Thursday, September 16, 2010

A break in the action

My month off is so far progressing quite nicely. I swear I'm busier sans job than I am with job-- but blame that on the convergence of several important, and long-awaited projects underway. I hope to be back in this space on October 1st, with many tales and good photographs to share!

Happy autumn, everyone!

Monday, September 13, 2010

When you take a terrier to the mountains...

... the summit should be a crowning exultation. Admiring crowds should be present to acknowledge and compliment the terrier. He may look oblivious, but he's not.

Though the ruins of the old hotel are likely of more interest to human companions, local history has always been a canine fascination. The terrier appreciates the opportunity to sniff around the crumbling walls.

All dogs love a great view, especially terriers. Not so keen, however, on the centenarian, rickety, visibly-swaying-in-the-wind fire tower.

A courtesy carry down from the fire tower is a generous gesture for tired little dog-legs.

And no hike anywhere should ever go without ample and just reward.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September scenes

No words today, just pictures. They're enough.

Notes: The sunflower field is pick-your-own, 25 cents each, pay by the honor system. The tomatoes are from my parents' garden, and they rock. The apples are Gala, my very favorite.

Patrick and I are off on a brief Catskill adventure this weekend. See you Monday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Where we go

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved Kelly Hollow. It's a little 3.8-mile loop near Margaretville, NY, in the midst of a very large stretch of state-owned land. It has many specialties. Rare plants. Charismatic megafauna. Traces of agriculture, and habitation. But mostly, the place just knows beauty.

Yesterday, we spent the better part of an hour roaming around this old foundation, asking questions to each other and turning up chards of old pottery on the slope below.

Old foundations raise the most irresistible kinds of questions. Who, and when? Was this the door, do you think?

Patrick spotted these lovelies in the ferns. Doll's eye, otherwise known as white baneberry. The name fits, don't you think?

We love this place.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Postcard from Tomatoland

It began at 8:30 am.

Picture a laundry basket heaped with tomatoes. Picture a pot big enough to bathe a small child in. Imagine undertaking, in a single day, the task of turning ALL the tomatoes into can-able food. The washing, the slicing, the skinning, the slow cooking down. The pot above is tomato-sauce-in-progress. I swear it cooked from 9:30 am until 9:30 pm, before I finally called it done.

It was Tomato Day: the day, once a year, that I give over to a peaceful and all-consuming canning marathon with myself. It's the biggest thing I do, probably, to participate in seasonal eating and our local foodshed.

Soon, fall will come, and fresh-tomato-eating season will end. Frost will come late one chilly night, and my vines will hang from their cages like last year's tattered birthday streamers. In winter, we rely solely on canned and frozen tomatoes and tomato products to see us through. It's not bad, really. Relegating tomatoes to summer months only just makes it all the sweeter when the season rolls around again.

Even if it means a steamy, sweaty kitchen, and red-freckled walls from the burbling sauce-pot. It's all worth it.

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