garden Update | Helping Hands Community Garden

    Lots of things going on at our community garden. New beds and need seedlings, plus what has been established over the last few weeks are starting to take off. Love seeing a full garden! The garden is next to a horse arena so on the weekends it isn’t uncommon to have rodeo competitions going on. The pee-wee kids are the cutest! Little tykes my niece’s age and a little older riding their horses around barrels! Super cute! (need a few more !!! ?) Chris engineered this cucumber tunnel with tomato cages. The cukes are climbing like crazy right now and little fruits are starting to appear. See, aren’t they cute?…