Wednesday, June 24, 2009

-4 tide in Appletree Cove

I just wanted to send a couple of peaks at the lowest tide of this summer in Kingston. There seems to be a good healthy crop of eel grass and lots of moon snail casings. We even found a couple of real live moon guys but hid them under the grass so the heron didn't find for dinner. The eel grass is a great sign for the health of the cove. It not only provides hiding places but nutrients for all variety of marine life. There were a smattering of clams (all eaten by moon snails, as was evidenced by the tiny hole on the top of their shell).

The beach went out for what seems like miles. We almost walked up to the ferry and did walk until we were directly down from Seatter Road, straight out into the bay. I only got sucked down to my knees once. I had to pull out my little crocks by hand because they wanted to become home to the clams. The eagle sat on the beach wondering where dinner had gone and the heron where out with all their friends, making a long parade at the edge of the water. We spied a couple of jelly fish and many crab but only one live guy. To celebrate the sunny afternoon and the beginning of summer we ate lunch on the porch while watching the cove stretch out before us.

Wish you were here!

Mama Llama

Monday, June 22, 2009

Strawberries and Peonies

Happy Monday everyone. It is the first week of summer and I can just barely spy some blue sky out there in the far northwest corner. Although this last week has seen the traditional cool, gray weather of the Pacific Northwest, we did have an extraordinary 3 weeks of summer weather. The result is great crop of strawberries on Tulin Road. I never have more than a handful to eat from the garden but this year they have been more than abundant. I froze a cookie sheet for enjoying in the winter months, made a batch of frozen jam and have enjoyed eating strawberries with yogurt each morning and noon. What a wonderful treat and a reminder that gardeners in California should have no pride - how hard is it to grow food if you actually have warmth and sunshine!

The second wonderful gift from the unseasonably warm weather has been a beautiful array of peonies. Without the wet and cold to cause blight, the peonies have been outrageous. Their delicate full blooms are such a luxury since they have only a short season to show themselves. I have enjoyed peony bouquets all over the house!

The rest of the garden is doing well. The snap peas are giving little gifts each day and I found 3 small zucchini ready for harvest. The greens, arugula- kale- lettuce -broccoli rab, are in abundance; far more than we can consume, already. I am now spraying for deer regularly after they ate the first rose blooms for dinner one night. The slugs, small worms and insects are eating away to their stomachs satisfaction as I can't seem to think of a way to stop them. Sharing is the rule of gardening, I guess.

As you can see, there is not much excitement in Kingston right now but I did have a 4 day excursion to Twin Lakes to start the summer season. Anita and I cleaned the carpet and made a few other preparations for July but the weather was so gorgeous we also read on the dock in our swim suits. We took the first cocktail cruise to make sure the boat was working well and I made time for some kayak trips down the lake as well as a short bike ride to the end of the upper lake. It was a great reminder that summer is a time to play. With good luck, we will continue to play on the Fourth of July in some nice hot summer weather.

I am now on to projects and chores this Monday morning but send you all a hug and a smile. Have a great week and I will talk again soon.

Mama Llama

Monday, June 15, 2009


Well - too long a break. While the ducks paraded through mom's yard, out in the east, Susan "Duckie" Ellsworth had a parade of her own - a birthday parade. So first to that...
Here's our recipe of the day that turned out great: Grand Marnyay Crepe Cake
Recipe: Mix up a grip of crepes and a bowl of whip cream (flavored, if you desire, by liquor). Layer. Chill.

Warning: the cake may leak in your fridge, so put a towl or something down. Warning: if you ruin your first batch of whipcream because you're not paying attention and it turns to butter, don't try to save it, go to the corner store.

It was a perfect cake for a Sunday Champagne Brunch birthday. Great with fruit salad, mimosas, mini-quiches, cheese biscuits, fresh bread, and other delights that may be on-hand. We followed brunch up with an anarchist take-over of the nearby tennis courts. My serve still sucks, but tennis was great, and fortunately we played doubles, then jumped in the pool next door. Unbelievable.

Moving back in time: Bermuda. Yes they do wear those shorts and yes the Uigars from Guantanamo are the luckiest refugees ever (except for being in Guantanamo for years and years) and yes the uigars will be required to wear khaki shorts with knee high socks and blazers. But... they'll get to go swimming here:
So they got that going for them. (and sisters, I know you're jealous of my form on this dive).
Bermuda was like stepping into a postcard. Perfect weather, amazing hosts, tempered only by crazy narrow roads. The wedding of Minta, Susan's cousin, was beautiful, and her family was, as always, very welcoming, very fun. More on all later. Really just getting some pictures up to make everyone jealous. One of the trips many highlights was "Glass Beach." (Following this winter's trip to "Round Rock Beach," all my childhood treasures are becoming swiftly less valuable.) This was an amazing afternoon - our last of the trip. We follow-up on an off-hand comment from somebody and asked our host, Kathy Wadson about this place. Turns out the place was one of her favorites - though most other locals we asked didn't even know about it. These places amaze me - crazy and magical (because of the obvious appeals, but also because of the funky stuff that always goes along with - in this case, an old maritime slave graveyard on the hill above (if i'm remembering right), and syringes, etc. at the high tide mark. Just enough to keep it off the cruise ship itinerary), strangely peaceful, with a history (of people more than politics) that you can feel, and always turning up by a combination of luck and openness to adventure. The small beach on this small cove was probably no more than 200 yards long (split by an old concrete pier), but covered in sea glass. All the cobalt glass has long been scavenged, but years of dumping from a nearby, and now shuttered, glass factory left many gems, including chips of old porcelain (from plates to conductors), twisted and rusty pieces of factory pipe, and enough bottle ends and half-melted bits to keep a curious child occupied for hours.
For now, will leave with a few pictures, and return later to tell about the Bike Show, the Memorial Day Ride to Gibson Hollow, and the trail of tears that accompanied both events (for varied and random reasons - physical, environmental, mental, and /or emotional).
Discoveries discoveries always to be made.


Fennel covering the seaside hill.

More Jumping (i would send you pictures from the beach, but just look up "bermuda amazing beach" or something and photoshop us in.